Following on from the Equality Commission’s statement criticising Omagh District Council for not acting against the erection of a republican memorial in Dromore, Sinn Fein MLA Paul Butler has criticised the commission for its failure to speak out against plans by Lisburn Council to provide land for the erection of a monument to the UDR in the centre of Lisburn.The issue of the erection- and maintenance- of contentious monuments could become a fierce political battleground, given the plethora of British war monuments throughout the north in city, town and village centres, as well as those erected by republicans in the more recent past.
An interesting feature of the Equality Commission ruling was in its determining what constituted the marking out of territory:
“…the political nature of the Memorial, and its high level of visibility on a site that is synonymous with Dromore, may have the effect of marking the village out as being Nationalist or Republican, and may not be conducive to good relations, and therefore the matter did have sufficient equality implications to be fully considered by way of an equality impact assessment.”
As one commenter noted on a previous thread here, the most prominent monument marking out territory in the six counties is undoubtedly Carson’s statue in the grounds of Stormont- a case for Bob Collins and co?
Let’s see if it fits the criteria: political in nature (Yep), high level of visibility (you could say that), on a site synonymous with Belfast (given that it’s the site of proposed shared government, another affirmative answer) marking out the area as unionist or loyalist (another Ta) and finally not conducive to good relations- whadd’ya think, Bobby?