30/09/2005

Sinn Fein criticise SDLP over NI soccer star proposals

Sinn Fein South Down assembly member Caitríona Ruane has criticised the SDLP's Margaret Ritchie for her opposition to plans to name a Killyleagh playing field after Northern Ireland goal scoring hero David Healy.

Ms Ritchie allegedly expressed opposition to the recent Council proposal during an interview on Friday's edition of the Radio Ulster Steven Nolan Show.

Ms Ruane said that while the "vast majority" of northern nationalists would support the Republic of Ireland, David Healy's match winner against England earlier in the month "deserves recognition".

"I can see no reason why any political party would oppose this proposal and Cllr Ritchie's view that the renaming of a play park after David Healy would in someway impact on the 'neutrality' of a council owned facility makes little or no sense," Ms Ruane said.

"If she is really concerned about neutral venues then her time would be better spent ensuring the dozens of Loyalist flags and emblems are removed from the Council owned Langley Road Playing Fields in Ballynahinch."

David Healy, who is originally from Killyleagh, scored the only goal in this month's World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and England.

It was the first time in nearly 80 years that Northern Ireland had beaten England in Belfast.

(MB/SP)

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