SF mayor ‘must condemn’ Coleraine bombing by IRA

Brenda Chivers was elected mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on Monday
Brenda Chivers was elected mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on Monday

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has called on the new Sinn Fein mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens to publicly condemn an IRA bomb attack as the 45th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Six Protestant pensioners died and 33 other people were injured, including some schoolchildren, when an IRA car bomb exploded in Coleraine on June 12, 1973.

Sean McGlinchey, who is currently a Sinn Fein councillor, was convicted of the attack and spent 18 years in jail.

His party colleague and newly elected mayor, councillor Brenda Chivers, has confirmed she will be present at a commemoration event in the Co Londonderry town on Sunday.

After officially taking up her new role at the council’s AGM on Monday, Ms Chivers said she wanted to be a mayor “for all citizens”.

While East Londonderry MP Mr Campbell gave a cautious welcome to the decision, he called on Ms Chivers to stand with the families of the victims by denouncing the attack.

He told the News Letter: “It is not enough for her to go along to the event. As mayor she must make her position clear ahead of the memorial service, stand in solidarity with everyone else who will be attending and condemn without equivocation the atrocity that her colleague carried out.”

Responding to Mr Campbell’s comments, a Sinn Fein spokesperson said: “Sinn Fein will take no lectures from Gregory Campbell who seems intent only on turning this week’s remembrance service into a political football.

“Sinn Fein has repeatedly expressed its deep regret for the bombing in Coleraine which claimed the lives of six people and left many others injured.

“Mayor Brenda Chivers will pay her respects by attending Sunday’s remembrance service for the victims of the Coleraine bomb.”

A service of remembrance will be held in the Diamond, Coleraine on Sunday, starting at 2pm.