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So much for a shared society

Published 06/04/2016

OVER the course of the next few months ratepayers' money (to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds) in Mid and East Antrim Council area will be spent on commemorating the 90th birthday of the Queen, Armed Forces Day, the Battle of the Somme and July 11 bonfires.

These events will be organised to commemorate and celebrate matters regarded as being close to the hearts of many unionists in our society.

Sinn Fein do not oppose that. For many years we have promoted the concept of parity of esteem to ensure both main traditions in this part of Ireland are respected and treated equally.

Yet the majority of unionist councillors running the same Mid and East Antrim Council ensured that no funding at all will be provided for nationalist and republican communities to commemorate and celebrate the Easter Rising. The vision of a shared society appears to be one that many unionist representatives refuse to embrace.

The new local councils may have just turned one-year-old, but it is clear already that the unionist councillors of Mid and East Antrim Council are committed to firmly establishing it as the citadel of unreconstructed unionism, where no nationalists need apply.

CLLR PATRICE HARDY (SINN FEIN)

Mid and East Antrim Council

Belfast Telegraph

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