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Funding a political sop to unionism -McCartney

19 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said that the tackling of deprivation cannot be done as a political sop to any one section of the community.

Speaking after British Political Development Minister David Hanson announced a range of measures to tackle deprivation in Unionist areas Mr McCartney said,

"The fact remains that on the Noble Indices of areas of deprivation the vast majority of areas in the top 100 are Nationalist including many areas of Derry such as Creggan Central, Brandywell and Shantallow.

"The announcement made yesterday was I believe a political sop to Unionism after the recent unrest in Unionist areas. This unrest followed the refusal of the Parades Commission to allow an Orange Order March down the Nationalist Springfield Road and had nothing to do with deprivation. To allow the leadership of Unionism to paint up the reasons for the unrest as deprivation is only to paper over the cracks.

"While there is deprivation in many Unionist areas as well as Nationalist areas it must not be tackled in a sectarian fashion as a sop to political leaderships.

"Deprivation in all areas will only be tackled when proper investment is made by the British Government in areas of employment, housing and education right across the North.

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