Belfast Telegraph

Language school opposition 'sectarian'

17 November 2004

Sinn Fein have slammed a DUP councillor's opposition to an Irish language school in Ballymena as blatantly sectarian.

North Antrim Sinn Fein Assembly member Philip McGuigan, was reacting to comments by the leader of the DUP council group in Ballymena, Roy Gillespie.

Mr Gillespie said there were enough primary school places in the town and he would fight the plans "tooth and nail".

He added: "This move to set up an Irish-speaking school would be divisive. I wouldn't like to think the North-Eastern Education Board would be involved in funding something like this in any way."

But Philip McGuigan said: "Cllr Gillespie's comments about the school being divisive have no foundation in reality.

"Most people will find Mr Gillespie's comments on creating division ironic given his party's appalling record on creating and maintaining division within the council area.

"Roy Gillespie's opposition to both the GAA and the Irish Language sector are based on an anti-Irish agenda and are blatantly sectarian."

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