Upper Bann Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Northern nationalism is strong, confident and not prepared to accept second-class treatment" - John O'Dowd MLA

Published: 11 December, 2017

"Northern nationalism is strong, confident and not prepared to accept second-class treatment" - John O'Dowd MLA

Mr. O'Dowd was commenting on this week's initiative which saw 200 leading figures within civic nationalism write an open letter to the Taoiseach urging him to defend the rights of Irish citizens in the North.

Brexit spokesperson John O'Dowd MLA said: "This initiative has been a powerful demonstration of the strength of feeling that exists within the northern nationalist community.

"And it is a positive thing for civic society to be involved in the political process. It is empowering for citizens and good for democracy so I would urge more people to make their voices heard on what are critical issues, including the denial of rights to citizens in the North and the need to protect our interests against the recklessness of Brexit.

"Irish citizens in the North have the right to expect the Taoiseach and the Dublin Government to stand up for their entitlements. There is no justifiable reason why citizens here should be denied access to the same rights that exist elsewhere on this island.

"We are demanding equal treatment. We are demanding an end to the disrespect and denigration of Irishness that we have witnessed over recent years. We want local institutions back in place but they must be based on proper power-sharing and equality.

"The nationalist community is stronger and more confident than it has ever been and when you have such a vibrant community in place, there is no way they will accept second-class treatment of any kind."