Limavady Mayor Sean McGlinchey has challenged a unionist councillor who has accused him of vandalism to report him to the PSNI.
The Sinn Fein man said TUV Colr. Boyd Douglas had made a “serious accusation” about him regarding changes he made to the Mayor’s parlour and if he was really serious about it he should go through the proper channels.
As the ‘Journal’ first reported two weeks ago, the parlour in the Council building received a makeover. Portraits of former politicians were taken down and handed into Council for safe keeping.
One of the walls was painted red and a set of new blinds were installed, costing in the region of £250. It was the first time the walls were painted in some 15 years, according to the Mayor.
The name has been changed to the Community Room, and features artwork donated by the community, including a mosaic from a deaf charity and a symbol of peace created by pupils of Rossmar Special School.
The room no longer has an alcohol bar and official receptions or meetings offer only soft drinks and tea and coffee.
Colr. Douglas blasted what the Mayor had done, branding it “vandalism” and said he should have sought permission from Council first, before making any changes and taking down any pictures. He said people were upset by it and called it “a step too far”, “unprecedented”.
Mayor McGlinchey says he’s not surprised by the “cheap shot” from Colr. Douglas and told the ‘Journal’ the TUV man should take the “serious accusation” to the police.
“All these people complaining, well Colr. Douglas should bring them into the Council and we’ll have a debate about it and I’ll tell them it’s the ratepayers’ building and it should be accessible to all of the community, and council staff. How can anyone say beautiful artwork by children and groups is vandalism? It’s so petty and it’s just a cheap shot at me. That’s all it is.”
Colr. Douglas said: “At the end of the meeting Anne Brolly said we would need a dictionary to find out what vandalism means, well I can tell you. It’s interfering with someone else’s property without permission.”
He went on to claim: “No civilised person would do that and that’s the bottom line here.
“He should have come before Council and sought permission. It was done behind backs and no-one was asked. That’s the issue. The second thing is we have always had a mayor’s parlour and I think this has belittled it.
“It wouldn’t matter who the mayor was, it’s not particularly that it’s Sean McGlinchey, although there is an issue there, but he should have sought permission. He wasn’t apologetic and showed no remorse for what he did.
“I don’t have to go to the police. The issue was raised at Council and that’s where it should have been raised, but I don’t feel I got satisfactory answers.”