A DUP council election candidate has been asked to withdraw a comment he made on social media referring to the Alliance Party as “scum”.
Commenting on the appearance of Alliance election posters in Ballyclare over the weekend, one Facebook user referred to them as “offensive anti British election placards”.
Adding his comment to the post on Tuesday (April 22), Ballyclare DUP council candidate Jordan Greer wrote: “alliance are a united ireland party. scum.”
One Alliance Party supporter who contacted the Times described Mr Greer’s comment as “bigoted” and “utterly ridiculous.”
Alliance Councillor Pat McCudden, who has been championing non-sectarian politics in the town since 1977, questioned the wisdom of Mr Greer’s comment.
“For someone who is standing to be an elected representative for Ballyclare I think the use of this sort of language is highly irresponsible and doesn’t help the situation.
“If that is his contribution to promoting Ballyclare in the new Antrim-Newtownabbey Council then I wouldn’t be terribly impressed,” he said.
Alliance leader David Ford appealed to Mr Greer to withdraw his comment.
“It is very worrying that a DUP council candidate is using this sort of intemperate language. It is the kind of language that has directly led to violence on the streets over the past 18 months,” the South Antrim MLA told the Times.
“Even in the enthusiasm of youth I would hope that he would reflect that this is not wise and he would withdraw his comment. I also hope that the DUP leadership locally would ensure that he acts in a more responsible way in the future.”
When contacted by the Times, Mr Greer (pictured), a Queen’s University student who works part-time in the DUP’s South Antrim constituency office in the town, didn’t deny posting the comment, but said that he would have to phone back to discuss the issue.
South Antrim DUP MLA Paul Girvan said that he didn’t condone Mr Greer’s comment, and stressed that the post has since been removed.
“These were Jordan’s own comments and not the view of the party. It’s not helpful calling people names and it’s not the type of politics I want to engage in,” he said.
The DUP press office was also asked for a response about Mr Greer’s conduct.
“It is important that all candidates and elected representatives use temperate language, and that should also extend to social media,” a party spokesman commented.
“The strong support for a united Ireland outlined by the Alliance Party’s European candidate, and her inference of unionists as ‘colonialists’ has deeply concerned many people. However, this does not justify any language which may also offend.
“All of the comments which related to this incident were quickly removed,” he added.
Meanwhile, it’s understood that a number of Alliance Party election posters were removed from lampposts in the Ballyclare area this week.