16 3 mins 9 yrs

It’s appalling;

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have voted to retain the title of a Newry playground named after an IRA gunman who was caught with a weapon used in the notorious Kingsmills massacre. 

The council voted to name the Patrick Street playground after IRA man Raymond McCreesh in 2001 – despite the fact that 16 per cent of residents opposed the change in a survey. Unionists appealed to the Equality Commission which called for an equality impact assessment in 2008.

But a council sub-committee finally decided this week that naming the park after McCreesh complies with their legal requirement to “promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different religious belief and political opinion”.

UKIP councillor Henry Reilly said: “Raymond McCreesh created so much fear in the unionist community. When he was caught he was setting up an ambush for police and Army with a rifle which was used in the Kingsmills massacre. “This weapon was used to shoot Protestant farmer Sammy Rodgers who Raymond McCreesh delivered milk to as a milkman. Our equality impact assessment in Newry and Mourne means that unionists have to live with the council formally honouring a convicted terrorist who has been officially linked to the Kingsmills massacre.” In 1977 McCreesh was convicted of attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, possession of firearms with intent to endanger life and PIRA membership. He died on hunger strike in 1981. Last year the PSNI Historical Enquiries Team linked him, along with two others, to a string of IRA murders committed with the Armalite he was caught with, including the Kingsmills massacre in 1976.

That McCreesh, a terrorist convicted of attempted murder who chose to kill himself  should be honoured in this way by this Republican dominated Council tells you all that you need to know about “equality”  What message does it send to school children?

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  1. Of course it shouldn’t be named after a terrorist but it doesn’t do the argument against the naming very well to point out that only 16% of residents in a survey opposed the re-naming. Presumably this implies that 84% were in favour ?

  2. Yes, the 16 pct argument is lame.

    But its not needed.

    This is a loud, clear slap at the remaining Unionists. Everyone who signed off on the renaming knows this. I’d guess that this is the true, sole intention.

    From afar, it is astonishing how some devote all their efforts at continued division. It is very sad.

  3. What’s this new found interest in equality David. When it comes to flying the Union Flag over Belfast City Hall you are willing to completely disregard the opinion of half the city. You can’t have it both ways. Either we have parity if esteem or we have everybody using a majority where they have it

    I’m opposed to naming anything after anyone, flying any flag or having any march where a section of the community take exception. That applies in this case too.

  4. SDLP supported them? Must be some sort of grubby deal. The provos targeted many SDLP members.

  5. It was named the Patrick Street Play Area and it should have remained so. The full council vote is not until December 3rd. McCreesh was another failed terrorist and nothing should be named after him, especially a children’s park. It is long past time that all glorification of terrorists stop and all signage and the like be removed. The terrorists lost and belong to a disgraceful past.

  6. Hold on now. In every part of the democratic world local councils make such decisions. Clearly the majority of people feel that our hunger strikers are people who deserve to be honoured and remembered. you might not agree with them but that is their view. I agree with them but I think commemoration is best left to political organisations and not local authorities in a divided society.

    There are streets, parks, train stations and buildings all over Ireland named for IRA volunteers so it is a very normal thing for nationalists. Respect is a two way street and all these questions should be looked at in their totality. Equality was hard won in Northern Ireland and the days when unionists could decide for nationalist areas through rigged elections and intimidation are long gone. We need to have a conversation about all the kinds of issues that offend people. Not a hectoring of nationalists based on a British reading of history.

  7. Absolutely disgusting but unfortunately not surprising.


    Not just a slap at unionists. Basic decency is slapped.

  8. Henry

    Whatever views may be held over the whole business of the IRA, the hunger strikes and the entire troubles, what purpose does it serve to rename a children’s playground that already has a familiar and known name. Doesn’t it just create a controversy where none is necessary ?

  9. Henry – It is a matter of context. The IRA of this individual’s time was a different animal all together.

  10. Colm

    I’m not arguing for it and I think we need to have some discussion on how we handle division at a local level. I would be happy to give the minority community in each area a veto on culturally and politically sensitive issues like park names. Would people find that acceptable?


    There are differences but there are also similarities.

  11. The equality agenda should not be a license to do stupid things. Naming a children’s play area after a failed terrorist is a stupid thing.

  12. Henry

    In theory it sounds good, but probably unworkable given the members of the Newry Council.

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