5/11/2007

Equality at Stormont

Sinn Féin MLA Paul Butler has said that in the interests of equality statues of Irish Republican icons should be placed at Stormont as well.

At the moment there are no Nationalist or Republican statues, symbols or emblems at Stormont.

It is all Unionist in outlook and as someone who has been to Stormont on several occasions I must say I find that unacceptable.

Paul said

"It is Sinn Féin's view that where British cultural symbols are involved in public life, equivalent symbols should be given equal prominence. If agreement or consensus cannot be found on this, then a reasonable alternative, which fits the required criteria, is to suspend the flying of flags until such agreement of consensus can be found."

"The display of the Union flag at Stormont and other emblems wholly associated with unionism do not promote mutual respect for both traditions,"

Not surprisingly Unionists have said this is a non-runner, the UUP's Robert Coulter said that Republicans should move on.

I always find it funny that Unionists want to "move on" when they are in a dominant position, be it in regards to politics or culture.

If we are in a new dispensation and if Unionists really are serious about sharing power and building an equal society then they need to accept that change is needed.

Be it in Belfast City hall, in Stormont or any other public buildings there is no recognition of the Nationalist and Republican tradition with regards to symbols and emblems.

This is unacceptable and something that needs to be changed

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