Derry SDLP Councillor Jimmy Carr is expected to be the subject of an internal party investigation in the coming days as a result of his ‘rash’ comments about Scottish-born Sinn Fein Councillor Eric McGinley, it’s been confirmed.
An SDLP spokesperson today refused to comment on whether Colr. Carr would resign over disparaging remarks he made on Facebook earlier in the week during which he claimed he needed subtitles to understand Colr. McGinley’s Scottish accent.
Colr. Carr defended his remarks in an interview with the Derry Journal and refused to retract them when interviewed on BBC Radio Foyle on Friday morning after the Journal broke the story on its front page.
However, hours later the SDLP councillor, who has sat on Derry City Council for the past two years, was forced to make a u-turn, with the party issuing a statement in which he apologised “unreservedly” for his remarks.
The SDLP has now indicated that further censure may follow.
When contacted in relation to the issue, an SDLP spokesperson said: “The matter has not ended there and there will be a measure of censureship. There will be an internal party investigation and internal disciplinary procedures will be followed.”
Calls have been made for Colr. Carr to resign in the wake of the controversy with the Sinn Fein leader on Derry City Council, Councillor Paul Fleming describing the Shantallow councillor’s comments as “racist”.
Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney also said Colr. Carr’s apology did not go far enough, describing it as “an excercise in damage limitation.”
Former SDLP leader and Foyle MP Mark Durkan also publicly criticised Colr. Carr’s remarks on Friday.
Colr. Erin McGinley who was born in Paisley, Scotland, has been living in Derry since the early 1990s. He worked as a Sinn Féin press officer as well as serving as the chairperson of the party locally before being co-opted onto Derry City Council in 2010. He was later elected as a councillor for Northland area.
(See tomorrow’s Sunday Journal for full report and Tuesday’s Derry Journal for further developments in the story)