'No one should have their rights denied or diluted' - O’Neill
No sector, group or individual should be expected to suffer the denial or dilution of their rights as the cost of restoring the power-sharing institutions at Stormont, Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has said.
Speaking after all-party meetings with civic society groups at the Stormont negotiations today, Michelle O’Neill commented:
“Today’s discussions were certainly a positive exercise. Meaningful engagement with civic society is needed and Sinn Féin has always made it a priority to do so. We will continue to do that in the ahead.
“We have been meeting with a wide range of civic society, all the churches, the trade unions, business organisations, women’s groups, language groups, the community and voluntary sector and everyone out there because this process and these institutions belong to us all.
“It crucial that wider civic society is bringing their concerns and aspirations into these talks because all parties and both governments need to hear a clear message about the impact of the ongoing denial of rights and the damage caused to our public services by sustained year on year budget cuts imposed by the British government.
“These issues need to be addressed by the talks if we are to establish credible and sustainable institutions that treat all on the basis of equality.
“That is what the vast majority of the public want to see. And as Saturday’s demonstration in Belfast showed, there is no appetite for anyone’s rights to be excluded, denied or diluted as the cost of restoring the power-sharing institutions.
“None of the issues are insurmountable or unresolvable.
“Agreement can be reached through the implementation of agreements already made, delivering good governance and safeguarding rights enjoyed by citizens in the rest of Ireland and in Britain.”