Emergency meeting called in wake of tweet

Elected members on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council are set to debate 'a breach of confidentiality' during a special meeting on September 5.

Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:47 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:18 pm
Mossley Mill.

The meeting has been called after Cllr Anne Marie Logue commented on social media regarding the council’s ‘English only’ policy after a discussion held behind closed doors.

In February unionist members on the local authority voted in favour of the policy in relation to street signs in the borough.

On Tuesday, August 28, councillors discussed the policy in a meeting held in committee.

Cllr Logue pictured with South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney.

Following the meeting, the Sinn Fein representative took to Twitter to comment on the policy. Cllr Logue said: “Antrim/Newtownabbey Council have been legally forced to revoke their discriminatory ‘English only policy.’ Disgrace that the DUP/UUP have been allowed to get this far.”

The tweet has since been removed.

The motion to be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting, states: “Council notes with grave concern the breach of confidentiality relating to item 6.56 at the August meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and refers any breach of confidentiality found by the council’s investigation to the Northern Ireland Local Government Commissioner for Standards as a complaint.”

An update on the council’s investigation will be tabled at the meeting.

The motion has been backed by DUP representatives Cllr Brett, Ald Smyth, Ald Girvan, Ald Ball, Ald Barr, Ald DeCourcy, Cllr Ross, Cllr Magill, Cllr Clarke, Cllr Hamill, Cllr Greer, Cllr Flanagan, Cllr Girvan and Cllr Kells alongside Alliance representative, Cllr Billy Webb.

Local Irish language activists have launched a Judicial Review to overturn the council’s ‘English only’ policy. It is understood the Judicial Review is listed in September for a Leave Hearing, whereby the judge will decide if there is a case to answer.