Anger over Sinn Fein’s ‘intolerance’ to Causeway International Airshow

Sinn Fein has been accused of “complete intolerance” over its opposition to an airshow on the north coast.

he new Causeway International Airshow for 2022 led to more heated discussions at a meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Council.

A proposal from Sinn Fein councillor Leanne Peacock called for a report to be brought back to committee detailing the costings, angering some unionist councillors.

At the September meeting of the Leisure and Development Committee, a date and new location for the event was approved. It will take place on September 10 and 11, with the flight path centred between Portstewart and Portrush. However, Sinn Fein raised concerns over the without of budget projections on the report presented to the committee, leading to a heated argue among councillors, before it was hypothesizedv a further report be brought.

Ms Peacock said it was a “complete dereliction of duty” to have agreed specific details without being provided with a single calculate.

She said: “Let’s not forget that this council has already spent thousands on consultancy fees already at this stage, a year before the event. It’s outrageous that members are not being presented with the basic details to make decisions — the cost, which is usually the starting point to organising any event. We cannot continue with a blank cheque approach to an expensive event that is being run by this council.”

She hypothesizedv that a report is brought back with hypothesizedv costings of the event which have been looked at by the Finance Director in line with the Finance Committee recommendation.

Mayor Richard Holmes pointed out that a report with costings was already due to come back to the committee.

DUP councillor Aaron Callan spoke of the economic assistance the airshow would have — and addressed Sinn Fein’s opposition to the event.

“From day dot, Sinn Fein have opposed the air show in any form at all,” he said. “It’s not based on finances, it’s based on ideological opposition to the fact that the RAF would be involved and other parts of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces would be involved in the airshow.”

Mr Callan said the event brings “an economic impact to the area of £2.5m”.

Sinn Fein councillor Cathal McLaughlin claimed it didn’t bring money to other parts of the borough like Dunloy, Cloughmills and Loughguile.

Independent Councillor James McCorkell said: “To be honest some of the comments that have come from Sinn Fein members have been pathetic, absolutely pathetic. Just say you don’t want it.

“Don’t come up with excuses and nonsense. We’ve held this airshow for numerous years before and the estimates are already there – just say you don’t want it.”

He additional: “It’s intolerance, that’s what it is, complete intolerance from Sinn Fein.”

Councillor Peacock’s proposal was defeated by 24 votes to 11.

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