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Online petition to retain Raymond McCreesh Park name

April 21, 2014

The recent publication of the findings of the Equality Commission’s investigation into the naming of a play park in Newry has prompted an online petition to retain the name of the city centre park. The Equality Commission ruled that Newry and Mourne District Council failed to comply with its own Equality Scheme when deciding to retain the name of the Patrick Street park, “Raymond McCreesh Park.”

Although the findings were welcomed by Unionist MLA’s and councillors, Sinn Fein MLA Mickey Brady spoke on behalf of some Newry residents when he said McCreesh was viewed as a “distinguished republican” in the Patrick Street area where Mr Brady grew up and “his sacrifice is remembered and recognised by the people of Newry to this day.”

The online petition, “Say No to renaming Raymond McCreesh Park” has echoed his sentiments, appealing for the name to be retained on the grounds that his supporters have “as much right to remember him in this way as those who admire unionist peers, British knights and British kings.”

Those behind the petition have been sharing it on social media sites since the Equality Commission report was publicised stressing that “We the people of Newry reject any such motion to rename our park” while urging all to sign the petition to lend their support in keeping the park’s name “in respect and honour of this great man.”

So far, the number of signatures has surpassed 1000, which was the initial target of the petition, but it remains to be seen whether the voices of local residents will be heard amid the ongoing controversy over the naming of the play park.

The “Say No to renaming Raymond McCreesh Park” petition can be found at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/say-no-to-renaming-raymond-mccreesh-park

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