Statement by TUV Lagan River council candidate Samuel Morrison:
“I was disgusted but not terribly surprised to hear that Sinn Fein have tabled a motion at Queen’s Student Council which is designed to ban the sale of Remembrance Day poppies at QUB.
“It is ironic that on a day when the Northern Ireland Assembly is debating the educational underachievement of working class Protestant boys news should emerge of Republican attempts to make university less attractive to students from a Unionist background.
“The poppy is a symbol of those who served their county with honour and fought for freedom, both Nationalist and Unionist, Roman Catholic and Protestant, against tyranny in two World Wars.
“It also reminds us of the sacrifice which many innocent people paid in our own part of the United Kingdom at the hands of terrorists.
“Perhaps most “offensively” to Sinn Fein it reminds us particularly of the IRA’s dastardly Enniskillen Poppy Day Massacre.
“It is a symbol of honour and reminds students of Queen’s of the sacrifice paid by former generations, some of whom are commemorated within the grounds of the University.
“I very much hope that this proposal will be defeated. It is a sick insult to the dead.
“It is a telling reminder of how intolerant Sinn Fein are and the future they see for Northern Ireland.”
Note to Editors
The wording of the Sinn Fein motion is as follows:
Council notes that the Poppy Appeal is a politically charged and necessarily divisive initiative given the nature of local politics. This Council recognizes that the Student’s Union is an inclusive and neutral space for all students at Queen’s University and therefore must offer a politically neutral environment regarding issues of the past to avoid offence and a sense of exclusion. This Council, therefore, instructs the VP Equality & Diversity and the Union President to end the sale of poppies in the Student’s Union to provide an end to political sponsorship of the Poppy Appeal, in the name of peace, inclusivity and progressivism.