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Maskey - The reality of sectarianism cannot be ignored

13 October, 2005


Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey, who head the party's outreach to unionism programme responding to the furore surrounding comments made by Fr Alex Reid has said that we need to be careful in the language we use but that we cannot ignore the extent, nature and causes of sectarianism within our society.

Mr Maskey said:

"I appreciate that many unionists have had difficulties with the language used by Fr Alex Reid. But, by the same token many of these same unionists and indeed church leaders have used language that has denigrated and demonised nationalists and republicans.

"Of course, we need to be careful in the language we use but we cannot ignore the elephant in the room. If we are going to meaningfully challenge it then we need have an honest debate about the true extent, nature and causes of sectarianism within our society.

"Unionist leaders are in denial about the history of the state, their own responsibility for this and for the conflict which resulted from this. The Good Friday Agreement contains Equality, Human Rights and Policing agendas precisely because there has been institutionalised discrimination, sectarian policing, injustice and repression." ENDS

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