DUP councillor arrested for “grossly offensive” Facebook comment

William Benson, second left, welcomes guest speakers Henry Reilly UKIP Newry and Mourne to the Portadown Cultural Group heritage and cultural parade with from left Brian Cummings, Paul Berry, Ruth Patterson DUP councillor Belfast and Wayne Gilmour United Protestant Voice.INPT20-619.
William Benson, second left, welcomes guest speakers Henry Reilly UKIP Newry and Mourne to the Portadown Cultural Group heritage and cultural parade with from left Brian Cummings, Paul Berry, Ruth Patterson DUP councillor Belfast and Wayne Gilmour United Protestant Voice.INPT20-619.

A DUP councillor has been arrested in connection with what has been described as “grossly offensive communications” surrounding a controversial republican parade scheduled to take place in Castlederg next week.

Belfast DUP councillor Ruth Patterson yesterday apologised for a post made on Facebook which appeared to support a fake loyalist massacre of senior Sinn Féin politicians at the Tyrone IRA Volunteers Commemoration in Castlederg next Sunday.

The web page imagined a scenario in which paramilitaries would attack the parade. It has since been removed.

Among those listed as “fatalities” in the imagined scenario are Sinn Féin party president Gerry Adams and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The PSNI this morning confirmed that a 57-year-old woman - believed to be the former deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast - had been detained by the Public Order Enquiry team over “grossly offensive communications and other serious criminal offences in relation to intimidation and encouraging criminal acts”.

A police spokesman said no further details are available.