Cookstown SDLP councillor’s outrage at ‘snake’ label over bonfire row

Cllr Tony Quinn
Cllr Tony Quinn

SDLP councillor Tony Quinn has hit out at comments made by his DUP counterpart Paul McLean over bonfires.

Cllr. Quinn said he was shocked by the “personal, lengthy and largely unsubstantiated attack”.

Cllr Paul McLean

Cllr Paul McLean

“In his statement, Cllr McLean sees fit to describe me as a ‘snake’ for the principled stand the SDLP has taken against the environmentally irresponsible practice of burning tyres and the socially irresponsible practice of burning flags and effigies,” he said,

“Yet he took no time to condemn those who burn effigies of nationalist politicians. He took no time to challenge those who believe that intimidating and threatening elected representatives is in some way ‘cultural’. It is not and we should not accept it.

“The SDLP brought this motion before the council because the issue is most prevalent at this time of year. It’s not about suppressing the culture of others nor about ‘outflanking’ anyone. It’s about ensuring that cultural celebrations are based in respect for the rule of law and respect for other communities. In that regard, Cllr McLean still has some lessons to learn.”