A GOVERNMENT minister may be facing legal action after he claimed a residents ‘ group opposed to a recent loyalist band parade was ” run by dissidents “.Members of the group in Rasharkin, Co Antrim, are taking legal advice after Nelson McCausland claimed they were linked to illegal paramilitary republican groups.
The social development minister and North Belfast MLA also described the Rasharkin Residents Collective (RRC) as ” thugs ” and claimed their Facebook page reeked of ” bigotry “. The comments on his blog on the same day a controversial loyalist parade was due to pass through the mainly nationalist town. Members of the RRC and the rival Rasharkin Residents Association held separate protests as the disputed parade passed through the village on Friday night. Last night the chairman of the RRC, Sean Hanna, who says he received a loyalist death threat last year, angrily rejected the Stormont minister’s claims. ” We will be taking legal advice on the matter,” he said. ” We entirely refute that. I think those comments are irresponsible and dangerous. I have no criminal record whatsoever. ” For someone in the position he is in and the privilege he gets to be coming out with off-the cuff comments is just irresponsible. We are not linked with any political group whatsoever. We are residents, not dissidents.” A spokesman for the DUP said : ” Nelson’s views have been placed on his blog and we have nothing fuhrer to add.”
WITH MANY THANKS TO : CONNIA YOUNG, IRISH NEWS.
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