DUP leader Arlene Foster. ROLLING NEWS .IE
By Anthony Neeson
DUP leader Arlene Foster has been criticized after claiming that nationalism is “narrow and exclusive’ while unionism stands for pluralism and multi-culturalism.
Mrs Foster was speaking at the “Union and Unionism” conference in London where she described unionism as “inclusive and welcoming”.
She also claimed it was her party’s opponents in Northern Ireland who are creating myths about border checkpoints after Brexit in order to unpick the union between Northern Ireland and Britain.
Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir claimed the speech was a missed opportunity and said there was “no new thinking but more of the same old arrogance.”
“In her speech Arlene Foster accused nationalism of being ‘narrow and exclusive’ while lauding unionism as standing for ‘pluralism and multi-culturalism’.
“Quite apart from the arrogance of dismissing the entire nationalist population in this way, Arlene Foster’s comments quite simply don’t stack up to the reality.
“Where is the multi-culturalism for Gaelic speakers who are still being denied equal language rights by the DUP?
“Where is the pluralism for the members of our LGBT community who are still being denied marriage equality by the DUP?
“The DUP collapsed the talks process and reneged on the draft agreement they had negotiated with Sinn Féin rather than agree to the introduction of such basic rights so I fail to see how Arlene Foster intends to rebuild relationships while maintaining that position.
“Her position is also staggering when you consider that Arlene Foster is the same woman who the High Court found had unlawfully prevented grieving families from accessing the basic right of an inquest into the death of their loved ones.
“She is right about one thing however, the issues that led to the collapse of Stormont can be resolved but that will require an end to the DUP’s denial of rights which is preventing power-sharing.”