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POC necessary safeguard to protect minorities - O'Dowd

15 February, 2017 - by John O'Dowd


Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd said recent comments about scrapping the Petition of Concern are a further attempt by the DUP to deflect attention from the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal.

The Upper Bann candidate said:

“These comments are the latest attempt by the DUP to divert attention from the RHI scandal, the potential waste of half a billion pounds of public money and allegations of corruption. 

“The Petition of Concern was put in place to protect minorities following decades of unionist misrule and discrimination.

“The DUP abused the POC to undermine the rights of minorities and used it to block for example all attempts to bring forward legislation on marriage equality.

“Their approach was unsustainable and reflected their disrespect and arrogance for whole sections of our society.

“It comes as no surprise that they want to end these protections.

“The POC is a necessary safeguard required to prevent the kind of discrimination and excesses we have seen from unionism.

“We are content to address this in any negotiations.

“What is required is an end to the abuse of the POC system and full equality and respect granted to all sections of society regardless of race, religion, sexuality or gender.”

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