Sinn Féin - On Your Side

DUP accused of wanting 'sectarian' subvention

25 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has said that DUP MLA Arlene Foster's economic arguments around the future of the home battalions of the RIR exposes the truth about unionist opposition to demilitarisation and accused the DUP MLA of wanting the British government to retain a 'sectarian' subvention that benefited the unionist community rather than targeting resources of the basis of need.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Unionists have resorted to a number of arguments around the disbandment of the home battalions of the RIR. However, it is hard for many nationalists to see the RIR as anything other than a unionist paramilitary force.

"Arlene Foster's arguments about the economic implications resulting from the scrapping of the RIR expose the truth about her opposition to progress on demilitarisation. It is based on unionist self-interest not the interests of the peace process or the demilitarisation of our society.

"Sinn Fein have argued that demilitarisation should and could release millions of pounds for use on frontline services such as health and education and to tackle decades of under investment and neglect, particularly West of the Bann. Rather than seek a British Exchequer subvention of some £60 million for the exclusive benefit of the unionist population I believe that many people in Fermanagh and South Tyrone would prefer to see this money spent on improving the roads infrastructure, improving local schools and in developing the local economy to the benefit of everyone." ENDS

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