Cllr calls local splinter provos “illiterate vermin”

The local representatives of Republican Sinn Fein (RSF ) were described as “vermin” and “garbage” by the Cathaoirleach of the town council, historian Ruth Illingworth, after they sent in an anonymous protest letter to the council this week (February 18 ).

“Oh, they won’t recognise the State but they’re happy enough to take its welfare,” scoffed the Cathaoirleach.

Sometime late last year the local representatives of this splinter group held an unofficial picket on the market square and leafletted passersby in support of the so-called prisoners of war still incarcerated.

Last month journalist Paul Hughes reported on the January meeting of the town council which criticised this unsanctioned gathering and compared it unfavourably with the proper approach as used by a local church group who sought permission for a carol and prayer service from the council.

It was in protest at the council’s attitude towards RSF as portrayed in Hughes’ article that prompted the local splinter Shinners to write anonymously to the council last week and thus incur the wrath of the Fine Gael Cathaoirleach.

“I have a letter here from Republican Sinn Fein and it’s unsigned,” said Cllr Illingworth.

“I won’t read it all as it’s tedious and nearly illiterate,” she said.

She explained the basis of their complaint to the meeting but pointed out the unintentional irony that, for a 32-county republican Gaelgóir outfit, they had addressed the letter to the council’s “chairperson” and not its “cathaoirleach” .

“It’s the ultimate impertinence to send this letter to the elected members [of this council] when they have no mandate and have never been elected,” said Cllr Illingworth.

“The author is an ill-mannered waster and I hope he turns up so I can look him in the eye and tell him what I think of him”.

She quoted a section from the letter where the author claimed to speak for the people of Grange and Dalton Park.

“This is an example of the little vermin crawling around the town - they don’t speak for the people of Grange and Dalton Park,” said Cllr Illingworth.

Alluding to their claims of democracy she added: “Just because the leader of the BNP [the far right party in the UK] wears a suit, it doesn’t make his views any less contemptible”.

“You do not intimidate us nor speak for anyone here. You are garbage,” she added, before pointing out how they had misspelt Cllr Mick Dollard’s name on at least two occasions in the controversial missive.

“We saw how dangerous they are in Newry last night [car bomb] or in Omagh 10 years ago. We saw them strike gardai and journalists four years ago in Dublin [Love Ulster parade],” concluded the Cathaoirleach.

Cllr Mick Dollard added: “They named two areas in this letter that I know intimately and I don’t see too many of these fellas around these areas knocking doors at 10 or 11 o’clock at night”.


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