The sighting of memorials relating to the troubles are problematic in Northern Ireland. Mostly, they get decided on the simple basis of who is in the local majority. But now, it seems, Omagh Council has landed itself in a spot of hot water with the Equality Commission, for ignoring its own equality provisions, regarding the erection of a memorial on the landmark site of the Dromore Old Church to the Hunger Strikers of 1981.
Update: It seems that the Old Church is Church of Ireland: which surely begs the question why this site was chosen in the first place?The Commission not only questioned this single breach, but of a wider systematic council policy:
…the Commission said the Council should hold an equality impact assessment on implications of its policies from 2001 to the present that permitted the memorial to remain on its property, and which proactively encouraged the group considered to have erected it to apply to have the land transferred to it.
The assessment should also look at the implications of any proposed policy that would allow the memorial to remain on the site in the future – and any proposed policy to dispose of the land to a third party to ensure the memorial is retained.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty