In a joint statement, a former Mayor of Londonderry, Ulster Unionist Councillor Alderman Mary Hamilton and Group Leader, Alderman Derek Hussey, have condemned the decision of Derry City and Strabane District Council to snub an invitation to Buckingham Palace.
“The decision of Derry City and Strabane Council to snub an invitation to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party is another slap in the teeth for the Unionist people of Londonderry and its hinterland.
“In a week where a Sinn Fein MP demonstrated appalling disrespect for the victims of sectarian murder perpetrated by the IRA, and was let off with a slap on the wrist by the Sinn Fein leadership, the decision by another Sinn Fein dominated council to dismiss a Buckingham Palace invitation reinforces what we already knew about that party – Sinn Fein are unwilling and incapable of demonstrating respect to their Unionist neighbours or indeed anyone who disagrees with their point of view. Sinn Fein had an opportunity to show some modicum of respect to their Unionist neighbours. Instead the Mayor, Maoliosa McHugh, confirmed that he does not actually represent all the people in the council area by using his casting vote to kick the invitation out.
“How hard would it have been to pass the invitation to someone within the council who was content to attend? However as usual that isn`t good enough for Sinn Fein. They want to stamp all over the Unionist community. For a party that preaches equality and respect, they have once again demonstrated that that those words are only a couple of tools for use as part of the republican Trojan Horse strategy. Any normal party would hang its head in shame, but Sinn Fein isn`t a normal political party. So much for their slogan of ‘an Ireland of equals’. This is the type of equality that Sinn Fein would serve up to Unionists.”