27 February 1997 Edition

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Blowing a grand gesture

Eoin O'Broin

Strabane Unionist councillors, in a bizarre exchange, have proposed making a ``pound for pound'' donation to the local British Army Benevolent Fund matching it to the 1000lb IRA bomb left in the town on 10 February.

The proposal was in an amendment to a motion which condemned ``Sinn Fein/IRA''. The motion was passed, but it was unclear whether the amendment was included. Speaking to An Phoblacht, Sinn Fein's Ivan Barr said; ``I wouldn't be surprised if the unionists, at a future date, argued that the donation was included in the motion.''

Council Chairman Turner created yet another row following his decision to cut a £1,400 subsidy to local cross-community Riverside Otters swimming club. The council claims that it can't afford to fund the club. Ivan Barr said: ``the council claims it has no money for the Otters club but is willing to propose donating the same amount of money to the local British Army Benevolent Fund. In addition Turner and others have spent well in excess of the amount on American conference trips which were never of any practical use to the ratepayers of Strabane.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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