Cllr Richard Holmes has expressed his anger at the hypocrisy of a Sinn Fein motion in Causeway Coast & Glens Council calling for a series of rights already enshrined in legislation.
“Whilst agreeing with the contents of the motion it is the motivation behind it that will enrage Unionists and Protestants, coming as it does from a party wedded to a terrorist organisation that committed some of the vilest acts in our history.
“Sinn Fein’s call for the right to employment free from sectarian discrimination, intimidation and attack flies in the face of an attack on a workman’s minibus that left my friend without her dad. The company her dad was employed by had worked for the security forces.
“Their calls for rights around housing were not extended to the many Protestants harassed and intimidated out of Londonderry nor to border Protestants who endured an ethnic cleansing campaign.
“The right to socialise isn’t always extended to members of the Orange Order meeting in their halls daubed with hate filled graffiti.
“The congregation of Darkley’s Pentecostal Church will have their own painful memories of the republican movement’s views on the freedom of worship.
“I’m in full agreement with the challenging of sectarian speech and would lay down the challenge to Gerry Adams who, in November 2014 said that equality was “the trojan horse of the entire republican strategy” and that “the point is to actually break these bastards.”
“I’m one of those people Gerry Adams is trying to break. Sinn Fein are only concerned with using and abusing equality. Equality is not a tactic. The UUP has always condemned intimidation, terror and murder – not sponsored it.
“When will Sinn Fein live up to their own words? In Northern Ireland we all want to move on. But with so many grieving families and the rank hypocrisy of a republican movement still lauding terrorists, this motion from Sinn Fein only seeks to rub salt in very open wounds.”
Full text of the Sinn Fein motion:
“That, in the aftermath of the intimidation of families from a shared housing development in Cantrell Close Belfast, this Council acknowledges the recent statement by the six main party leaders pledging their support for `citizens to live in a society without fear of intimidation, free from sectarianism and condemn all forms of sectarianism, intolerance and threats of violence`, and that this council also affirms the principle of the Good Friday Agreement which promised to citizens “the right to freely choose one`s place of residence” and the “right to freedom from sectarian harassment” and pledges its support for;
The right to employment free from sectarian discrimination, intimidation and attack.
The right to housing and to live in your home free from sectarian attack, intimidation or any other discrimination.
The right to free association, recreation and to socialise at places of choice free from sectarian attack, intimidation or other discrimination.
The right to practice religious faith and worship free from sectarian attack, intimidation or other discrimination.
The duty to report or challenge sectarian speech, attack, intimidation, or other discrimination when witnessed or heard”