Limavady vote example of unionist mindset at Executive
Sinn Féin Assembly Group leader John O'Dowd said that last nights vote by unionist members in Limavady Council to deny the freedom of the borough to Rev David Armstrong and Fr. Kevin Mullan was 'an example of the bigoted mindset which must be challenged in our society and is why the Executive must lead by example through equality and partnership government'.
Mr O'Dowd said:
"For months Sinn Féin has been attempting to ensure that the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement are able to operate on the basis of partnership and equality. That means unionists accepting sharing power on the basis of equality with nationalists and republicans. Last nights vote in Limavady Council demonstrates in a very clear way the distance that both the DUP and UUP have to travel.
"The decision to vote against granting the freedom of the borough to the two clergymen who had 20 years earlier been the victims of loyalist threats was based entirely on sectarianism, bigotry and prejudice. It is a far cry from the sort of partnership approach required. Once again the political leaders of unionism have come up short. They now have a significant job of work to persuade the nationalist and republican community that they are indeed capable of sharing power and taking decisions based on equality.
"The fact that neither unionist party was prepared to even try and defend their actions publicly and the leaders of both Unionist parties have remained quiet on the actions of their Councillors says much. For our part Sinn Féin will continue to confront inequality and sectarianism and we will continue to remain focused on ensuring that the institutions are able to operate in true partnership." ENDS