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30 October 1997 Edition

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Mowlam washes her hands of discrimination

By Mick Naughton.

When Chrissie McAuley stood up in Belfast City council last Friday 24 October to question Direct Ruler Mowlam about the inequality being practised against Sinn Fein by the Alliance, Ulster Unionist and Democratic Unionist parties Mowlam replied that she couldn't interfere in the internal affairs of the council.

McAuley told An Phoblacht that at the last full council meeting the unionists overturned decisions made at committee level and voted Sinn Fein representatives off outside bodies they were previously elected to.

``The Alliance party went into a pact with the UUP and DUP to actively overturn these decisions at the last full council meeting. Sinn Fein has sought legal advice on this latest attempt by unionists to disenfranchise almost 30,000 voters in Belfast. We will actively challenge this discrimination,'' McAuley said.

Alex Maskey pointed out that, contrary to Mowlam's assertion, the British government had a responsibility for Belfast City Council and Sinn Fein's exclusion was part of the systematic discrimination nationalists had suffered over decades.
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