McAllister: Joint reception will celebrate football success for everyone

Belfast City Council will host a civic reception for both the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland football teams, after an Alliance-led amendment passed at the latest SP&R Committee.

Proposed by Councillor Nuala McAllister, the motion passed despite attempts by other Councillors to stir up fears by claiming the move could lead to protests.

Nuala McAllister said: “This proposal seeks to recognise the achievement of both teams in reaching the European Championships, while also addressing concerns around the logistics and cost of hosting a formal civic dinner.

“Across Belfast and Northern Ireland there are supporters of both teams – giving Belfast City Council the unique opportunity to lead the way in celebrating our dynamic, cross-community society.

“I’m delighted the proposal passed, but it is disappointing that in 2015 the DUP, UUP and PUP couldn’t get behind a proposal to unite our city.

“Despite regretful comments from others that we shouldn’t recognise both teams for fear of threats and protests, Alliance will never shy away from an opportunity to move forward in promoting the harmony that comes through a shared society.”

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