Belfast Telegraph

Council bans 'glorification of terrorism' after Mairead Farrell GAA event

By Gillian Halliday

A Northern Ireland council last night voted for a ban on its facilities being used for the "glorification of terrorism".

The move by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council comes weeks after one of its playing fields was used by a festival group to host a ladies Gaelic tournament in honour of Mairead Farrell.

Farrell was one of the Gibraltar Three and was killed 30 years ago as part of a three-member IRA unit targeted by the SAS two days before they planned to bomb a military parade on the British territory.

The sporting event, held as part of an annual community festival, which also ran an event commemorating two Official IRA men, Tony Hughes and Jake McGerrigan, provoked condemnation from unionists.

The West Armagh Consortium, which was accused of causing hurt to IRA victims as well as "harming" community relations, had previously stressed that events were named after people who are "significant" to the local community.

Yesterday evening the DUP and UUP's respective notices of motions at the council's monthly meeting were successfully passed.

The DUP had called on the council to condemn the naming of the GAA tournament, as well as to take immediate steps to prevent any group or organisation with an "association with terrorism" from using council-owned facilities.

It also called on the council to review its association with the festival organisers.

Meanwhile, the UUP motion called on the council to examine its policies to ensure it would not provide financial assistance to or host any event which seeks to glorify terrorism.

It is understood the Sinn Fein and SDLP voted against the DUP motion, while the SDLP abstained when the UUP put its own notice forward.

A statement issued by DUP councillors said their motion ensured that such a situation would "not be permitted to rise again".

Belfast Telegraph

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