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Attempts to undermine Agreement will be blocked

11 December, 2007


Sinn Féin West Belfast MLA Paul Maskey has said that unionists need to recognise that any attempt to undermine the Good Friday Agreement will be blocked.

Paul Maskey was speaking in response to a UUP motion that would undermine the right of people living in the North of Ireland to have their Irish citizenship fully recognised by being allowed to choose which soccer team they play for.

Mr Maskey said:

"The Good Friday Agreement recognises the right of people living in the North of Ireland to have their Irish citizenship fully recognised. This includes the right to play for whatever soccer team an individual may choose.

"This is recognised in the legal advice coming from the FIFA legal committee.

"Unionists need to recognise that any attempt to undermine the Agreement will be blocked.

"Whether it is an issue of recognising the rights of Irish citizens or Irish speakers unionists need to recognise that we will use the legal safeguards that are built into the Good Friday Agreement to defend these rights.

"The petition of concern mechanism was built into the Agreement precisely to block any attempt by unionists to abuse power and discriminate against nationalists. It has already been used to block unionist attacks on language rights. Unionists need to understand that Sinn Fein will work with others to use this mechanism each and every time they try and undermine the Good Friday Agreement or attack the rights of anyone living in this part of Ireland." Críoch

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