Prince Philip: SF man apologises in front of council for offensive post

Sinn Fein Councillor James McKeown has apologised in front of his Mid and East Antrim Borough Council colleagues for an offensive comment he made on social media following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.

Speaking at a special meeting of the local authority for elected members to pay tribute to Prince Philip, Cllr McKeown said he wished to apologise for the Facebook post he had made which made a joke of the situation.

Referring to the fact that the meeting was held remotely due to Covid restrictions, the Coast Road councillor said: “I would have liked to have been in the the chamber but circumstances did not allow this.

“I would also like to apologise for the offensive social media posts and note that they have been removed.

Councillor James McKeown

“I would like to offer on behalf of Councillor Ian Friary and myself condolences to all who hold Prince Philip in such high esteem and to his family who are now grieving for a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and to those who knew him as a friend and confidante. May he rest in peace in the arms of an ever-loving God.”

Cllr McKeown was taken to task earlier this week after he posted a Facebook message making a joke of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing.

Linking the duke’s death to the return of Rangers FC from administration and going on to win a 55th Scottish league title, Mr McKeown said: “Wonder if Prince Philip will come back the same person after dying saying he’s 55 and still going strong.”

Mr McKeown ended the message with emojis of laughing faces and the Irish tricolour.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said Cllr McKeown’s message called Sinn Fein’s “respect agenda” into question.

The message was removed from Facebook, but not before it attracted a number of scathing comments.

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