Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

McDevitt slams ‘ghetto’ remark

South Belfast SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt has called on Alliance MLA Anna Lo to withdraw her remarks where she said bi-lingual road signs had the potential to “ghettoise” Northern Ireland on the BBC Radio Ulster Stephen Nolan show yesterday morning (Wednesday January 12)

On the show Ms Lo remarked: “I think the biggest concern for the Alliance Party is the potential for this (bi-lingual road signs) to ghettoise Northern Ireland.

“This may cause further division in our society rather than help with community relations.

“I mean this is almost like putting up sectarian murals or flags in areas and we are very concerned that the government is not tackling segregation.

“ This actually has the potential to mark out territories as nationalist and unionist areas and certain areas as no-go areas for other parts of the community.”

Mr McDevitt said: “I urge Anna Lo to withdraw her remarks and think the Alliance Party should distance itself from her remarks.

“Respect for differences and acknowledging the strength and value of diversity in our community is what we are all trying to achieve.”

He continued: “The SDLP is happy to participate in the consultation on bi-lingual road signs but Ms Lo |clearly doesn’t understand the importance of diversity and the opportunity to celebrate that in a positive way.

“This is discouraging considering the Alliance Party says it puts these ideals at the heart of its party ethos,” added Mr McDevitt.

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