Councillor McGinley welcomes £4000 investment for Stewartstown

Stewartstown has benefited from £4000 investment from Cookstown Council. The work covered a range of areas, including the replanting of trees to replace dead trees removed, and the removal of dangerous obstacles and ‘trip’ hazards.

This was a Cookstown Council Legacy Project.

Sinn Féin Councillor for the area Ronan McGinley has welcomed the development by saying ‘Stewartstown is an integral part of Mid Ulster, and I am delighted to see this investment from Cookstown Council. The enhancement of this excellent civic space for the local community has made Stewartstown safer, easier navigated and even more beautiful’.

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Mid Ulster District Council sold a “dud” by DRD

Mid Ulster District Council is due to take over the reins on the 1st April, including taking ownership of all Mid Ulster’s Off Street car parks. DRD have described this transfer as a positive element of local government reform, highlighting the potential income stream for the council.

Not all councillors have taken the same view as the department, some describing it as DRD off-loading a poisoned chalice.

Sinn Féin councillor for Torrent, Ronan McGinley explained his dissatisfaction with the transfer of ownership, “A brief look at this situation would create the impression that DRD have done the people of Mid Ulster a favour, in fact what DRD is doing is costing our citizens their hard earned money. The budget for looking after these car parks is not transferring with the ownership, leaving the rate payer carrying the tab”.

Sinn Féin’s Group Leader went on to say, “any profit that Mid Ulster District Council could potentially generate from the newly owned car parks should be reinvested into the council, ultimately reducing the rates bill. However, whatever profit made will be top sliced from the councils grant from central government, making the ‘positive’ transfer of ownership a misnomer. A cynical person would question why in 2001-2005 DRD held a budget for maintenance of car parks across the North of approximately £4 million. In this so called ‘rates neutral’ local government reform, DRD are now saying that car park maintenance can expect somewhere in the region of £200K, by the time this filters to the Mid Ulster area it will have little to no positive impact. These figures do not stack up, and unfortunately, due to the actions of DRD, our rate payers will pick up the cost. We were assured that Local Government Reform would be cost neutral, it is vital that DRD re-assess the budget due to transfer with the ownership of the car parks’.

Cllr Ronan McGinley defends Sinn Féin Leader’s comments in council

In response to a motion put forward to MUDC on the 18/12/14 by UUP Councillor Mulligan, Sinn Féin’s Group Leader Ronan McGinley responded in the chamber with the following comments:

“Go raibh maith agat chair.

I suppose the best place to start is to express my disappointment at this motion. Its inaccurate and taken out of context.

It was acknowledged that the language used was inappropriate immediately through a number of different platforms and clearly clarified that it was not directed at unionists. I would encourage Cllr Mulligan to look these statements up and read them in full.

I would like to know why Cllr Mulligan has not noted with concern statements which in my understanding have yet to be retracted, such as the one made in 2011 by Tom Elliott, while he was UUP leader, referring to Sinn Fein as “Scum”. I would also like to hear opinions on the shameful comments of Gregory Campbell in relation to the Irish Language, comments that are treated with disgust by the majority of people, yet he still remains unashamedly proud of.

In relation to comments of equality, again, Cllr Mulligan has taken something out of context and presented it to this chamber as something else.

I support the thrust of what Gerry Adams articulated that night as it was not directed at unionists. Speaking as an Irish Republican, Cllr Mulligan can be assured that I endorse the principle of a mutually respectful, shared future. Sinn Féin endorses this principle, as does Gerry Adams.

There are some people that should fear equality. The bigots, misogynists, homophobes and racist should be afraid, as equality makes their way of life cease. Society is waking up to injustices being inflicted by a minority of people and it is right that equality brings it to an end.

If Cllr Mulligan is serious about endorsing the principle of a mutually respectful, shared future, then I assume he endorses this principle of equality also.

Before bringing a motion to council again, I would encourage Cllr Mulligan to ensure that it is in context, and accurate.

GRMA”