An Independent Councillor has sent emails to his Unionist Counter-parts in Moyle highlighting the part they must play in defusing tensions before a planned Loyalist protest in Ballycastle.
Following reports on Facebook, confirmed by the Belfast Newsletter, that the protest is to take place on Monday night Councillor Padraig McShane stated;
“Concern is all to apparent when I was in the centre of town today. Anyone I was talking to expressed various levels of disgust, anger and bemusement.“Unionism can not shirk its responsibility to the people of Ballycastle. It has an opportunity to maintain and enhance relations in the town if it chooses to! It should not be found wanting.”
Meanwhile the Councillor stressed that should the protest go ahead, it would not damage Relations in the town of Ballycastle as differences can be discussed sensibly and the level of immaturity required to stir up tensions would find no home in Ballycastle.
The following is a copy of an email circulated to all Unionist Councillors in Moyle.
7 December 2012
As you are probably aware, a Loyalist protest is planned for the Council Offices on Monday night.
Given that we have enjoyed a no flags policy since the inception of Moyle DC in 1972 and we enjoy excellent community relations throughout the District, not least in the chamber I believe it would be appropriate for you guys to use your influence and call on those intent on protesting to call it off immediately.
The upshot of these protests has invariably led to violence in Belfast, Ballymena, Carrick and Bangor. Do we wish to see similar in Ballycastle?
The opportunity to show genuine leadership has presented itself and I call on each of you to respond without ambiguity, fear or favour.
I urge you not to be found wanting.
Cllr. Padraig Mc Shane