East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has welcomed the move by DUP Councillors to challenge the decision by the Londonderry & Strabane Council not to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the state of Northern Ireland.
Mr. Campbell said "Setting aside the patently false republican rhetoric about Northern Ireland, the actual decision needs to be challenged. Councillors, including the Mayor have attempted to portray this as no more than the Council as a corporate body not taking up a stance on it but Community groups and others who wished to, could apply for funding and hold events themselves. This is an attempted smokescreen and cannot be allowed to stand.
No one doubts that many groups will organise events and apply for funding, that is not the issue, what the Council has decided to do however has much more far reaching consequences than whether groups will be able to organise their own activities. The City and District Council is the civic body which supposedly represents people and ratepayers of all persuasions, if that corporate body cannot organise civic events to commemorate the centenary of the founding of the Country, to which many would wish to attend but no one is compelled to, then they have engaged in yet another massive body blow to hopes of community cohesion and have fundamentally undermined the position of the minority population in the area. Those who voted for this and repeatedly talk of reconciliation, keep on demonstrating their total lack of self awareness in that respect."