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Time for unionist community to accept nationalists are not second class

23 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has challenged unionist politicians in Lurgan to begin to tackle sectarian attitudes within their community. Mr O'Dowds remarks come after a young teenager was attacked in the Sloan Street area of the town in a sectarian attack.

Mr O'Dowd said:

" This sectarian attack was carried out in Sloan Street close to the town centre. The young person assaulted was lucky to escape without receiving very serious injuries. Unfortunately unionist politicians in this area continue to ignore the issue of sectarianism and sectarian attacks coming from within their community.

" Given that many of these same politicians insist on taking part in coat trailing Orange Order parades through nationalist parts of the town for most of the summer months it is maybe not surprising that young people from within their community act in this fashion.

" It is time for unionist political leaders in Luragn and Portadown to wake up to the reality that nationalists will no longer simply lie down and allow our rights and entitlements to be trampled upon. The days of second class citizenship are over and the sectarian attitudes from within unionism which gave rise to it need to be left behind also. That is a challenge for unionism in the time ahead" ENDS

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