1,000 back play park tribute to IRA man Raymond McCreesh
The campaign to remove the name of an IRA hunger striker from a Newry children's play park has sparked 1,000 letters calling for the controversial name to be retained.
The park - sited in the city's Ballybot area - is called Raymond McCreesh Park after the Camlough-born hunger striker.
Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein MLA Mickey Brady said there was strong feeling within the community that the existing name should be retained.
The MLA was speaking after he handed over 1,000 individually-signed letters supporting the name of Raymond McCreesh Park to Newry & Mourne Council.
The council is conducting a consultation in relation to the name.
Mr Brady said: "The vast majority of these letters of support for the name have come from people who live within the park area.
"I was born and raised in Ballybot - and I know that the people of the area are angry at the way this whole affair has been sectarianised."
The park was given its name in 2001, and the decision has come under fire from unionists and IRA victims. A public rally in support of the name was held last night.