DUP cllr charged over Facebook comments

Friday 02 August 2013 23.48
Ruth Patterson responded to a post about an imaginary attack on a parade
Ruth Patterson responded to a post about an imaginary attack on a parade

A Democratic Unionist councillor in Northern Ireland has been charged by police with sending a grossly offensive communication.

Former Belfast City deputy lord mayor Ruth Patterson, 57, was arrested this morning over comments made on Facebook.

It followed a row over a contentious republican parade planned for later this month in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

Ms Patterson will appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on 22 August 22 accused of sending a grossly offensive communication.

She had responded to a post about an imaginary attack on the parade through Castlederg in which a number of people, including Sinn Féin figures, are killed.

Ms Patterson said: "We would have done a great service to Northern Ireland and the world."

She later apologised for what she described as "my careless comments".

Her DUP colleague, Stormont Trade Minister Arlene Foster, said the remarks were utterly disgraceful.