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Chamber turmoil as parties clash

Thursday, 15 March 2018

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RELATIONS between the political parties on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are at an historic low after bitter confrontations in the chamber last week.
At one stage tensions threatened to boil over completely during an acrimonious exchange between DUP Mayor Paul Reid and Sinn Fein's Patrice Hardy in which she urged the first citizen to 'calm down'.
But if a verbal spat between unionist and republican adversaries is far from uncommon in Northern Ireland, the same cannot be said of the joint  attack mounted by the TUV, UUP and Sinn Fein on the ruling DUP bloc over the intricacies of a dinner invitation!
Nor did the politicking end at the meeting with numerous references to the conduct of the meeting being made throughout the week on social media.
 Even BBC's 'The View' deemed the contentious dinner issue to be worthy of coverage. And the Council's Chief Executive was not spared during the heated exchanges with SDLP Councillor Declan O'Loan taking issue with her summation of a legal opinion which Ms Anne Donaghy contended had vindicated Council's stance on an Irish language issue. The sole SDLP representative contended that her summation did not contain the full opinion supplied to council by a QC. On the same issue, he slammed the Council for giving overwhelming priority to the unionist community.
You can read our accounts of the explosive debates on pages 4 and 7 this week.

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