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McCandless expresses frustration at Council spat over ‘The Londonderry Air’

Coleraine Ulster Unionist Councillor William McCandless has expressed his frustration that a row has broken out in Causeway Coast & Glens Council over the use of the name ‘Londonderry’ in Limavady signage that refers to the famous tune, ‘The Londonderry Air.’

Councillor McCandless said:

“The recent spat over signage for Limavady is an unfortunate reminder of the discredited old tribal disputes which we hoped had left our Council chamber and it is a matter of regret that both Sinn Fein and the SDLP have re-introduced it.

“I chaired the meeting of the Corporate Policy sub-committee on 24 August and everyone was content that the phrase ‘Londonderry Air’ should appear on signage and that both traditions would be represented.

“The minutes were adopted on 19 Sept – where an SDLP councillor from the Limavady area supported the proposal - and it went to full Council on 26 September. I feel that the disagreement which broke out was a slight on my integrity and ability to chair meetings, which I greatly resent.   

“The people of Northern Ireland want to see their politicians talking about issues such as hospital waiting lists, education and jobs. They do not want to see us devoting time and energy to the hoary old issue of the name of Londonderry, especially when it relates to the given name of a very famous tune. It is verging on the ridiculous.

“We need to move on and respect both traditions in the Causeway Coast & Glens. Unfortunately, where Sinn Fein are concerned, those who demand respect the most, show it to others the least.”

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