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Sinn Féin ensuring equality in Belfast anniversaries

17 February, 2012


Sinn Féin are ensuring that equality is at the core of Belfast City Council’s work on Historic Anniversaries.Following the news yesterday that Council is to unanimously support a funding package for events to mark the British Queen’s Jubilee, Sinn Féin Council Group Leader Jim McVeigh has explained the overall approach to important anniversaries requires generosity and sensitivity from all parties.

A framework for approaching the issue of important anniversaries (including centenary of 1916, women’s suffrage movement and 1913 Lockout) has been agreed by all parties through the Council’s ‘Diversity Working Group’.The group is also tasked with dealing with City Hall Memorabilia and the Flag outside City Hall.

Commenting on the work of the group, Cllr McVeigh said

“We have brought a fresh approach to the work of the Diversity Working Group, an approach that is sensitive and generous, given the importance of the work to all of Belfast citizens.Embedding equality into this work is central to our approach.On that basis, agreement has already been reached that a Civic Dinner will be held in City Hall to mark the Centenary of 1916 rising.”

“We also bring our Republican, anti-sectarian and anti-monarchist ideology to this work.Our republican approach is one of inclusion and equality.Therefore, when it comes to supporting issues such as funding for groups to mark the British Queen’s Jubilee, we are content.Not just because there are agreed principles and a framework for this decision that includes other events, but also because we are conscious that this particular initiative is important to Unionist citizens in our city.

“We look forward to developing the work of this group into the coming decade, further embedding equality into Belfast Council and ensuring tough issues are dealt with in a mature and sensitive way.”

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