Ulster Unionist Councillors on the Causeway Coast & Glens Council have expressed their regret that the Council split along Unionist/Nationalist lines over new signage for Limavady.
Councillor Richard Holmes said:
“The new welcome signage for Limavady (see attached picture) had been passed by a Council sub-committee and committee and then appeared before the full council where it suddenly became a contentious issue because of the use of the title ‘Londonderry Air.’
“It's always the little things that cause the most problems in council. Whilst the music score known as ‘The Londonderry Air’ was collected by Jane Ross of Limavady, the famous lyrics of Danny Boy were written by English Lawyer FE Weatherly in 1910 and set to the music in 1913.
"Limavady is the home of the Londonderry Air and that is something we should all be celebrating and cherishing, but sadly Sinn Fein would rather engage in yet another attempt to airbrush the name of Londonderry from history.”
Councillor Darryl Wilson said:
“In recent months a cross party sub group which was established to decide on signage for the Limavady area quickly found consensus on the signage which included wording and imagery relating to "the dog leap," "the Londonderry air" and "Danny boy".
“The agreed signage was put before committee in the month of September, and passed unanimously but unfortunately at last night's full council meeting, the usual suspects decided to row back on their agreed position by entering into the tiresome "Derry/Londonderry" debate.
“Sinn Fein are fond of talking about rights, respect and equality but when they are put to the test they show no respect to anyone. Instead of welcoming signs that respected our two traditions and history, Sinn Fein openly talked of signs being vandalised.
“It is rather curious that Sinn Fein concerns about signs being vandalised in the Limavady area are not shared by their party colleagues in Newry, Mourne & Down Council, who are quite happy to replace vandalised Irish language signs. Nor does the prospect of vandalism of signs seem to stop Sinn Fein demanding Irish language road signs throughout Northern Ireland as part of their demands for an Irish Language Act.”