Funding for Glenariff GAA club approved after vote taken to remove IRA men's names from gates
FUNDING for a new community centre in the Glens of Antrim has been approved despite a row over entrance gates dedicated to the memory of two 1920s IRA men.
Causeway Coast and Glens Council narrowly voted on Tuesday night to approve £180,000 funding for the centre which will be built on land owned by Oisin Glenariffe hurling club.
The council approved funding for the project in Glenariffe by 19 votes to 18.
Friends of Glenariffe group plan to build "a shared community space" in the grounds of the GAA club.
The funding proposal was originally passed at a council committee meeting in June, however, when the matter was brought to full council the DUP voiced concerns.
The gates commemorate Charlie McAllister and Pat McVeigh, killed in 1922 in violence that followed the partition of Ireland.
The DUP had said that the gates leading onto the site would "re-traumatise" people affected by terrorism and blocked the funding.
Friends of Glenariffe voted last week to remove the gates in order to advance the funding application. The gates may be moved to a different location.
Following the club's decision several Ulster Unionist councillors voted to approve the funding application at Tuesday's meeting.
However, Sinn Féin councillor Cara McShane said the council approval placed no conditions, such as the gates having to be moved.
She accused the DUP of objecting because they did not want council money to be spent in the Glens area.
"It's disgusting and disgraceful behaviour and they are creating nothing but negative impact within the Glens community", she said
SDLP councillor Margaret-Anne McKillop welcomed the decision but added that "the community in Glenariffe have had to jump through hoops to achieve the backing of the council".
DUP councillor Trevor Clarke said he was disappointed by the outcome of Tuesday's vote and said "approving a flawed funding policy was a reckless decision".