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Council chairman faces renewed call to step down

Chairman

Council chairman Stephen McCann

 
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Chairman Cllr Stephen McCann is due to face renewed calls to apologise tonight over controversial remarks he made about the Enniskillen bombing. 
Representatives from the UUP and DUP along with the SDLP walked out of the July council meeting being presided over by Cllr McCann over his failure to condemn the 1987 IRA bomb. 
Members of the UUP have submitted a motion, due for debate at the September meeting in Omagh this evening, calling for the Trillick man to retract his comments and if he fails to do so, for him to be replaced as council chairman.
The motion states that the local authority “rejects the comments of the Council Chairman, Councillor Stephen McCann that he will not condemn the 1987 Enniskillen bomb and that he has praised the ruthless IRA terrorist Seamus McElwaine.
“In the interests of equality, respect and integrity Council calls on Chairman McCann to retract these comments; in the absence of so doing Council have no confidence in the Chairman and write to the Leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill to request he is replaced as Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council,” it adds.
Ulster Unionist Cllr Howard Thornton, who has proposed the motion and urged Cllr McCann “to publicly and unreservedly apologise”, has said there is much anger within the wider community over the Council chairman’s stance.  
DUP councillors Errol Thompson, Keith Elliott, Raymond Farrell and Paul Robinson have already refused to sit under the chairmanship of Mr McCann. In a further move, the party members have submitted a complaint to the Local Government Commissioner for Standards, asking for an investigation into the chairman’s comments in the context of both the councillors’ Code of Conduct and Declaration Against Terrorism.

Leo Varadkar discussed the current political impasse with Secretary of State James Brokenshire and DUP leader Arlene Foster.

The Clogher Diocesan Administrator was speaking amid ongoing discussions over the placement of the bomb memorial.

The move has been slammed as another blow to rural services in Fermanagh.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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