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Lisburn Council - further evidence of DUP inability to share power with nationalists

1 October, 2004

Sinn Féin Lisburn Council group leader, councillor Paul Butler has said that the refusal of DUP mayor Cecil Calvert to extend the invitation to this years mayor banquet to Sinn Féin councillors not only breaches council protocol it also highlights the inability of the DUP to take even the first steps towards sharing power with nationalists and republicans.

Cllr Butler said:

"This is a breach of council protocol that states clearly that all councillors should be invited to the major council events.

"This decisions only reinforces the reputation of Lisburn Council as a cold house for nationalist and republicans.

"It demonstrates the reality that the DUP are unwilling or incapable of even beginning to share power with nationalists and republicans when they can't even bring themselves to accept standard council protocol.

"The DUP are going to have to do an awful lot more if they are going to convince nationalists that they accept the democratic process and are willing to share power with nationalist and republicans on an equal and inclusive basis.

"The DUP want nationalists and republicans to trust them. Yet the track record of unionism in the Assembly, and tellingly in unionist-dominated councils is one of exclusion, discrimination and refusal to share power. This is why there can be no dilution of the principles of the all Ireland, power sharing and equality aspects of the agreement." ENDS

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