4/11/2006

SF councillor threatened on council floor

I'm saddened and angry to learn that Sinn Féin Councillor Monica Digney was threatened on the floor of the Ballymena Council chamber last night. This must have been a terrible ordeal for Monica who described the incident this morning as "was a frightening and disturbing incident."

She went on to condemn the Unionist reaction both to her work as a councillor and to her assailtant last night;

It is totally unacceptable that any elected representative should be threatened anywhere, let alone on the floor of the council chamber.

What was more concerning was that a number of my council colleagues sat by and did nothing. I am also very concerned that my assailant was able to freely enter the council building and the council chamber without being challenged.

I will be raising this matter with the Council Chief Executive.

Unionists on Ballymena Council through their behaviour continue to send out a message that republicans and nationalists should not be treated equally and with dignity and respect.

It is no co-incidence that on councils where unionists refuse to accept power sharing and equality are found in areas where loyalist violence continues to be directed at nationalists and republicans

Monica makes a fair point when she says that the way in which she is treated in ballymena sends a clear signal to low-lifes that it is acceptable to attack or threaten Republicans in this callous manner. How brave must this Loyal son of Ulster have been to walk into a council floor in ballymena and threaten the sole Republican woman?

Another point, given how the Unionist councillors claim to be so dedicated to law and order, why didn't they try to apprehend the assailtant, after all if they actually gave a damn about principles of non-violence surely they would have wanted this low-life brought to justice. Or in Unionist eyes, is justice something which should only be concerned with Republicans when it can be used against them?

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