Limavady Mayor, Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey, will not be taking part in this year’s Milk Cup parade in Coleraine, the ‘Journal’ has learned.
Colr. McGlinchey is a former ex-IRA prisoner who served 18 years for his involvement in the 1973 Coleraine bomb, which killed six people.
The upcoming Milk Cup procession, which marks the official opening of the international soccer tournament, goes past the spot on Railway Road where the bomb went off.
The parade is due to take place on 24th July.
Mayor McGlinchey said he will pass the invitation from Coleraine Borough Council to the Milk Cup to his Deputy Mayor, SDLP Colr. Orla Beattie, due to a prior personal engagement.
He said, however, even if didn’t have a prior engagement, he would not be participating in the parade as it would have been “insensitive” to the victims and their families.
“The Milk Cup is a tremendous competition that brings hundreds of people into the North West and it is important that it given proper support,” he said.
“I wish all the competitors the best of luck and hope that the Milk Cup is a total success.”
Teams from across the globe, as well as a strong representation from the the North West, have helped make the Milk Cup one of the premier competitions of its type on these islands. Players such as David Beckham and Wayne Rooney have appeared in past years.
There has been controversy over Mayor McGlinchey’s appointment, led by East Derry DUP MP Gregory Campbell. Two Council meetings have been disrupted because of unionist protests.