North Down Ulster Unionist MLA Alan Chambers has called on Michelle O’Neill to disassociate herself with comments from a Newry, Mourne & Down Councilor, Naomi Bailie, who described Bangor as a ‘sh**hole.’
Alan Chambers said:
“Michelle O’Neill needs to disassociate herself from the foul mouthed rant from Sinn Fein Councillor Naomi Bailie, following her day out in Bangor last Saturday.
“Bangor is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular holiday destinations, popular with young and old alike and welcomes tens of thousands of visitors from far and wide.
“Councillor Bailie appears to have been offended by the sight of a Junior Orange parade in the town involving lodges from Counties Armagh and Down. Ironically enough many of the participants will be constituents of hers. This parade is an annual event, taking place on the last Saturday in May each year. There is never any trouble at it, it attracts a large crowd of spectators, it passes by in a matter of minutes and causes no issues whatsoever, other than some extremely minor traffic disruption.
“Clearly Councillor Bailie has a problem with anyone who does not fit into her limited world view. She is a member of a party which is fond of lecturing the rest of us about respect and equality, yet cannot abide the sight of a Junior Orange parade. She needs to understand that the whole point about respect and equality – indeed the basic test of your commitment to it - is that you need to show respect and grant equality to those who you don’t agree with, not just to those who you do. Michelle O’Neill needs to distance herself from these comments if she is serious about equality and respect.
“From her comments it is quite clear that Councillor Bailie isn’t fully signed up to Sinn Fein’s so-called ‘Ireland of Equals.' It’s her choice of course, but if she never goes near Bangor again as she's promised, I doubt the people of Bangor will feel they are missing out on very much and I’m fairly confident that Bangor will survive.”