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‘Citizens’ rights are non-negotiable’ – O’Neill

1 August, 2018 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has insisted that the rights of citizens are non-negotiable and if fresh efforts to restore the power-sharing institutions are to be successful then they must deliver on equality, rights and respect for all.

Michelle O’Neill was commenting after DUP Leader Arlene Foster ruled out any negotiation on an Irish Language Act and defended the DUP’s attempts to prevent the erection of the Pride flag from a civic building. 

The Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán said: 

“Arlene Foster’s comments are disappointing.

“There is a special responsibility on political leaders to bridge the divide between us and those we represent.

“That requires positive and progressive thinking to resolve the major obstacles to restoring genuine power-sharing and accountable government.

“We had an agreement in February, which the DUP reneged on and collapsed the political talks rather than end their denial of rights to citizens. They continue to oppose marriage equality, language rights, access to compassionate women’s healthcare and the rights of victims.

“Their attitude towards the LGBT community is epitomised by their disgraceful attempts to prevent the erection of a Rainbow flag from a civic building and Arlene Foster’s defence of that was quite frankly bizarre.

“Sinn Féin is a party of dialogue.  We will enter any new talks determined to resolve the issues of rights and equality, which are not going away.

“The two governments must ensure that any new talks process is grounded on a real commitment to implement past agreements and deliver citizens’ rights. 

“The rights of citizens are non-negotiable. 

“Sinn Féin stands ready to establish an Executive.

“There is an onus on the two governments to bring forward a plan for successful talks.” 

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