Bigotry or an antagonistic request?

Started by tbrick18, September 30, 2008, 10:42:21 AM

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Honour denied to cleric who shook priest's hand

By Matthew McCreary
Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Unionist councillors in Limavady last night rejected a motion to grant the Freedom of the Borough to a former Presbyterian clergyman forced out of the area 25 years ago.

A special meeting of the council was held last night to decide whether Reverend David Armstrong should be given the honour.

Mr Armstrong received death threats after offering a Christmas handshake to Catholic priest Father Kevin Mullan in 1984.

The move sparked a backlash among sections of the Protestant community, who branded Armstrong a "Lundy" and forced him and his family to flee to England.

The motion to grant the Freedom of the Borough to Rev Armstrong and Fr Mullan was brought by SDLP councillor Michael Coyle, but his motion was defeated despite receiving 8 votes to 6, as a majority of two-thirds was needed.

Cllr Coyle said he was disappointed at the outcome.

"There's nothing to stop me doing the same thing again in ten days time, but I don't think attitudes are going to change in that time — they have been deep rooted for the last 25 years," he said.

"I am disappointed and angry and I wonder what my unionist colleagues were doing.

"What is really disappointing and what angers me is that not one unionist councillor spoke at the debate.

"I'm sure this will be a great disappointment to both David Armstong and Fr Mullan.

"This was a unique opportunity to offer the Freedom of the Borough, which has never been done before in Limavady."


If people are honest with themselves they'll see this as blatant antagonism. 
It's a lot easier to sing karaoke than to sing opera


I was personally too young to remember the incident in question but it certiainly seems at the time it was extrememly bigoted behaviour.

I think it would have been a good way to show that people in that area had moved on from that sort of thing and made a public display of how relationships between the communities can be improved over time. This could have been used an example to other parts of the North where similar bad relationships currently exist.

Admittedly, my only knowledge of the incident is this article but on the face of it I think it would have been a good idea so as to build relationships between a community that was at one time, I hesitate to use the word but, hostile.


Quote from: theskull1 on September 30, 2008, 11:26:35 AM
If people are honest with themselves they'll see this as blatant antagonism. 

If the motion had been brought up by SF, then I'd probably agree, but it wasnt. I have never seen the SDLP taking chea shots at unionism. Cheaps shots at SF yes, but not at the british colonial parties.

This event illustrates that unionism is still in denial i.e.
- The IRA started the troubles
- Catholic priests were all republicans
- Not one portestant child was ever taught to hate catholics
- The Orange Order is a peace loving christian organisation
- The NI soccer team will gain support of all communities and GAA is a terrorist organisation
- Since it was set up, Stormont never discriminated against catholics

(I buy all my cheap shots in Lidl)
Cover me in chocolate and feed me to the lesbians