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Sinn Féin welcomes East Down Anti-racism Network Initiative

20 February, 2007

Sinn Féin councillor Eamon McConvey has welcomed the launch of an anti-racism initiative on the part of East Down Anti-Racist Network who are to distribute beer mates in an effort to raise greater public awareness about this issue.

Councillor Eamon McConvey said:

"This beer mat is a symbolic step to challenge racism and will act as a talking point in pubs where different opinions are often aired and views moulded through discussion.

"As a party that stands for equality for all, Sinn Féin welcomes the initiative.

"As Irish people, many of our brothers and sisters have found refuge in other countries. They were not always made welcome and we therefore understand the trauma associated with trying to start a new life in a strange land.

"The Irish nation's experience of emigration has in general been a positive one for most of our emigrants who prospered and made a valuable contribution to their host nation.

"Irish nationalists are also acutely aware of the racism visited upon us by unionism in the form of sectarianism, discrimination, and pogroms. All of us must work towards ensuring anyone living and working in Ireland is treated fairly and with respect.

"It is only right that having learned from our positive and negative experiences, we now welcome those who have come to live among us in search of a better life. I congratulate the East Down Anti-Racist Network for this initiative and wish it every success." ENDS

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