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DUP opposition to Equality behind refusal to support CSI strategy

17 September, 2009 - by John O'Dowd


 

Responding to comments made by Jeffery Donaldson in the wake of Sinn Féin publishing its proposals on Community Cohesion, Sinn Féin Assembly member John O’Dowd said that it was telling that Mr Donaldson failed to explain why his party disagreed with any of the contents of the document. He went onto say that DUP opposition to the equality agenda lay behind their refusal to support a CSI strategy.

 

Mr O’Dowd said:

 

“Sinn Féin yesterday published our proposals on Community Cohesion and tackling sectarianism within our society. This came after months of trying to get the DUP to come on board and adopt such a strategy. And of course comes after the DUP agreed to such an approach in the Programme for Government and have subsequently tried to run away from that commitment. It is also telling that Jeffery Donaldson’s own party removed him from his position as a Junior Minister such was their confidence in him dealing with this issue.

 

“I think that it is telling that rather than focus on any of the actual proposals in the document and tell us why he objects to them Jeffery Donaldson decides instead to criticise Sinn Féin for bringing proposals forward and making them public.

 

“It is the role of a political party to formulate policy and publicise it. So let Jeffery Donaldson enter into the real debate.

 

  • Why does his party oppose measures to tackle sectarianism?

 

  • Why does he oppose measures to tackle racism?

 

  • Why are they blocking the CSI strategy?

 

  • Why do they oppose a Bill of Rights?

 

  • Why are they opposed to Equality measures?

 

“Let the DUP come clean and tell the public that their opposition to this is actually based on opposition to the Equality and Human Rights agenda which must underpin future good relations.

 

“In the meantime Sinn Féin will continue to argue for good relations, affirmative action on tackling sectarianism and racism and a society underpinned by equality and human rights.” ENDS

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