Sinn Féin accused of hypocrisy in Limavady UDR row

Aaron Callan. INLV4512-394KDR
Aaron Callan. INLV4512-394KDR

Sinn Féin have been accused of rank hypocrisy for opposing plans to name a room at a civic centre in Limavady after a politician and UDR captain killed by the IRA in 1972.

An Ulster Unionist proposal to name a room at the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre after Captain Marcus McCausland has been met with opposition from Sinn Féin.

Captain McCausland came from a well-known Catholic family who own the large Drenagh estate in Limavady.

He was killed by the IRA on March 4, 1972 at the age of 38.

He also served on the Limavady Urban Council from 1968 until his death.

Sinn Féin criticism of the plans to remember the politician on the basis that “council and civic buildings should be neutral” has been met with accusations of hypocrisy.

UUP councillor Aaron Callan, who proposed naming a room after Captain McCausland, said: “Sinn Féin are being hypocritical.

“When you look at what Sinn Féin have done in Newry and Mourne, naming a play park after a convicted terrorist, you have to say that this is extremely disappointing.

“I want to make it clear that there is no comparison between Marcus McCausland and an IRA terrorist, but you have to say that they are being hypocritical when they speak about neutral public spaces considering what they have done in Newry and Mourne and elsewhere.

“The reason I proposed doing it at the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre is that it is where the old town hall stood and where the Urban Council used to meet.”

Mr Callan’s comments were made in response to comments from a former Mayor of Limavady, Sinn Féin Councillor Brenda Chivers.

“All council and civic buildings should be neutral and welcoming spaces for everyone in our community,” she said.

“We feel that proposals to name a room in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre after a UDR member does not reflect that.

“The UDR was a discredited force, widely acknowledged to have been implicated in collusion with loyalist death squads and as such it is not appropriate that it is remembered in a shared space.

“We recognise there are different narratives from the conflict and respect the right of everyone to remember their lost loved ones.

“Council facilities however, should be neutral spaces where everyone in our community can come together.”

The notice to recognise the contribution of Captain Marcus McCausland, was brought by Councillor Aaron Callan at a recent Causeway Coast and Glens council meeting.

It stated: “That this Council recognise the contribution of Captain Marcus McCausland by erecting a plaque and naming a room after him in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, he served as a Limavady Urban Councillor 1968-72, who was murdered by the IRA while still in office on 4th March 1972. Captain McCausland was the first officer of the Ulster Defence Regiment murdered during the period known as the Troubles.”

It was seconded by councillor Boyd Douglas and will now be heard at the meeting on August 18th.