Published Thursday, 05 September 2013
The council has proposed naming the park the Prince William Play Area. (© Getty)
It's thought a small number of residents of the New Mossley estate suggested naming the play park after Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy, leader of the notorious loyalist murder squad which brutally killed more than 20 people during the 1970s.
It was also suggested that the facility could be named the 'UVF Recreational Centre'.
The revelation came out during a leisure committee meeting of Newtownabbey Borough Council on Monday night.
However, Ulster Unionist councillor John Scott, who chaired the meeting, said the names were never put forward as serious suggestions.
He told UTV: "They were a total non-runner.
"There was one recommendation and that was to name the park the Prince William Play Area and that was what we passed.
"It was during the discussion that other members raised the subject of other names suggested by residents.
"But they were never put forward to the council and if they had of been they would have been struck out immediately.
"This was just a suggestion that came up from a small number of people and the vast majority of people in the New Mossley estate do not want it."
Last year Newry and Mourne District councillors voted to retain the name of The Raymond McCreesh Park, sparking outrage from unionist politicians.
South Armagh man McCreesh was a convicted IRA member who had been jailed during the Troubles for offences including attempted murder.
Councillor Scott added: "I think this just came from the naming of the play park in Newry after an IRA member.
We don't want to go down that tit-for-tat route.
Councillor John Scott
"The only name put forward, which was passed by the council, was for the Prince William Park and we will be consulting local residents on that proposal."
Jack Shaw chairman of the New Mossley Community Group denied the suggestions came from those living in the area.
He told UTV: "There were a lot of suggestions about what we would name the park.
"Everything was considered, some people even suggested pets. People were just shouting out names.
"But there was never a suggestion to name it after a Shankill Butcher or call it the UVF Recreational Centre.
"If it was suggested I never heard it and I was totally flabbergasted when I heard this.
"I don't know where this has come from, I believe someone may have a hidden agenda behind this and it has overtaken what is a good news story for our community."
He added: "As a community group we made a decision and we wanted to celebrate the upcoming royal birth so we decided on Prince William Play Area - this was before the royal birth.
"We have a lot of good news coming out of New Mossley and we are all just happy we have somewhere safe for the kids to play."
© UTV News