QUB Ulster Young Unionist Secretary Nathan Redmond has condemned the discriminatory campaign by QUB Fianna Fail to ban the British Army from Societies Day at Queen’s University Belfast.
Nathan Redmond said:
“On Tuesday morning (21/05/2019), QUB Fianna Fail posted into a private Facebook group for QUBSU Clubs and Societies to announce that they voted last month to launch a campaign ‘which calls for the total removal of the British Army from societies day.’ They also asked for support from other societies so that ‘a more coordinated campaign’ could be organised.
“The post was removed approximately one hour after being posted, but questions still remain as to whether or not this discriminatory campaign is still going ahead.
“The Ulster Young Unionists are completely opposed to this campaign which is childish nonsense in seeking to ban something simply because you disagree with it. We will be writing to both the Vice Chancellor of Queen’s and to the Students’ Union to ensure this blatant discrimination is not allowed to take place.
“University is a place where freedom of opinion can be explored and openly debated, yet QUB Fianna Fail are seeking to ban an organisation without giving any actual reason for it. One can only assume that this political stunt is taking place as a form of discrimination against those within Queen’s that serve in or support the British Army.
“Societies Day allows students from diverse backgrounds to come together, pick something they are interested in and explore it to the betterment of their University experience. It is how many friendships are formed, especially by new students at the University. New students with family members and friends who serve in the Armed Forces will be in no doubt that this campaign is further evidence of attempts to intimidate and promote an overtly republican agenda and presence at Queen’s.
“Republicans need to realise that those of us with a pro-British identity have rights too and that the British Army enjoys a great deal of support, especially amongst students from a unionist background. It also offers a rewarding career to many students who graduate from Queen’s, and the chance to play a key role in protecting our Country, providing aid in disaster zones worldwide and carrying out peacekeeping operations helping save lives.
“The SDLP and Fianna Fail partnership means that both parties need to urgently clarify their position on this discriminatory campaign. They cannot just wish it away because the post was deleted so quickly. I call on both party leaders to repudiate this campaign, ensure that the person responsible apologises, withdraws these offensive remarks and ends this disgraceful campaign against those who support the Armed Forces.”