Northern Ireland news

DUP urged to take action against councillor who suggested Michelle O'Neill ‘will be put back in her kennel' by new party leader

Alderman John Carson

A CONTROVERSIAL DUP councillor apologised last night after saying that Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill would be "put back in her kennel" by the new party leader.

Ballymena representative John Carson, who last year claimed the Covid-19 pandemic was linked to the legalisation of abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, had come under fire over the Facebook comment.

The Mid and East Antrim Borough councillor had commented under a graphic on his page supporting Edwin Poots' DUP leadership bid.

In the comments below, a photo of Ms O'Neill was posted, alongside the remark: "That doll there has led the DUP for many a year unchallenged".

In response Mr Carson wrote: "....she will be put back in her kennel".

Later, under the same post, the DUP alderman wrote: "In hindsight l realise l have caused offence by a robust comment made in anger l retract the comment and apologise accordingly".

Sinn Féin aseembly MLA Linda Dillon described the comments as "despicable and disrespectful".

"There is absolutely no place for this type of commentary," she said.

"How long will this be allowed to continue? The DUP leadership should now take action against councillor Carson and distance themselves from these comments".

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie described the comments as "awful".

"We can disagree on politics but no women deserve misogynistic comments like this," he said.

"Unbelievable..from an elected representative".

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