[Sinn Fein]

18 August 1997

Queen's Student Union Bowing to Bigotry - O hEára

Sinn Fein Northern Chairperson and party Cultural Affairs spokesperson, Councillor Geroid O hEára, has accused the Student Union at Queens University Belfast of bowing to bigotry.

Councillor O hEára said :

``I find it incredulous that a student body which is supposed to represent all students has decided to take action which so blatantly discriminates against an ever increasing number of its own membership.

``This decision comes at a time when the nationalist population are striving to overcome the institutionalised discrimination to which they have been subjected since the foundation of the state. Anyone who can take offence at parity of esteem - whether it be parity for the Irish language with that of English- or parity in any other aspect of daily life, can only be described as a bigot. I find it saddening and worrying that an institution dedicated to learning and which may well provide political leaders of the future, should take such a clearly discriminatory decision.

``I call on the British Minister responsible for education to immediately institute a policy of parity for the Irish Language and Culture in all places of education where both traditions share facilities.'' ENDS

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