Belfast Telegraph

Queen's University students vote against poppy sale ban

By Claire Cromie

Queen's University Students' Union has voted against banning the sale of poppies on its premises.

The decision to hold a vote on the issue sparked controversy after student and Sinn Fein activist Sean Fearon proposed the motion, slating the Poppy Appeal as "politically charged".

Arguing his case on Wednesday night, he said it was not an attempt to promote one ideology over the other but said the selling of poppies was incompatible with the inclusive atmosphere the Students' Union should provide.

But Mr Fearon said the motion had become a "farce" due to media coverage and said the "integrity of the democratic body" had been compromised.

He added: "We live in a politically charged society dominated by the politics of the past, not the potential for a brighter future.

"The poppy is a symbol for the many but not for all."

Before the debate at Queen's, political parties had weighed in to slam Mr Fearon's motion.

DUP MEP Diane Dodds said: "Whilst the wording of this motion talks of peace, inclusivity and progressivism it is actually regressive, backward looking and an attempt to politicise the poppy as a symbol and exclude it from Queens’s Student Union."

A secret ballot was taken shortly after 8pm, when members voted against the proposed ban.

15 councillors voted FOR, 40 AGAINST and there was one spoiled ballot.

Further reading:

Queen's University students' to debate on poppy sale ban

No Blurred Lines at all as Queen's University students ban Robin Thicke's hit song 

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