Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

New DUP councillor apologises after calling former Sinn Fein minister 'dirty w*****'


DUP councillor Marc Collins with DUP leader Arlene Foster. Credit: Sunday Life
DUP councillor Marc Collins with DUP leader Arlene Foster. Credit: Sunday Life

By Christopher Woodhouse for the Sunday Life

This is the newly elected DUP councillor who posted vile racist and sectarian messages on social media.

Marc Collins, who will sit on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, used racist language on his open social media site to refer to one friend as "c**n features".

And he described an ex-Sinn Fein Stormont minister as a "dirty w*****".

Mr Collins told Sunday Life he was embarrassed by the comments and apologised for making them.

The messages were posted by Collins on his publicly accessible Facebook page.

One post in February 2011 read: "Yo c**n features what time you getting back from the fenian valleys?"

In another from March that year he described former Sinn Fein education minister Caitriona Ruane as a "dirty w*****" after he said he had to shake her hand.

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He explained in a comment beneath the post: "Silly b**** was at the awards ceremony and had to shake her hand. Dirty inbred fenian wench, shouldn't even have been out of the kitchen in the first place."

Collins, who is a member of the Carrickfergus Defenders flute band, also made sectarian remarks about the annual Ancient Order of Hibernians demonstration.

He posted: "Happy Hibernians day! Hopefully all the taigs enjoy their parades LOL jk (just kidding) hopefully they all drop dead" - this was followed by a smiley face.

A Facebook post from DUP councillor Marc Collins. Credit: Sunday Life
A Facebook post from DUP councillor Marc Collins. Credit: Sunday Life
A Facebook post from DUP councillor Marc Collins. Credit: Sunday Life

Collins also engaged in an exchange about what appears to be a visit to a hospital in which he made both sectarian and racist remarks about the children he saw.

"The were five kids and we established that at least one was a taig, one was a pole and one had a tribe of gypsies at its bedside so we were in good company, ha ha."

Collins, who was elected for the Knockagh area of south Antrim with 846 votes, works for East Antrim DUP MLA David Hilditch, who also acted as his election agent.

On his election leaflets he described himself as a "volunteer at the YMCA and Carrick Rangers" and as "passionate about creating opportunities for young people and reducing anti-social behaviour".

Among those helping him on the campaign trail were East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and DUP MLA Gordon Lyons.

In March, Collins was at Windsor Park for the launch of McDonald's Fun Football academy and was pictured with Northern Ireland legend Pat Jennings and manager Michael O'Neill.

The same month he took part in a course at the YMCA in Carrickfergus on mental health hich included cyber-bullying.

He posted on his official councillor's Facebook page: "Really useful course, covering a wide range of issues such as mental health, alcohol & drugs, sexual health, cyber bullying, peer pressure, etc. All topics which are prevalent in today's society."

In a statement, Mr Collins said: "Most of these comments were made when I was 16 years old. I'm embarrassed by them.

"They do not represent my views today and I recognise they were wholly unacceptable. I apologise to the people offended by them and apologise generally for making them.

"I've just been elected as a councillor. I will represent everyone and seek to give leadership to build a shared future for the next generation in my locality.

"I oppose all forms of bigotry or racism. We share this land and we are all the same regardless of religion or skin colour. I will ask the people to judge me on my work going forward rather than ill-judged comments made when I was much younger." 

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