A GLENS councillor has penned a withering response to a set of “demands” issued by a Portrush community group ahead of the Open Championship.
In a scathing email, seen by the Chronicle, Padraig McShane asks if 'Portrush Matters' members feel hard done by, even though millions have been poured into the town and every council department is working “in maximum overdrive.”
“If there's anything else you require, like a Formula 1 Grand Prix race, a FIFA World Cup final or maybe just a Champions League final please feel free to ask,” wrote Cllr McShane.
“As I author this I'm also in the process of writing to Croke Park to see if you can have next year's All-Ireland Hurling final in a purpose built 85,000 seated stadium on the site of the former catering college.”
Councillor McShane was responding to list of concerns about traffic management arrangements for the Open emailed to every councillor by a representative of Portrush Matters.
Among them was closure of a main road into the resort, the remote location of park-and-ride facilities and the takeover of public car parks by administrators and officials.
He begins his response asking Portrush Matters to provide information about the group and if they drew inspiration for their name from the Black Lives Matter movement in the US
He continues: “I can honestly tell you, most members in the council believe that only Portrush matters in the [Causeway Coast and Glens].
“Perhaps you feel the town is hard done by? It sure sounds like it.”
After sarcastically asking whether the town wanted to stage any more international sporting events he concludes:
“With quite literally multi-millions being poured into Portrush, with every department in the Council working in maximum overdrive to facilitate a successful 148 Open and with almost everyone else in every other area of the Borough being ignored until the conclusion of the Open, maybe some of your critical analysis would go down better with acknowledgement of the above and a little more humility.”
In response, a spokesperson for Portrush Matters said the group was “disappointed” by Councillor McShane's email, and in the tone in which it was written.
“All the other Councillor's that responded were positive,” they added
“We were only offering some local knowledge and suggestions how the committee felt the proposed arrangements could be amended to the benefit of the resort, its residents and businesses.
“We very much welcome the event and the investment that it has brought to the resort, at no time did we suggest otherwise or request further investment.”
Speaking later to the Chronicle Cllr McShane said he “absolutely stood over every word.”
He added: “I want to make it clear it wasn't directed at the people of Portrush. But the council has bent over backwards to meet the insatiable demands of this group.”