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Kingsmill’s mother ends McCreesh Park court action

October 17, 2016

The mother of one of the victims of the Kingsmill massacre has ended her high court action against the Equality Commission over a Newry playground being named after hunger striker, Raymond McCreesh.

Eighty eight year-old Bea Worton, whose son Kenneth was one of 10 men killed in the Kingsmill attack in 1976, had sought a judicial review against the Equality Commission and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council over the decision to continue to retain the name of Raymond McCreesh Park for the Patrick Street playground.

Part of her legal challenge claimed that the council naming process was in breach of its own equality scheme and Section 75 of the Equality Act – which requires public authorities to promote good relations between those of differing religious backgrounds or political opinion – and that the Equality Commission should have found against the council and referred the matter to the Secretary of State.

On Tuesday last, lawyers for Mrs Worton accepted part of her challenge had been rendered academic as the Commission has now rescinded its previous stance on the decision on the naming of the park.  A judge agreed to dismiss the case against the Commission and ordered it to pay half of the pensioner’s legal costs.

Mrs Worton’s continuing bid to judicially review Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for alleged bias or irrationally in the same decision-making process still stands, but was adjourned for six weeks.

William Irwin MLA, who has supported Ms Worton’s case, said: “The case against the Council remains live and will be brought forward again in six weeks. In the interim the case remains very much a concerning issue and I am very keen to see how the new Council deals with the park naming.

“There is a weight of expectation amongst the public and also amongst a significant body of Councillors in the new Newry, Mourne and Down Council that the matter must be resolved and a resolution and renaming must be the Council’s immediate focus.”

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