Sinn Fein member 'would rather have nails pulled with pliers' than make nomination for Queen's honours list
A Fermanagh and Omagh Sinn Fein councillor sparked anger last night after telling a council official he'd 'rather have his fingernails pulled with pliers' than have anything to do with nominating local people to the Queen's Birthday honours list for 2018.
In an email seen by the Belfast Telegraph, councillor Sheamus Greene was asked by an official if he would like to make any nomination for the honours list.
He responded: "Sorry I would have no interest in this. To be honest I would rather have my fingernails pulled with pliers.
"But everyone to their own".
Last night, unionist representatives condemned Mr Greene's remarks. "This is very rich coming from a member of a party that continually talks about equality, integrity and respect," Fermanagh UUP MLA Rosemary Barton said.
"The barbaric act of 'pulling out fingernails', was a form of torture used indeed by the military wing of the party that Mr Greene now represents and the use of this language brings nothing, only further hurt to the families of those innocent victims who were kidnapped, tortured and murdered.
"This comment only reinforces and supports the statements made by his colleague, Fermanagh and Omagh Council chairman Stephen McCann, and represents only the opposite of respect and integrity constantly demanded by Sinn Fein."
Just five years ago senior Sinn Fein man Martin McGuinness struck a very different note, and made history when he shook the Queen's hand in Belfast.
In 2014 the late Mr McGuinness attended a dinner she hosted at Windsor Castle and took part in a toast to Her Majesty.
Councillor Greene's hardline comments come as Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has been hit by rising tension over the refusal of its Sinn Fein chairman, Stephen McCann, to retract comments he made about the Enniskillen bombing.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, councillor Greene was unrepentant .
"I wrote it tongue in cheek and if anyone wants to take offence at it I don't care," he said.
"To be honest, see that type of oul' stuff, I would prefer getting my nails pulled with pliers.
"I have no interest in pomp and circumstance and that nonsense. See if it was a garden party hosted by whoever, it'd be the same thing. When the Queen sends me an invitation to go, sure maybe I'll look at it then."
Fermanagh UUP councillor Howard Thornton - the leader of the UUP group on the council - also slammed councillor Greene's remarks, saying: "I am very disappointed with Sinn Fein's response to something that is representative of our British culture. Why would people thoroughly deserving not be honoured by the head of state of the country that they live?
"With the 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bombing, it is once again showing total disrespect from Sinn Fein."
Subject: Re: BIRTHDAY HONOURS 2018
Sorry I would have no interest in this. To be honest I'd rather have my finger nails pulled with pliers. But everyone to their own.
Kind regards, Cllr Sheamus Greene