DUP’s Patterson arrested over Facebook comments

Councillor questioned over post about fictional terrorist attack on republican parade

DUP  councillor Ruth Patterson who is being questioned by the PSNI over comments she made on Facebook.

DUP councillor Ruth Patterson who is being questioned by the PSNI over comments she made on Facebook.

 

Police have arrested an outspoken loyalist Belfast city councillor at the centre of a row over a disputed parade.

Ruth Patterson (57) a member of Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson’s Democratic Unionist Party, was detained today in relation to offences concerning the sending of grossly offensive communications and other serious criminal offences in relation to intimidation and encouraging criminal acts, according to the police.

Earlier, she had to apologise after saying that a fictional terrorist attack on a republican parade in which senior Sinn Fein members would be killed would provide “a great service to Northern Ireland”.

She made the Facebook remark ahead of a planned republican rally in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, on Sunday week to commemorate the deaths of two IRA men blown up 30 years ago by a bomb which they intended to plant in the town, just a few kilometres from the border with Co Donegal.

Even though the Parades Commission has imposed restrictions on the route of the parade, loyalists have called on the Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers to ban the march.

PA