Alliance: Joint reception is logical way to celebrate fantastic achievement

Belfast City Council’s decision to back an Alliance-led amendment that will see a civic reception for both the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland football teams was ‘the only logical decision’, Councillor Nuala McAllister has said.

The Alliance Party’s deputy group leader was speaking after the motion passed, despite attempts by other Councillors to stir up fear and tensions around the issue.

She said: “Across Belfast and Northern Ireland there are supporters of both teams and despite the attempts of others to stir up unnecessary tensions, we must not lose sight of the unique opportunity to lead the way in celebrating what is set to be a fantastic summer of sport.

“My proposal not only recognises this achievement, but also addresses concerns around the logistics and cost of hosting a formal civic dinner as suggested by the SDLP.

“Belfast is a shared city and it is extremely disappointing that some of our own civic leaders have failed to recognise this. We have previously witnessed the social unease that comes from politicians raising tensions and I can’t understand why some are keen to pursue this again.

“While I’m delighted the proposal passed, it is disappointing that in 2015 the DUP, UUP and PUP couldn’t get behind a proposal to unite our city. But while others remain caught up in the past, Alliance will continue to move forward in delivering the shared society everyone deserves.”

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