COUNCIL has no plans to remove the ‘Free Tony Taylor’ posters which were erected displaying the official local authority logo.
Last month several placards bearing an image of the jailed republican alongside Derry City and Strabane District Council’s corporate branding were installed across the district. Locally, one such poster was attached to railings close to Strabane’s Let the Dance Begin Sculptures, the ‘Tinnies’ where it remains.
Initially Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed that it “did not commission or erect the posters”.
And in relation to what action has been taken a council spokesperson said this matter was being considered.
As well, Derg councillor Derek Hussey said at the time that he had been told by council officials that the posters would be removed.
However at a recent full meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council, chief executive, John Kelpie, said that council has no plans to remove the placards. He said, “To date no action had been proposed.”
Currently the corporate position of council is that the local authority supports the release of Tony Taylor, who was returned to custody in 2016 by the then Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers.
A former IRA man, Tony Taylor was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he was injured in a premature explosion in Derry.
He was subsequently released through the Good Friday Agreement. In 2011, Taylor was sentenced to three years for possession of a rifle.
“I’m gobsmacked at this non-response,” Cllr Hussey said following the meeting.
“I questioned the chief executive and he said he’d report back with options. Then when I asked what is being considered, we’re being told nothing.
“I still think the posters should be removed. They are offensive to many and as well as that, it was illegal to use the official council branding.”