Conor Murphy’s roadsign plans could ghettoise Northern Ireland

East Belfast Alliance Candidate Cllr Judith Cochrane has expressed disbelief at plans Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy has put out for consultation on having other Irish or Ulster Scots on roadsigns saying the plans will ghettoise Northern Ireland. She is also astonished that this issue is even near Minister Conor Murphy’s list of priorities given the current challenges he faces to improve our water infrastructure and winter treatment of roads and footpaths.

Cllr Judith Cochrane said: “The plan may sound benign but this is a very dangerous concept as there is a massive flaw in its outworking. These proposals will essentially implement a tribal, ghettoising carve-up of an area, because any sign can only have English and either Irish or Ulster Scots. It is clear that this has the potential to have a negative impact on good relations between people of different political opinion.

“Is this really where the Minister wants to allocate resources to when our water system is in crisis and there is a serious lack of grit boxes to keep our roads and pavements safe during icy conditions?”

Alliance Regional Development Spokesperson Anna Lo MLA said: “This plan will mean that their will be clear tribal demarcations in area because there can never be a sign featuring the three languages together. This is akin to people putting flags up in certain areas to mark out territory. This will be like an institutionalised mark of tribalism.

“Alliance will battle against any measures which could ghettoise Northern Ireland or cause further division. Government should be tackling segregation, not adding to it.”


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