Campbell condemns SF ‘sectarian’ slur

EAST Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said the groundswell of political opinion in the North West should see the establishment of a radiotherapy centre at Altnagelvin but condemned the divisive suggestion by Sinn Féin that the decision to postpone the development was sectarian.

He said the cancer centre campaign in the North West would continue despite the sectarian slur.

The DUP MP - along with party colleagues William Hay, Maurice Devenney and Gary Middleton - met with a range of political, civic and trade union representatives on Saturday at a meeting which was hosted by the Mayor of Londonderry to take forward the campaign to have the radiotherapy centre located at Altnagelvin.

The meeting came after the united campaign on the need for the centre to be built at Altnagelvin received a blow when two Sinn Féin representatives (Martina Anderson and Martin McGuinness) referred to the decision not to proceed as “sectarian.”

Many in the area which stands to benefit from the Centre, which will include Omagh, Strabane, Londonderry, Limavady and Coleraine, as well as Co. Donegal in the Irish Republic were outraged when the comments were made.

The meeting which was attended by senior representatives of the DUP, SF, SDLP and the trade unions heard Mr Campbell criticise the comments.

Mr Campbell said: “The Radiotherapy Centre will not be a cancer centre for Catholics only, which is the import of the SF remarks, it will be to help everyone in the North West.

“When the most expensive ever road building programme in Northern Ireland’s history is embarked upon in a few years here in the same North West area no-one will claim that they will be roads for Catholics only, so these comments must be condemned and hopefully what significant damage they did do can be overcome and the main objective achieved. “We must ensure that the announcement by Minister McGimpsey is reversed, there is a groundswell of political opinion which if carried through to the establishment of the new four year term of the next Assembly will see the reality of the Radiotherapy Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.”