The Expensive cost of ‘Ba Humbug’ Politics in Coleraine

DUP councillors in Coleraine have had to dig deep to cover the cost of an £18,000 legal bill arising from a court case taken by Sinn Fein councillor Billy Leonard. The 9 DUP councillors have each parted with £2,000 after Cllr. Leonard had taken Coleraine Council to court following his exclusion -at the behest of the DUP- from the Council’s Christmas Party last year. Billy Leonard, clearly savouring his victory, commented, “If they had not been so politically and crassly stupid about this issue, it would not have happened at all.” However, a clearly unremorseful Adrian McQuillan (DUP) said, “I know £2,000 would have bought a lot of cocktails sausages, but I stand by our decision that we were right not to invite Billy Leonard.”

  • Hurler on the Pot

    You couldn’t make it up. Monty Python stuff.

    Anyone got ideas on what Billy should spend the money on?

  • Alan

    He should offer it back as a donation to pay for next year’s party.

    Someone should ask Mr McQuillan if he will be supporting the same discrimination again this year.

  • aquifer

    Lets have fines and surcharges for sectarian councillors of every colour. We have paid the price for their bigotry long enough.

  • Bushmills

    The DUP Coleraine contingent were very foolish on this one. But tell me Mr. Donnelly, why accompany this story with a picture of a Christmas spread?

  • Bushmills

    Oh and one other thing. The surcharge of the DUP in Coleraine over a dinner is nothing compared to the costs SF/IRA are facing in Newry due to their vindictive discrimination against a victims group in the area.

  • Bushmills

    Whoops I realise now why its a Christmas spread. D’oh! Read the whole thing before posting!

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    As Alan asks it will be fascinating to see what happens this Christmas. I’m guessing Billy Leonard will be the only counciller at the Christmas party this year while the rest end up at a private gathering….. pathetic stuff. The fine is good news but the lack of any remorse by McQuillan kind of negates it.

  • POL

    Guess there was more than one turkey at that Christmas bash. lol

  • POL

    Alan you may well be right,but at least their wee private gathering wont be funded by the council.

  • Occasional Commentator

    From the BBC: Mayor Timothy Deans agreed to write an open letter of apology to Mr Leonard in which he admitted he had been ignorant of the law regarding equality matters in local government.

    Have they apologised for being knowingly immoral and unethical from the start? If not, I want to see an apology for the so-called apology. I don’t care if they’ve broken the law here or apologised for breaking a law. This was wrong anyway, regardless of the law. They should apologise for being morally wrong, something which they did with full knowledge from the start of this.

    There are still too many people who think that immoral acts become moral acts just because the law says they’re legal acts.

  • Chucky

    Anyone got ideas on what Billy should spend the money on?

    He doesn’t get any money, that was the legal bill. Look forward to the next Dope mayor who tries this one again, as they have said, or are they really that thick?

  • darth rumsfeld

    It’s hard to know who is the more petty here- I don’t think Leonard has much to crow about. I certainly would have to be dragged kicking and screaming into any social event where councillors were present. OK, so the councillors are ponying up his lawyers’ bill, but he couldn’t have known that when he started this nonsense, so he must have been prepared to risk a substantial cost to the ratepayers on a so-called point of principle which is hardly on a par with Rosa Parks.

    Better for all if next year Billy gets his invite and the caterers secretly piss in his champagne

  • Rory

    These DUP councillors are just so ridiculous that they are clearly unfit for public office, but then, as anyone who follows the the shenanigans of councillors throughout the UK in the Rotten Boroughs column in Private Eye knows, they are not alone in that.

    Still a merry little story, enough to make one believe in Santa Claus all over again.

  • Chucky

    It’s hard to know who is the more petty here..

    This issue is not petty, its about misuse of ratepayers money here in Coleraine Borough to exclude on the basis that he is a republican. This dinosaur DUP party still believe that equality does not extend to republicans. A short time after this issue the same councillors expressed disagreement on the issue of bi-lingual signs in the area and when reminded of equality legislation abstained from voting with the result that the issue could proceed to the next stage. The line has been drawn in the sand and that is not petty…

  • barnshee

    What a bunch of wankers- why don`t they do what every body else does with mad billy– clear a circle round him and ignore him

  • doug

    “Better for all if next year Billy gets his invite and the caterers secretly piss in his champagne”

    Reminds me of the Sammy Wilson story involving a city centre restaurant, a steak & couple of non DUP supporting chefs.

    Nice sauce !!

  • Spunky

    Was he served the chefs special creamy sauce by any chance?

  • doug

    I’ve heard that story only it starred Ian Paisley Jnr and non DUP supporting waiting staff. The stuff or urban myth or should I be careful when ordering food with DUP MLAs?

  • The Dog

    It could even be just a natural reation to having any of the DUP dark agers come into your restaurant.

    My particular dislike tho is Paisley jnr. What a prat.

    On the other issue it seems that up in that north antrim east derry area that all the DUP reps are a bit thick. Can anyone ever forget the comments about the hurricane and gay people.

  • Setanta

    I wonder if the DUP will be picking up the bill as a party or will the councillors be paying out of their own pockets?

  • Dualta

    I heard the same story about Sammy Wilson back in the 1980s from someone who claimed to be working in the kitchen of the alleged venue. I heard that the ‘unsavoury’ incident occurred in a restaurant called Bleekers, which was very close to the Egg.

  • These people are so backward. Is it any wonder that local government councillors in NI have no power.

  • paddyjoe

    setanta, if i heard mc quillan right yesterday on talkback he said the dup paid it and they didnt have to rob any banks to do so. im not sure because he sounded very like the intellect DAWSON BAILLIE and it could have gone right over my head

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    “Better for all if next year Billy gets his invite and the caterers secretly piss in his champagne”

    Groan…. That’s the spirit Darth.

    Although this story may sound petty with it being about a christmas party, I still think it’s an important ruling and will force the DUP to start acting like grownups or dare I say it, Democrats.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Leonard’s petulence at taking my local Council to court over not being invited to a Christmas party is second to none! What a waste of money! Leonard needs to grow up and live in the real world where SF/IRA members are treated as they should be – with disdain and distrust…

  • hotdogx

    sectarianism alive and well in NI…
    come on concerned loyalist, do realy think this kind of carry on is going to help things and if you do please tell me how!
    i have never heard about anybody catholic protestant muslim etc that got this kind of treatment in the republic. Do you not think its the DUP that have the problem, and their attitude is going to ruin it for everybody on the 24th.. there’ll be no money next year to pay this bill! Im no huge sf fan either but he was right in my opinion. This kind of crap only gives them the amunition they need to make the gains they do in NI elections. The only get a very tiny portion of the vote in the republic.

  • “i have never heard about anybody catholic protestant muslim etc that got this kind of treatment in the republic. “

    I won’t defend childish councillors, but you’re hardly comparing like with like here. There weren’t too many people trying to blow the shite out of the Republic for 30 years now seeking invites to dinners sponsored by that same state.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Darth Rumsfeld: “Better for all if next year Billy gets his invite and the caterers secretly piss in his champagne ”

    That’s one of the things I’ve always appreciated about you, Darth… you deep and abiding sense of maturity.

    Concerned Loyalist: “Leonard’s petulence at taking my local Council to court over not being invited to a Christmas party is second to none! What a waste of money! Leonard needs to grow up and live in the real world where SF/IRA members are treated as they should be – with disdain and distrust… ”

    So much for law and order, eh, CL? Law should only apply when its someone else who get the short end of the stick?

    Another proof for the old chestnut that goes on about tattoos and degrees.

  • Occasional Commentator

    beano: There weren’t too many people trying to blow the shite out of the Republic for 30 years now seeking invites to dinners sponsored by that same state.

    Is President McAleese’s husband golfing with the same crowd that were behind the Dublin and Monaghan bombings?

  • kensei

    “I won’t defend childish councillors, but you’re hardly comparing like with like here. There weren’t too many people trying to blow the shite out of the Republic for 30 years now seeking invites to dinners sponsored by that same state.”

    Jesus. Why do Unionists hate democracy so?

    He got elected< \b>. You don’t get to pick the other side. Deal with it.

  • Rory

    ..live in the real world where SF/IRA members are treated as they should be – with disdain and distrust…

    Goddamn uppity nigrahs! High time they learned they all place. Next thing they be eating wit’ white folk.

  • Billy

    Concerned Loyalist: “Leonard’s petulence at taking my local Council to court over not being invited to a Christmas party is second to none! What a waste of money! Leonard needs to grow up and live in the real world where SF/IRA members are treated as they should be – with disdain and distrust… “

    Do you adopt the same attitutude about Willie Frazer’s organisation taking a case against Newry council about using a council meeting room?

    My guess would be not. As far as I’m concerned, ALL discrimination is wrong. Billy Leonard is legally elected whether you or other loyalists like it or not.

    The days when loyalists could discriminate against nationalists and get away with it are over.

    You can either accept the legal rights of nationalist elected representatives or keep paying the price out of your own pockets.

  • PaddyReilly

    There weren’t too many people trying to blow the shite out of the Republic for 30 years now seeking invites to dinners sponsored by that same state

    This misses the point that Billy Leonard was not trying to blow the shite out of the 6 county state for 30 years. He was in the RUC! The Sinn Féin/IRA gibe is meaningless: what about Sinn Féin/RUC? Anyway, the exclusion was pointless. BL has changed sides so often, he could well be DUP again next xmas.