Somme commemoration should be collective, not segregated: Robinson

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has expressed hope that Sinn Fein would move beyond holding a segregated event marking the Battle of the Somme and join the main ceremony in future years which is attended by a wide cross-section of society, including the Irish Government.

By Gavin Robinson Candidate

Belfast East

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The DUP MP said,

“It is twenty years since the first Sinn Fein representative laid a wreath marking the Battle of the Somme. Whilst it is welcome that Michelle O’Neill was present whilst a wreath was laid today, such a segregated commemoration should not be given more significance than it deserves.

In 1916 those who went over the top at the Battle of the Somme did so as one, not segregated or separated by faith or political opinion. I would like to see such a collective approach when we are commemorating this significant event. The ceremony at Belfast City Hall has had a representative of the Irish Government in attendance for many years now and that is something welcomed by everyone. It is to be hoped that Sinn Fein might take that further step and join with all of us who gathered in solemn remembrance of those who gave so much more than a century ago.”

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