Cllr McNamee, who represents the Victoria ward of East Belfast, was speaking as part of the ‘A Shared Future for Me’ panel at the La Mon Hotel on Saturday. She explained how Alliance’s position in the council meant the Party was able to consistently demonstrate positive leadership.
Laura McNamee said: “It is not easy to hold the balance of power in City Hall but our group is up to the challenge it brings, which we showed with our commitment to equality during the vote on the flying of the Union flag. Whereas others exploited that opportunity to engender fear and create tension, we provided a positive direction.
“While other political parties are tied to the past and seek to entrench division in the interests of short-term political gain, Alliance has been forward thinking and committed to rebuilding Northern Ireland.
“It is not about erosion of culture but rather mutual respect and dignity for all traditions. There is no room for triumphalism in a shared future and that is a lesson that a number of people on our political spectrum have yet to learn.
“Alliance has weathered the storm and the role we are playing is pivotal. It is as necessary now as it ever was. We will continue with that work, undeterred by the threats against us, as we have simply come too far to risk going backwards. A peaceful and democratic political process truly is the only way forward for Northern Ireland.”