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Sinn Féin slam SDLP and unionists over Traveller decision

1 October, 2018 - by Ronan McGinley

Sinn Féin has slammed the SDLP for joining with unionist parties on Mid-Ulster District Council to delay the establishment of a new body to explore the implementation of rights for Travellers in the area.

Commenting after the Council’s September meeting, Sinn Féin councillor Ronan McGinley said: “The SDLP joined forces with the UUP and DUP to ‘defer’ the establishment of a working group which had been previously agreed by the Environment Committee and would have been tasked with ensuring rights are delivered.

“It’s hard to believe how the SDLP thought this action was acceptable. It’s a disgrace and will be viewed by many as a violation of Travellers rights.

“There has been a lack of provision for Travellers in the Mid Ulster area for some time and sticking our heads in the sand and pretending there is not an issue is simply not an option.

“As a Council, we took the approach to work in partnership with others to try and resolve this. At a special meeting in July, a road map was set out which was satisfactory to all stakeholders. This included the establishment of a working group with the sole purpose of ensuring rights are delivered. It also would have ensured the Council is scrutinised in terms of its accountabilities, limitations and it’s ability to assist with partnership working and exploring creative resolutions.

“The decision taken after being proposed by SDLP and backed by the UUP and DUP has no foundation. There was no valid reason as to why a working group should not be set up.

“This is not a true representation of the Mid Ulster District Council and Sinn Féin will be working over the coming weeks to overturn this ridiculous decision. We will continue to work to ensure that rights are delivered to all citizens of Mid Ulster.”

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