Elliott launches his Private Members Bill to prevent the naming of public facilities after “terrorists”‏

Well this is always going to be controversial but the UUP MLA, Tom Elliott is launching a Private Members Bill to prevent the naming of public facilities after those convicted of terrorist offences.

Speaking about his bill he says;

Today I am commencing a consultation process which is the first step to introducing legislation which prohibits publicly funded facilities or entities being named after anyone who has been convicted of a terrorist related offence or membership of a proscribed organisation.

“For years Sinn Fein and other groups have been glorifying terrorists who were responsible for some of the most brutal murders in Northern Ireland. Such actions only serve to polarise and divide communities as well as having a hugely negative effect on the victims and the families of victims, who were created by those who are being glorified.

“There is currently no legislation in place to restrict this happening and the recent furore which has centred on the naming of a children’s play park in Newry after the convicted IRA terrorist Raymond McCreesh is concrete proof that such legislation is required.

“Legislation would introduce clarity and certainty for local councils, Government departments and agencies, and create uniformity across Northern Ireland. Failure to introduce legislation will simply pro-long the current situation where naming decisions can negatively affect community relations and risk further division along political and religious lines.

The consultation is open until 13th April and you can submit a response here.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? How do we define a terrorist in Northern Ireland?

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs