A proposal to withdraw funding of £33,000 from a soccer pitch in Bushmills caused uproar in Moyle District Council. The Council had planned to invest the money on pitch improvements to allow Bushmills the chance for promotion in the soccer leagues.
But following a request for additional funds to facilitate a bonfire Independent Councillor Padraig McShane requested,
“The money is withdrawn until such times as the Council could satisfy itself there would be no more criminal damage at the football facility in Dundarave”.
Councillor Padraig McShane made the proposal after recommendations for additional money came to Council following a meeting with the Bushmills Bonfire Review Committee. The recommendations included an option to move the pitch at an additional cost of £27,500.
After receiving confirmation that damage had been caused to the facility in the past and the clean-up had cost the rate payer considerable money year on year, Councillor McShane said he could not allow rate payers money to be spent on facilities that are continually being destroyed.
Councillor McShane said;
“The bonfire review committee and local Councillors had to come to their senses. A normal society could never justify spending public funds in the full knowledge that it would go up in smoke.
“Political representatives locally are unwittingly developing communities which aspire to nothing beyond the momentary consolations of material contentment. Apologies are made for naked sectarianism and the destruction of public property in the pursuit of a fictional culture.
“Common sense offers us the chance to reject this type of practise despite everything in local politics urging us to tolerate this behaviour. It took twenty minutes and sustained reasoning to convince colleagues of the merits of withdrawing this funding in Council.
“The sheer abnormality of spending ratepayers’ money on facilities we know are going to be burnt on the 11th night can only be comparable with funding the purchase of white crosses, a can of petrol and a box of matches for the Klu Klux Klan.”