Toxic sectarian politics must not succeed - Kearney
Writing in his most recent blog, Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Declan Kearney, has said:
“In the north, unionism has whipped up a toxic, sectarian electoral frenzy, and have used it to maximise sectarian polarisation.
“Candidates and their families, and, particularly, Sinn Féin Mayor of Belfast and North Belfast candidate, John Finucane, are being disgracefully vilified and demonised.
“Those within political unionism and the various paramilitary crime gangs who are driving this poisonous agenda are trying to increase communal tensions, heighten fears and deepen sectarian segregation.
“We must not let them succeed.
“Those of us committed to a better society need to rise above their sectarianism and bigotry, and continue to promote inclusion, anti-sectarianism and, most importantly, a positive vision of hope.”
Referring to the newly adopted Sinn Féin policy on reconciliation and anti-sectarianism, the South Antrim MLA said:
“This is the third such policy position on reconciliation and anti-sectarianism to be brought before an Ard Fheis in recent years.
“Partition and sectarianism are the biggest barriers to achieving a new, inclusive, national constitutional democracy.
“For as long as we fail to successfully tackle sectarianism and division, then intolerance, bigotry and fear will continue.
“The potential for more instability and conflict will be ever present.
“As republicans in the tradition of the United Irishmen and women, of Connolly and Mellows, we must be driven by an absolute commitment to anti-sectarianism now and in the future.
“We demand a zero tolerance towards sectarianism, racism, antisemitism, homophobia, or misogyny in society.
“The need for a reconciliation process is beyond doubt. But its achievement cannot be taken for granted.
“We believe a new phase of our peace process, based upon reconciliation and healing is required more urgently than ever.
“Sinn Féin’s new policy is premised upon the position that healing the divisions in Irish society is inseparable from the growing momentum for Irish unity.
“The current discourse on constitutional change should also address the challenge of developing a reconciliation and healing process.
"This policy is a major contribution from Sinn Féin on how that can be done by presenting concrete proposals on tackling sectarianism; sectarian segregation; commemoration and remembrance; legacy; the role of political institutions and political leadership; public policy; and civic and community life.”