Move to pray before meeting slammed as ‘nonsense’

Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey.

Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey.

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A move to retain the traditional mayor’s prayer before council meetings at the new Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has been slammed as “nonsense”.

Causeway Colr. Sean McGlinchey was speaking following the recent proposal to keep the traditional mayor’s prayer from Coleraine Borough Council, and add to it the Lord’s Prayer.

“It’s ridiculous, to bring prayer into council, absolutely ridiculous,” said Colr. McGlinchey.

“If people want to pray they should pray in private. You have to respect that not everyone shares the same beliefs. You have to respect that. It’s just silly games. If that’s the case why not say the Angelus too? It’s just silly games.”

Colr. McGlinchey said another proposal regarding the flying of the Union flag on Council buildings, including Limavady, “doesn’t bode well for future relations” in the new body.

“To me, it just shows where we are going, debating flags and prayers.

“It doesn’t bode well for the future, if you ask me,” he said, adding: “I find it all very disappointing.”

The motion put forward by DUP councillor Mark Fielding called on the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council to open the full council meeting with a prayer - a prayer that had been used by Coleraine Borough Council for over forty years.

At the meeting where the matter was discussed, Sinn Fein’s Brenda Chivers described the practice as ‘divisive’, and said that prayer was a ‘personal thing’.