West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Fein urges Strabane Council to support Employment of Former POW's

Published: 12 September, 2011

Proposing the motion on behalf of the Sinn Féin grouping is Cllr Kieran Mc Guire who said,
"The Good Friday Agreement committed all of us to assisting former political prisoners play a full part in building a new society based upon equality.
"Hundreds of local people are amongst the estimated 30,000 people who have been incarcerated as a result of the political conflict here yet despite the terms of the GFA and recognition of the political nature of the conflict they, and by extension their families, still face exclusion from many areas of public sector employment and discrimination in other areas of employment as well as a myriad of other barriers in areas such as insurance, travel and adoption to name but a few.
"The Department of the First and Deputy First Minister's issued employer's guidelines on this issue which would ensure that former political prisoners do not face barriers to employment based on their record.
"Both NIPSA and Unison are leading the charge for the adoption of the guidance from OFMDFM and I know that to date all local Heath Trusts have supported this.
Currently local Education and Library Boards are being invited to adopt the guidelines as well.
"Backing for the motion asking Strabane District Council to adopt these same guidelines will not solve all the outstanding issues but represents another important step in ensuring that former political prisoners are not discriminated against. Foremost of these outstanding issues is the need to fully 'expunge' all political convictions relating to the conflict which are still used as a discriminatory tool against former political prisoners.
"I hope that council's support of the motion will lead to other local businesses doing like-wise and Sinn Féin will be encouraging every employer, both in the public and private sector, to adopt these guidelines."