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Sinn Fein councillor says sorry for Facebook slur on Bangor

By Noel McAdam

A Sinn Fein councillor who referred to Bangor as a "s***hole" on Facebook has apologised.

Newry, Mourne and Down representative Naomi Bailie yesterday withdrew her remark via Twitter, saying it had been "inappropriate".

She said: "The comments I made earlier in the week about Bangor were inappropriate and I withdraw them unreservedly."

It came after she was criticised by rival politicians over the post on Saturday afternoon.

Ms Bailie had written: "I will never in my life again go near that s***hole that is Bangor."

SDLP councillor Laura Devlin said the comments were "a total slur on an entire town. There seems to be a race to insult and alienate people in this election that Sinn Fein and the DUP are happy to take part in".

"Councillor Bailie should apologise immediately for her grossly offensive remarks. Furthermore, as a candidate seeking to represent the people of South Down, Chris Hazzard should make a clear statement distancing himself from the remarks."

Ulster Unionist MLA Alan Chambers called on Sinn Fein Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill to disassociate herself from Mrs Bailie's "foul-mouthed rant".

Mr Chambers said: "It's her choice, of course, but if she never goes near Bangor again as she's promised, I doubt the people of Bangor will feel they are missing out on very much and I'm fairly confident that Bangor will survive."

Meanwhile, DUP leader Arlene Foster also distanced herself from controversial comments made by party colleague Jim Wells about republican election workers who were canvassing Rathfriland on Sunday.

In a Twitter post that was later deleted he said Sinn Fein was not welcome in Rathfriland, a "unionist" town.

Mrs Foster said it was a personal tweet and added: "We live in a free and open democracy and everyone should be allowed to canvass wherever they want to canvass."

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