27/09/2019

Anger Over SF 'Brits Out' Poster

Unionists have expressed outrage after a poster featuring the words 'Brits Out' was displayed at a freshers' fair by Sinn Fein's youth wing.

The event at Queen's University Belfast on Thursday 26 September follows the tradition adopted by most universities, where students are invited to find out about clubs and societies on offer.

The poster advertising Ogra Sinn Fein at the party's stall featured James Connolly, a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising, and an image of a placard saying "Brits Out".

Ulster Unionist students at Queen's reacted angrily to the display. Chair of Queen's Young Unionists, Nathan Redmond said the slogan contradicts Sinn Fein's notion of promoting a shared future.
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"It would appear that for Sinn Fein, the slogan 'Brits Out' is acceptable language, but as far as we are concerned, it is most certainly not," he said. "Imagine the perfectly justifiable outcry if a poster had been on display saying Polish out, Indians out or Chinese out? So why do Sinn Fein think it is acceptable to display public racism towards people who have a British identity? An identity that, it should be remembered, was recognised as perfectly legitimate by the Belfast Agreement itself.

"Queen's has long been regarded as having an image problem as far as students of a Unionist background are concerned, and this shameful and racist display on the Sinn Fein stand at Freshers will do nothing to help alleviate that problem."

Mr Redmond said he wished to deliver a message to the Sinn Fein youth wing at Queen's: "We are the Brits, and no one will be putting us out, not now, not ever," he commented.

Meanwhile, SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon has called for a moderation of language across the political landscape, as Brexit debates grow more divisive.

The north Belfast MLA hit out at the actions of both Sinn Fein and the DUP. She said: "We've seen DUP recruitment posters say 'Ulster is ours' and a senior Sinn Féin MLA defend a 'Brits out' poster at Queen's. They are all two ends of the same coin – parties and politicians with a selfish interest in dividing people and keeping us apart."

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey is reported to have defended the flyer as a "political poster with historical context".

Queen's are understood to be investigating the incident.



(JG/MH)

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