Northern Ireland

IRA gates: Oisín Glenariffe GAA club chairman resigns

Gates with names of two IRA men
Image caption The gates carry the names of two IRA men from the 1920s

The chairman of a GAA club at the centre of a row over funding for a community project has resigned.

Eddie Haughey resigned from County Antrim's Oisín Glenariffe club following a vote to move a set of gates commemorating two IRA men.

Causeway Coast and Glens Council withdrew £180,000 from the project in June.

DUP councillors said the gates would "re-traumatise" people affected by terrorism.

They carry the names of Charlie McAllister and Pat McVeigh, who were killed in 1922.

'Cultural war'

The money was to be allocated to the Friends of Glenariffe group to help build a shared community space.

Image copyright ON & FA Wheeler
Image caption Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council withdrew £180,000 from the community centre project in June

At a meeting last Thursday, club members voted to relocate the gates from the club entrance to a position next to a hurling pitch.

"A cultural war is being waged within Causeway Coast and Glens Council," independent councillor Padraig McShane told Radio Ulster's Talkback programme.

"Oisíns should never have been put in this position," he said.

Mr McShane's SDLP counterpart, Margaret-Anne McKillop, said it was "unfortunate this has been turned into a political football".

The councillor said Oisíns "has always been a cross-community club and will always be a cross-community club".

The council is expected to discuss the matter at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Update 9 September 2016: Following the publication of this story, Eddie Haughey supplied a statement to BBC News NI saying that "due to work and personal commitments" he could not "provide the considerable time required to oversee the development and growth of Glenariffe CLG". He said he wishes the club well and remains "a supportive member".

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