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Allister hits out at Sinn Fein's “appalling” decision to block the lighting of Stormont for victims

Sinn Fein have vetoed an application to light up Parliament Buildings in memory of terror victims.

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Stormont lit up in red overnight to mark Remembrance Sunday in 2017, Unionist parties have been calling for the building to be similarly lit up for European Victims of Terrorism Day on March 11.

Stormont lit up in red overnight to mark Remembrance Sunday in 2017, Unionist parties have been calling for the building to be similarly lit up for European Victims of Terrorism Day on March 11.

Photopress Belfast

Stormont lit up in red overnight to mark Remembrance Sunday in 2017, Unionist parties have been calling for the building to be similarly lit up for European Victims of Terrorism Day on March 11.

Sinn Fein have been criticised after vetoing an application to light up Parliament Buildings in memory of terror victims.

Calls had been made for the building to be illuminated for European Victims of Terrorism Day on March 11.

But Sinn Fein said the proposal fell outside current guidelines.

The plan was put forward by victims group the South-East Fermanagh Foundation and sponsored by TUV MLA Jim Allister, but was rejected by the Assembly Commission after Sinn Fein objected.

TUV leader Jim Allister hit out at the “appalling” decision to block the lighting of Stormont.

“This persistence in again slighting the innocent victims of terrorism is appalling.

“Having failed to deliver on a pension for victims Stormont has now failed to deliver so much as a simple lighting of the building for one day,” he said.

“The simple act of acknowledging, at no cost to the public, the hurt and sacrifice of countless victims in Northern Ireland and further afield was too much to ask.”

DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said the decision was “narrow-minded and disgraceful”

“Victims come from all faiths and none and deserve to be respected. For Sinn Fein to veto this act of respect and acknowledgement of suffering in inhumane, ill-mannered and downright ignorant,” he said.

“We support the application to light the building on 11th March and trust other parties will join with us in standing up to this narrow-minded and disgraceful approach by republicans.

“It is this kind of behaviour which also required the courts to force the SF Deputy First Minister to put in place a pension for innocent victims.

Responding, South Down Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis said: “The Assembly Building is currently lit up on four occasions a year.

“Other requests are processed in line with an Assembly Commission criteria agreed 20 years ago. That criteria is outdated and outmoded.

“Sinn Féin has proposed an inclusive lighting policy reflective of the wide diversity of our society, which would be open to health and charity campaigns which have sadly fallen outside the current criteria.”

An Assembly spokesperson said: “The Assembly Commission considered the request and was unable to reach a consensus decision as required by the Commission’s special lighting policy”.


Belfast Telegraph


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