13 December 2007 Edition
Attempts to undermine Agreement will be blocked
Raymond McCartney was speaking in response to an Ulster Unionist Party motion that would undermine the right of people living in the North of Ireland to have their Irish citizenship fully recognised by being allowed to choose which soccer team they play for.
“The Good Friday Agreement recognises the right of people living in the North of Ireland to have their Irish citizenship fully recognised. This includes the right to play for whatever soccer team an individual may choose. This is recognised in the legal advice coming from the FIFA Legal Committee.
“Unionists need to know that any attempt to undermine the Agreement will be blocked.
“Whether it is an issue of recognising the rights of Irish citizens or Irish speakers, unionists need to recognise that we will use the legal safeguards that are built into the Good Friday Agreement to defend these rights.”
The Foyle MLA said that Petition of Concern mechanism was built into the Agreement precisely to block any attempt by unionists to abuse power and discriminate against nationalists. It has already been used to block unionist attacks on language rights.
“Unionists need to understand that Sinn Féin will work with others to use this mechanism each and every time they try and undermine the Good Friday Agreement or attack the rights of anyone living in this part of Ireland.”