Opinion: SF demands aren’t ‘rights’- they are wrongs 


Sinn Fein have continually sought to justify wielding their mandatory veto to demolish the Northern Ireland Executive by claiming they are doing so because of “rights based issues”. 

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If we go back in time Sinn Fein claimed they were bringing the house on the hill down over RHI and the refusal of Arlene Foster to step aside. 

It was only later that the list of political demands appeared, cloaked as ‘rights based issues’. 

There is barely a Sinn Fein statement, public comment or Declan Kearney daily video that passes without at least three mentions of ‘parity of esteem’, four mentions of ‘rights based issues’, and if ‘equality’ isn’t used at least five times then it really is a quiet day. 

So let us look at the political demands cloaked as “rights based issues” that are currently responsible for the damage to public services and the decreasing quality of life and healthcare for all citizens of Northern Ireland. 

Firstly we have the most prominent political demand. This is for an Irish Language Act. This is a special kind of demand, we must accede to this without even knowing what the Act would entail. 

But, to be clear, regardless of what it entails no Unionist worth their salt should ever agree to yet more provision for the already over-funded Irish language sector. 

This political demand- which is at the forefront of the current standoff- is described as one of the ‘rights based issues’. 

So what right is being denied by the absence of a stand alone Irish Language Act? 

Northern Ireland has been compliant with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. So this debunks the myth that there is any denial of rights for Irish speakers. There is not. 

So that’s one ‘rights based issue’ exposed as having nothing at all to do with ‘rights’. 

Let us then move on to same-sex marriage. What ‘right’ is being denied here? 

The High Court recently made clear there was no denial of rights by the failure of the Assembly to legislate for same-sex marriage and further reiterated that same-sex marriage is not even a convention right. 

Yet another ‘rights based issue’ is shown to have nothing to do with ‘rights’. 

It is time Sinn Fein explained what they mean when they talk about ‘rights based issues’. How do they decide what is a denial of rights? 

It increasingly appears that failure to accede to any republican demand is a ‘denial of rights’, or so Sinn Fein will tell you as part of their poor oppressed victim narrative. 

Like so much of Northern Ireland’s history Sinn Fein are not victims, they are perpetrators. It is they that are aggressively seeking supremacy for their political ideals, whilst pretending they are the ones being denied ‘rights’. 

Their demands aren’t ‘rights’, they are wrongs! 

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