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Joint statement by Arlene Foster, Steve Aiken and Jim Allister:-

In this important Centenary year for Northern Ireland we came together to put before the Assembly Commission a considered proposal for a centenary stone to permanently mark the event within the curtilage of Parliament Buildings.

“Our letter of 4 January 2021 setting out our reasoned request is attached, along with the non-controversial content of the suggested stone.

“We are dismayed by the refusal of the Commission to permit this project, which would not have cost the public purse as our respective parties and MLAs were committed to funding it.

“The refusal arises from the shameful exercise of a veto by Sinn Fein. Yet, this is the party that talks most about respect for all communities, but when a modest proposal was made on behalf of the wider unionist community it was callously vetoed.

“Those we represent are left to ponder that if this is how we are treated in our own land, just how much more oppressive would our treatment be if we were ever so foolish as to consent to the ‘New Ireland’ that these same deniers of respect seek to promote.”