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Urgent motion tabled before Council for renaming of children’s play park

An urgent notice of motion for the renaming of a Newry play park will be put before council on Monday night.

A mix of Unionist councillors will table the motion for the removal of Raymond McCreesh’s name from the children’s play park in the Ballybot area of the city.

The motion, which states “that this Council removes the name Raymond McCreesh from the Newry, Mourne and Down Council play facility presently of that name” has been signed by councillors Henry Reilly, David Taylor, William Walker, Jill Macauley, Garth Craig, Glyn Hanna, Robert Burgess and Harry Harvey.

The council has already missed a deadline to gift the park to the neighbouring Ballybot community, according to the Newry Reporter.

And Sinn Fein and the SDLP have already voted to leave the name in place until a review of council playgrounds is carried out later this year

However, Independent unionist councillor Henry Reilly said the motion would be pulled if the matter was resolved before Monday.

He said unionist councillors had explored all other options but the collective decision was made to table this latest motion.

MP Mickey Brady appealed to the council to respect the view of the “overwhelming majority of the residents of Ballybot” and keep the name, stating that the motion was just “a deliberate attempt to stir community tensions”.

The park, named after a member of the Provisional IRA, was opened in 2001.

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