Actual commitments missing from new Sinn Féin policy, says Armstrong

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said while Sinn Féin’s new policy talking about tackling sectarianism is welcome, commitments to make change a reality are missing.

Ms Armstrong was speaking after the party released their ‘One Community’ document. She said while Alliance remains committed to working with others from all parties to eradicate sectarianism, it would also challenge where actions fail to live up to words.

“It is good to see Sinn Féin and any party talking about the need to tackle sectarianism and segregation. However, among the rhetoric around integration and one community, commitments to the policies to make change a reality are missing,” she said.

“In the past, Sinn Féin have sought to oppose necessary reforms or defend the status quo. In recent times, they have opposed and undermined even minor reform of a segregated system of teacher training, and dragged their feet over integrated education when they held the Education portfolio. Similarly, they have failed to promote or advance mixed or sharing housing, while continuing to defend the Assembly designation system which institutionalises the divisions in our society.

“Past Executive efforts at putting in place a robust strategy for overcoming divisions and promoting cohesion and integration were a clear example of poor ambition and under delivery. Any fresh commitment from Sinn Féin to tackling sectarianism needs to be matched by others and turned into practical reality under a restored Executive.”

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