Ulster Unionist MLA for South Belfast Michael McGimpsey has condemned the comments of Mr Patrick Yu, Executive Director of NICEM regarding the consultation on the future of primary school provision in Inner South Belfast.
In a statement Mr McGimpsey said, “I have been working with the local communities in Sandy Row, Lisburn Road, The Village and Donegall Pass for many years to campaign for a brand new, state of the art primary school that ALL of the children so rightly deserve. At no point in this process did Mr Yu contact me to raise any concerns or discuss the issue in any way so I was deeply disappointed this morning to hear his comments.”
“It is abhorrent that there have been racist attacks in any part of Northern Ireland but these have been widely condemned and perpetrated by a tiny minority. It is therefore completely unacceptable that Mr Yu has stereotyped the entire Village and Sandy Row communities as racist when many new comer families are warmly welcomed into the community and the children into local schools.”
“Mr Yu’s comments have only served to heighten tension and create division where the communities were attempting to provide inclusive primary education for every child in the Inner-South Belfast area. I am therefore calling on Mr Yu to withdraw his deeply insulting slur on the Village and Sandy Row communities and apologise for the damage he has caused to community relations in the area.”