A Sinn Fein councillor has challenged the Ulster Unionist Party to “put up or shut up” following the announcement they intend to leave the Northern Ireland Executive.
Sean McGlinchey was speaking after Mike Nesbitt said on Wednesday that his recommendation was “unanimously” endorsed during a meeting with senior party members.
The UUP‘s ruling body will make a final decision on Saturday, and if supported, Mr Nesbitt said the party would then form an opposition.
Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey was elected to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in the 2014 Local Government elections, and he previously served on the former Limavady Borough Council. He spent 18 years in jail for his role in an IRA car bomb, which killed six people in Coleraine in 1973. He has repeatedly said he deeply regretted his actions.
Following the UUP’s annoucement, Colr. McGlinchey told the ‘Journal’: “We’ve seen the actions of the UUP at the Causeway Council with their motions regarding flags and naming a room after UDR Captain Marcus McCausland, which they pulled. They want to make themselves look more hardline than the DUP. It’s pathetic. If what the UUP is doing is about claims the Provisional IRA still exists then they should withdraw from all institutions where former republican prisoners serve, not just the Executive. Pull out of the Causeway Council because I’m an ex-IRA member and I’m not going away. I was elected to Causeway Council and the UUP sit alongside me. They need to put up or shut up.”