Council Watch - Protests arouse over "British" Queen & IRA Hunger Strikes
At the sixth statuatory meeting of Student Council motions were put before its members requesting that the Union speaker and the President of the Students' Union write to both the Queen and the Rev'd Ian Paisley congratulating them on their 80th Birthday's.
To mark the occasion a motion was also put before members for the singing of the National Anthem, 'God Save the Queen'.
Union officals and disgrutled Councillor's were saved from the singing attempt as the motions did not carry as Council ran under quorum and business was suspended. This did not however stop the controversy as accusations of hypocracy were made by Queen's University Sinn Fein against the DUA's (Democratic Unionist) Edward Hanna, accusing him of being hypocritical with the comments he made on the Hunger Strike exhabition.
In reaction to the Hunger Strike exhabition, Mr Hanna said:
"This type of event only causes segregation between the student population as it fails to promote peace and reconciliation," and added: "Many young students view these sorts of memorials as degrading and unacceptable, wishing to move on from the past and look forward to a brighter future."Students' within the unionist community feel that it is wrong for the university to support any event which glorifies terrorists who were involved in the killing of innocent people."
"It is interesting to note Edward is in opposition to an exhibition with claims that it is allegedly divisive and did nothing to promote inclusivity but is this not the same Edward that attempted to mandate Student Council to send birthday wishes to the British Queen and by singing the British National Anthem after Student Council in an attempt to provoke provocation by blatant sectarian and exclusionist actions.
Ms O'Kane concluded saying: "This is clearly an attempt to prevent republicans expressing their culture beliefs in a non- threatening way and a refusal to accept that we have every right to honour the sacrifice and bravery of the men and women who challenged the British war machine in Ireland and won. These people shook the foundations of Irish politics and changed them forever."
Motions were put at the meeting by both the DUA and QUUA (Queen's Ulster Unionists) in opposition to the exhabition condemning it and declaring it an act of 'triumphalism' and 'glorification'.
I suppose many students' will be asking themselves - 'What is this all to do with me?', as elections loomed some 2 day's later, the lecturers strike continues with the threat of examinations not proceeding and with variable 'top-up' fees coming to force shortly ... but hey, some things will never change in local student politics.