Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin abstain from council vote on memorial for IRA car bomb victims

Sinn Féin councillor Sean McGlinchey was jailed for his role in the 1973 car bomb in Coleraine

SINN Féin last night abstained from a council vote on a memorial for the victims of a 1973 IRA car bomb in Co Derry.

Sean McGlinchey, a Sinn Féin member of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, was convicted of planting the bomb in Coleraine and served 18 years in prison.

Six people were killed and 33 were injured in the attack.

Mr McGlinchey has previously apologised to his victims' families and said he had no issue with the memorial proposal.

The DUP motion had asked the council to mark the anniversary and "affirm its solidarity with the families bereaved by the atrocity and the survivors of the attack; organise a memorial event to mark the occasion for the families of those affected and the wider community".

Mr McGlinchey's colleague Kieran Mulholland said last night he had proposed an amendment which would "have provided for a memorial to the victims of the Coleraine bombing in an inclusive way that recognised the pain and suffering of all victims".

"Unfortunately that amendment was defeated which is regretful because it sought to recognise all victims," he said.

"The legacy of the conflict and the suffering of victims and survivors should be addressed in a holistic way and everyone has the right to remember their dead in a dignified and respectful way.

"The DUP motion was selective in its approach to victims but we did not want to turn the issue into a political football. This would have compounded the suffering of victims so on that basis, Sinn Féin abstained from the vote."

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