This afternoon, The Scoop received the following press release from SDLP regarding the forthcoming Irish Unity Referendum taking place at Queen’s University Belfast, on Monday 27th October 2014:
QUB referendum a chance to have inclusive debate on Ireland’s future
SDLP Youth members will campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote during the QUB Irish Unity referendum. The poll offers students a unique opportunity to engage in an inclusive debate on the constitutional future of the island for the first time.
Responding to the referendum and a referral to the Equality Commission, Chair of SDLP Youth Clíona McCarney said:
“I welcome that the Equality Commission will be looking into the proposal for a border poll at Queen’s Students Union. A border poll is an intrinsic element of the Good Friday Agreement which the SDLP fought hard for and which was endorsed by the overwhelming majority of people on this island, north and south. I have no doubt that the Commission will find no issue with holding such a poll at the Students’ Union. I hope that when the referendum result is declared that students campaign with the same passion and intensity on issues like the cost of living, support for victims of abuse and protecting education that they have on this.
“While Sinn Féin and others play headline hunting politics and Unionist parties attempt to quell opposition voices, we will begin the job of work convincing students that their interests, on health, education and the economy, are best served in a united, just and prosperous Ireland. That is how this debate should be framed and that is how we will approach it.”
Chair of QUB SDLP Shannon Downey added:
“When this attempt by Unionist parties to suppress the democratic voice of students at this University is defeated, the SDLP look forward to campaigning confidently in favour of a Yes vote to Irish Unity. The Scottish referendum clearly demonstrated that we can have a passionate but rational debate on the future constitutional settlement on these islands. We must learn the lessons of the Scottish example and ensure that this debate is held on the basis of equality and inclusivity rather than continuing the politics of exclusion that has held us back.”
END OF PRESS RELEASE
For more information about both the Irish Unity Referendum, and the ‘keep QUB neutral’ referendum, make sure you attend ‘The Big Referenda Debate’ tomorrow night at the MBC, room LT2, at 6:30pm. Those wishing to attend must bring a VALID student ID card. (hosted in collaboration with The Gown)
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