The politician behind plans to name a room at the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre after a UDR man and Limavady councillor murdered by the IRA in the 1970s has withdrawn the proposal.
The UUP councillor, Aaron Callan, said that he was withdrawing the motion so as not to “add to the hurt” of the family of former Limavady councillor and UDR Captain Marcus McCausland.
Captain McCausland came from a well-known Catholic family who own the large Drenagh estate in Limavady. He was killed by the IRA on March 4, 1972 at the age of 38. He also served on the Limavady Urban Council from 1968 until his death.
Speaking at a ‘corporate policy and resources’ committee meeting at the Causeway Coast and Glens Council, UUP councillor Aaron Callan hit out Sinn Féin for making the plan to honour Captain McCausland “a contentious issue”.
He said: “The rationale behind my motion was to recognise and remember the contribution of a Limavady councillor, Marcus McCausland, who was brutally murdered by the IRA while still serving his local community. Marcus was a well known and respected member of the Limavady community who held office in the local area in the Unionist Party while serving his country at the same time.
“Unfortunately, and I’m deeply saddened by this, Sinn Féin have felt the need to add insult 40 years by attacking this motion, which has been highlighted in the local press.
“The double standards at play here by Sinn Féin on this subject is totally appalling to say the least. The very same party were happy to support the naming of a playpark in Newry after a criminal and who were also happy to erect plaques after two of their councillors in Magherafelt council building.
“They are making this into a contentious issue. At the heart of this motion is a family who have already lost a loved one and I do not want to add to their hurt. Therefore I will be withdrawing the motion for the meantime.”
His comments were made after Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers hit out at the proposals. Mrs Chivers said: “All civic buildings should be neutral and welcoming spaces for everyone.”