Raymond McCreesh play park, democracy and judicial activism

The Newry play park named after IRA hunger striker (and leading suspect in the Kingsmills murders) Raymond McCreesh has kept its name. Unionists on Newry council called a vote on changing the name. One SDLP councillor abstained on the vote whilst the others were not present: something denounced by victims’ campaigner Kenny Donaldson. This despite the SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell opposing the local SDLP’s previous failure to back a name change. Unionists have vowed to continue the fight when the super council takes over in April:

From the News Letter:

UKIP councillor Henry Reilly said that unionist members of the new council were meeting to discuss the issue last night.
The new super-council will have eight unionists, 14 Sinn Fein, 14 SDLP and two Alliance councillors and three independents.
“If this goes to a judicial review all the councillors who backed the decision could be surcharged and could lose their seats.”

Interestingly they appear likely to try to use the same legislation as the Equality Commission is using against Ashers’ Bakery in the “gay cake row”. Although some (myself included) wholeheartedly support renaming the play park, the extent to which the judiciary are now being used in an attempt to change democratic decisions could become troubling. Other decisions the challenging of which might be perceived as judicial activism include attempts to overturn Poots’s decision on homosexual adoption and blood donation and decisions regarding extending abortion to NI. As Framer notes here:

The British decided to have a devolved legislature in Belfast (and Edinburgh etc.) The locals agreed to this. So it is entirely British and within the GFA settlement that different laws and rights are in existence, or denied, in different parts of the kingdom.
It is what you all wanted and what you got. Live with it.

It seems that some who do not like local democratic decisions are determined to overcome them by persuading the judiciary that laws should be the same throughout the UK. Whilst in the case of the terrorist play park that suits me perfectly the principle could become somewhat concerning.

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  • MainlandUlsterman

    That’s big of you.

    You’re not listening, or reading, are you?

  • Tacapall

    Well I cant listen, but I did read, and I answered you in inverted coma’s in the last sentence. Theres all kinds of victims in this part of the world and yourself needs to realise that fact. Ignoring or treating as insignificant the almost daily evidence that is being either unearthed or revealed linking the RUC to ever more murders and exposing them as the sectarian bigots they always were. That makes you no better than those who are defending naming a childrens play park after someone who carried out actions that would lead to someone being killed or injured, actions that you yourself are defending on behalf of the RUC and calling a misdemeanour.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    sorry I’m drawing a line on this one, you’re just recycling stuff I’ve answered and written about at length, you’ve been personally abusive and now your happily writing off an entire police force that saved thousands of lives as no better than the terrorists they so often foiled and occasionally, against the odds, brought to justice. If you haven’t clocked yet that much more injustice was done to the RUC than by them, I doubt you’ll get it now.

    I’m sure the campaign to redesignate as many loyalist murders as possible as really state murders will continue apace. Don’t get me wrong, where this happened we need to know about it – but much of this seems to involve some fairly tenuous stretching of the facts and the English language. Take the Glenanne gang, for example. Because criminal, rogue members of the UDR and police were involved, we’re told that ALL of their murders are really murders by the state. How so?

    No doubt the security forces did get involved in murky stuff with running informers. But on that basis, you’d say the state was responsible for the IRA (as it was riddled with informers). It’s a bit of a nonsense. What you have to do is look at particular murders that were carried out by the state or on the state’s instructions – that’s one category. Then murders that were carried out by rogue state agents, not acting on orders but against orders, would be a second category. People seem keen to confuse the two – they are quite different. I suspect category 2 is much bigger than category 1.

    Of course, focus on this aspect of the Troubles – which actually accounts for quite a small percentage of Troubles killings – has the effect of putting this relatively small area of behaviour by state actors in the spotlight, while the elephant in the room of deliberate, self-driven terrorist violence remains smirking in the shadows. We are not fooled.

    A smirking elephant: you heard it here first.

  • aber1991

    Four Catholics were ambushed in Malvern Street. One of them was killed. The Prods build a bonfire on the spot where Peter Ward was murdered.