Advertisement

Sinn Fein wins Belfast mayoral race

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, June 5 (UPI) -- The political wing of the Irish Republican Army on Wednesday won Belfast's mayoral race for the first-time ever, sparking sharp criticism from opposition parties.

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey was elected Lord Mayor with the support of two other parties -- the Social Democratic and Labor Party, and the Alliance Party.

Advertisement

Maskey got 26 votes, beating out Ulster Unionist Chris McGimpsey who got 15 votes, and Democratic Unionist Robin Newton who got 10.

But Ulster Unionists criticized the election of Maskey, a former IRA man who was interned twice in the 1970s, and said they would not work with him.

"This is a disgraceful decision, rewarding an organization which has been involved in the destruction of Belfast over the past 30 years," McGimpsey said. "What it means for the council is that there is no partnership. Unionists will not be working with Sinn Fein at civic government at the highest level."

Belfast councilors failed to elect a deputy mayor to under Maskey.

Democratic Unionist Nelson McCausland called Maskey's vote a "night of shame" for Belfast. He said it was also "a night of sadness for all those who have suffered at the hands of the IRA Sinn Fein over the past 30 years."

Advertisement

Maskey, a former amateur boxer, has survived several attempts by Protestant extremists to kill him. He was shot in the stomach in 1987 and gunmen killed a friend working at him home in 1993.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement