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Sinn Fein bid to remove 'IRA' and 'atrocity' from Coleraine bombing motion defeated



The scene of the Coleraine bombing in 1973

The scene of the Coleraine bombing in 1973

The scene of the Coleraine bombing in 1973

A last minute Sinn Fein amendment to a motion calling for a memorial to those killed in the Coleraine bombings almost 45 years ago called for the removal of mention of the "Provisional IRA" and "atrocity," it has been reported.

Causeway Coast and Glens Council passed a motion supporting an official remembrance event and permanent memorial on Wednesday evening.

The IRA detonated two car bombs in the centre of the town in June 12, 1973, killing six Protestants and injuring 33 others.

DUP councillors Alan McLean and Trevor Clarke raised the matter at Causeway Coast and Glens Council after they were contacted by some relatives of those who died in the atrocity.

They tabled a motion calling for the council to "affirm it’s solidarity with the families bereaved by the atrocity" and survivors and to organise a memorial to mark the forthcoming 45th anniversary.

It said there should be consideration given for a permanent memorial to those who lost their lives "as a result of this heinous act of terrorism by the Provisional IRA".

Sinn Fein proposed an amendment calling for the word "atrocity" to be removed and also references to the "Provisional IRA," and for the motion to be withdrawn for further discussion, the BBC reported.

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Sinn Fein councillor Kieran Mulholland said: “I proposed an amendment that would have provided for a memorial to the victims of the Coleraine bombing in an inclusive way that recognised the pain and suffering of all victims.

“Unfortunately that amendment was defeated which is regretful because it sought to recognise all victims.

“The legacy of the conflict and the suffering of victims and survivors should be addressed in a holistic way and everyone has the right to remember their dead in a dignified and respectful way.

“The DUP motion was selective in its approach to victims but we did not want to turn the issue into a political football. This would have compounded the suffering of victims so on that basis, Sinn Fein abstained from the vote.”

The six Sinn Fein councillors - including Sean McGlinchey who was jailed for planting the bomb - abstained in the final vote to approval the motion.

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