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Sinn Féin to press for acceleration of Equality Agenda

21 September, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP, accompanied by the party's Equality and Human Rights spokesperson Caitríona Ruane MLA will meet with the newly appointed Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission, Mr Bob Collins, tomorrow, Thursday 2nd September at 10 am at Equality House to raise concerns around the continuing undermining of the equality agenda.

Mr Adams said:

"The message Sinn Féin will be delivering to the new Chief Commissioner Bob Collins is that the equality agenda needs to be accelerated and that those charged with such responsibilities need to deliver tangible outcomes.

"These relate to fair employment matters, the unemployment differential which shows Catholics continuing to be almost twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants. The piecemeal implementation of the Section 75 equality duty by public bodies, the rise in sectarianism/racism and the need for the Commission's enforcement powers to be strengthened.

"The Commission faces many increasing challenges, not least the challenge of demonstrating to those on the receiving end of multiple deprivation, racism, sectarianism and inequality, that the Commission has the independent will and commitment to defend their rights." ENDS

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