DUP need to be house trained

I was glad to see that Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly has said that Sinn Féin will not accept a stadium anywhere else but at the Maze site.

The DUP, in the aftermath of the Dromore by-election, have been rattling the sabre and playing to their base in an attempt to suggest that they are the ones playing the tune.

Gerry Kelly said

"The Long Kesh masterplan proposal emerged from a lengthy and thorough consultative process. It received endorsement across the political spectrum.

"The Long Kesh masterplan is one package. With it, a major opportunity now exists to provide a world class facility for sport which would command the support and confidence of the GAA, the IRFU and the IFA and the wider sporting public."

"Sinn Fein will not accept a stadium being built on any other site."

Let's be clear on this issue, on a personal basis I couldn't care less where this stadium is built. I don't intend to visit it much as the GAA have both Casement Park and Clones as their major stadiums in Ulster.

I would like to see the conflict transformation centre being built on the site though. For me that would be the major appeal of the Maze site.

This is a very clear message to the DUP, you want to appeal to your less than equality minded base by denying an Irish language act? Fine, let's see how your base feels about this issue.

Out of the three sporting groups involved with the stadium it is the IFA which needs it most. I don't think it would be unfair to say that very few, if any, of these supporters would vote for us. A large number would be DUP supporters or Unionists in general.

Brian Feeney has an excellent article in the Irish News on this very issue. According to Feeney the real reason the DUP object to the stadium is symbolism.

"It’s not just the concerns about a conflict transformation centre in the complex, which will certainly incorporate memorials to republican hunger strikers.

It’s also the prospect of sharing the place with the GAA, the fact that the stadium will be used regularly on Sundays, that tricolours will be flown and the Soldier’s Song played.

Unionists want what they call a ‘national’ stadium, though of what nation they can’t say, but more importantly one that they own. They can’t own one if they have to share it with fenians prancing about in it."

The DUP need to learn that being in a position of leadership means that you have to lead, not just pander to the whims of the backwoodsmen.

Until the DUP learn that power sharing is not Unionist rule then this will continue.

Sinn Féin will not be pushed around by the Punt and Co.

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