20 February 1997 Edition

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Bid to oust Strabane Council head

By Eoin O'Broin

Nationalist councillors have tabled two motions in an attempt to have Unionist council chief Edward Turner removed from office. Local Sinn Fein councillor Ivan Barr told An Phoblacht that the first motion, to be discussed on Tuesday 25 February, will call for the removal from Turner of all responsibility for travelling abroad and seeking inward investment. The second motion, set for 11 March, will call for a vote of no confidence and request Turner's resignation. All seven Nationalist councillors, Sinn Fein, SDLP and Independent, have supported both motions.

Ulster Unionist party councillor Turner walked into a controversy with a series of contentious remarks made following the discovery of a 1000lb bomb at Melmount Road in Strabane on Sunday 9 February. He told BBC radio, ``Im afraid that if I was asked a question from an investor, I would have to advise him that it would not be wise to risk their money in a town like this''.

Ivan Barr said, ``the people of Strabane have no confidence in Edward Turner, the only reasonable and decent thing for him to do is resign''.

Turner has also come under attack from leading business figures. In a statement released on behalf of the Northern Ireland Institute of Directors, Alan McClure said, ``it is quite disgraceful that Edward Turner, who was sufficiently committed to his community to stand for election, should now desert that community by advising investors to stay away''.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1