Brolly calls for apology after ‘cheap shot’ remark

Sinn Fein councillor Anne Brolly hit back this week at an accusation that her motion before Limavady Council about Dungiven bypass was a “cheap shot”.

Colr. Brolly brought the motion to council on Tuesday calling for Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy to “honour the commitment to the Dungiven bypass that his predecessor guaranteed in the Budget and Programme for Government”.

Opening the debate on Tuesday, she said the first mention of plans for a bypass for Dungiven surfaced in 1966 and, since then, the levels of pollution poisoning people in the town had been well documented.

UU Colr. Edwin Stevenson said with news the A5 project may not go ahead, the money budgeted for that may well go back into the mix and it wasn’t even certain it would go towards roads. He said bringing the motion to Council after councillors had met with Regional Development minister, Danny Kennedy in Limavady last month was “a cheap shot”.

Responding to the accusation Colr. Brolly explained the motion had been due before councillors last month, but because she had been unable to attend council it had been delayed until Tuesday. In between times, councillors had met with Minister Kennedy to discuss Dungiven bypass.

“I think I’m owed an apology for that. It was not a cheap shot by Sinn Fein,” she said.

Colr, Brolly referred to plans for a Dungiven bypass being shown locally and how timelines and maps detailing the project had been made public during an exhibition at Dungiven Sports Pavilion.

“We were assured by the DoE the start date was 2013,” she said “That’s what we were told and when the bypass would commence. We were given an assurance.”

She said if a policy had been made by a previous minister, the following minister should continue that, which is what her motion called for.

She said a very strong letter needed to be written to Minister Kennedy reminding him of what was said in Dungiven about the bypass.

SDLP Colr. Orla Beattie also spoke on the debate, saying: “People in Dungiven are being affected everyday. We should go further and make Dungiven a priority and give it a bypass and not let it be dependent on the whole scheme.”

TUV Colr Boyd Douglas said the Executive would decide what happens to the A5 money and added the minister had said he was committed to the project if he gets the money.

DUP Colr. James McCorkell said he had walked away from the meeting with Minister Kennedy with “a positivity in his mind” and said if something was wanted it had to be be fought for, and referred to the issue of the Coleraine railway: “If we want something we need to fight for it.”