DUP attacks on school principal disgraceful - Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has described DUP attacks on a school principal over recognising the achievements of past pupils as “disgraceful” and said the media has a responsibility not to be an echo chamber for division.
Matt Carthy said:
“We are in a pressurised political situation at the moment especially in the north. But this shouldn’t allow the public discourse to return to dehumanising individuals or communities.
“St Cecilia’s recognised Martina Anderson as their past pupil of the day. That was entirely within their right and was appropriate considering that Martina is a poll-topping, highly respected MEP who is known across Europe as a determined advocate of the Irish peace process.
"Martina's past is well known. Equally she has accepted her responsibility to play a part in promoting peace and reconciliation and to reach out to victims of the conflict from every community.
“To suggest, as some unionist politicians have done, that her successes in politics, which include holding Ministerial office in an executive with the DUP, cannot or should not be celebrated by the school she attended, runs contrary to the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process.
“The faux outrage from the DUP is an overt attempt at bullying and intimidating civic society away from engaging with Sinn Féin representatives, in effect an attempt to divide communities from those they have elected to represent them. It is the politics of division in its worst form.
“While the actions of the DUP will not surprise many the position of elements of the media which is most disappointing.
"The media have a responsibility not to be an echo chamber for the politics of division.
"There is a role for the media to challenge instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator and seeking ratings in argument and division.
“It’s disgraceful that a school is targeted for harassment and intimidation simply because they decide to recognise the achievements of a past-pupil. The days of unionists dictating who or what is acceptable are over."