Derry politician hits back at Gregory Campbell over 'Gasyard failure' comments

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney, has described comments about a local community festival made by East Derry MP, Gregory Campbell as "offensive".

Wednesday, 2nd August 2017, 4:02 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:30 pm
Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney (left) and DUP MP for East Derry, Gregory Campbell.

"These comments are another example of the DUP's Gregory Campbell’s total and utter disrespect for the Irish language with his offensive comments about the Gasyard Féile.

"The Gasyard Féile is a hugely successful and inclusive community festival, now in its 25th year, which promotes community health and well-being, international awareness and human rights and enables dialogue and discussion."

Writing on his Facebook page on Tuesday evening, Mr. Campbell said:

"The Gasyard failure should be a real bundle of laughs this year," wrote Mr. Campbell.

"First Marty's [Martin McGuinness] photos (don't know if there will be the obligatory warning at start in case those of a nervous disposition are viewing) then the serial election loser George (the cat) Galloway. Roll up, roll up get your tickets please!"

Mr. McCartney went to accuse the East Derry MP of being "anti-Irish, arrogant and ill-informed".

"Sadly, this is not the first time Gregory Campbell has insulted the Irish language community with his offensive anti-Irish mockery.

"His arrogant and ill-informed comments are ironic as the Féile also includes an event with Linda Ervine looking at the relationship between the Irish language and the Protestant, unionist and loyalist communities."

Mr. McCartney added: "His disgraceful comments and mockery are also at odds with recent comments made by the DUP leadership following meetings with sections of the Irish language community.

"Gregory Campbell also showed a lack of respect for others with his crass and offensive comments about the late Martin McGuinness and clearly at odds with his party leader’s attendance at Martin’s funeral.”