DUP blast mayor for Prince Charles snub

Prince Charles visits a community centre in Northern Ireland to speak with locals who were affected by last years flooding. Eglinton: UK: 20 Oct 17
Prince Charles visits a community centre in Northern Ireland to speak with locals who were affected by last years flooding. Eglinton: UK: 20 Oct 17

The DUP have criticised Londonderry mayor Maoliosa McHugh for refusing to meet Prince Charles on his visit to meet the victims of the September floods in Eglinton and Drumahoe today.

In a joint statement East Londonderry MP Greogry Campbell and Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said it was a backwards step after the P{rince had previously met both Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

Mr McHugh said he had declined the invivtation to meet Prince Charles on the grounds of his role as commander-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment.

Mr Campbell said, “Over two years ago Gerry Adams met with Prince Charles. He and Martin McGuinness were able to spend twenty minutes in a private meeting with him. Only six months ago Mr Adams shared a handshake with Prince Charles on the final day of his tour of the Republic of Ireland.

“Today, the Sinn Fein Mayor of Londonderry is retreating to the comfort of backwoods republicanism. We hear a great deal from republicans about respect and criticisms of unionism for not reaching out to recognise other cultures and traditions.

“It is clear however that Maoliosa McHugh does not believe such responsibilities extend to him. He has no problem putting on the Mayoral chain to visit a dissident republican in prison but cannot represent the citizens of Londonderry when someone such as Prince Charles visits the city.

Mr Middleton said: “The focus on Prince Charles’ association with the Parachute Regiment is yet more republican double standards. Sinn Fein are the first to criticise anyone who dare bring up the activities of the Provisional IRA in Londonderry or anywhere else.

“Indeed, they regularly lambast anyone who cannot forget their role in a campaign of terrorism which of course included the murder of two Police officers just before Bloody Sunday.

“It would be very useful to know what the views of other more senior members of Sinn Fein take on this calculated snub. Do the actions of Mr McHugh have the backing and support of his party?”