Queen's students poppy ban fails

Published Wednesday, 07 May 2014
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A motion to ban the sale of poppies at Queen's Students' Union has been defeated.

Queen's students poppy ban fails
The Poppy Appeal fundraises for wounded service personnel. (© Getty)

It follows a vote by Queen's University Student Council on Wednesday evening.

The proposal, which was put forward by Sinn Féin activist and student Seán Fearon and seconded by Kellyann McAteer, received 40 no votes and 15 yes votes. There was one spoiled ballot.

The debate took place behind closed doors as the union decided not to let the media in.

The poppy was adopted by the Royal British Legion as a fundraiser and symbol of support for those in the Armed Forces.

The motion stated that the Poppy Appeal is "a politically charged and necessarily divisive initiative given the nature of local politics".

It added that the Students' Union "must offer a politically neutral environment regarding issues of the past to avoid offence and a sense of exclusion".

It continued: "This Council, therefore, instructs the VP Equality & Diversity and the Union President to end the sale of poppies in the Student's Union to provide an end to political sponsorship of the Poppy Appeal, in the name of peace, inclusivity and progressivism."

In a statement, the Students' Union said: "Queen's Students' Union is an inclusive and neutral space which is used by students from all backgrounds, across the various faculties and years of study at the University.

"Two individual Student Council Members have tabled a motion to prevent the distribution of the poppy in the Students' Union shop.

"This will be discussed and voted on by means of the democratic process at tonight's Students' Union Council meeting."

© UTV News
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123 Comments
PD in Belfast wrote (180 days ago):
The Poppy represents British soldiers of all wars, including those involved in the Northern Ireland conflict. Many people in Northern Ireland have relatives and loved ones who were murdered by British soldiers and/or who's communities were deeply effected by the actions of the British forces, hence why the poppy is view as it is by many within NI. Many of those who wear the poppy know this full well and are only wearing the thing as a "look at me" symbol. Wearing a poppy in Britain is completely different than wearing a poppy in Northern Ireland has completely different connotations. In Britain, it's a symbol of support for the military, in Northern Ireland, it's a symbol of disregard of the hardships of one's neighbours and a tribal symbol. I don't believe the sale should be banned however.
LILLY in Home Sweet Home (sometimes) wrote (188 days ago):
@baldyred i hope you got the message cos there were enough telling you! Funny how people are so quick to point out faults in others. Its 2014 and its about time we all grew up! Maybe if we werent so argumentative with each other and learned a wee bit about each other we would get on just fine. We all bleed the same, we all have feelings so try to be nice. If you are nice to your neighbour of a different religion they will in turn be nice to their neighbour. Stop filling kids heads full of our problems and let them live. You are only offended if you let yourself be. Again grow up and let our future be without bigotry.
Iain in Belfast wrote (199 days ago):
Hmmmmmmm yes. The poppy, a symbol to pay respect to the dead from the world wars. Fought by British and Irish alike....catholic and protestant. I'm sure the first thing that comes to mind about the poppy and NI would be.....oh yes, the Enniskillen bombing. Perhaps the sinn fein student isn't old enough or educated enough to remember. Still, he must be close to finally graduating as a clown.
Einstein in Belfast wrote (199 days ago):
The Poppy IS used by many in a divisive & sectarian manner here. It also commemorates British soldiers in ALL Britain's wars - including during The Troubles here - not just the World Wars. If the then Poppy symbolises the "right & freedoms" won by such soldiers so that we could ALL (please note the word "all")"live in freedom, democracy & to be free from dictatorship" - then why weren't these rights & freedoms afforded to their Catholic neighbours in the North of Ireland aswell ?? When instead, their Northern Catholic neighbours received pogroms, murder, political, social & religious discrimination, gerrymandering - & a "Protestant Parliment for a Protestant people"?
Paul in Belfast wrote (200 days ago):
I dont particularly like tricolours flying on the falls road , but it isnt going to hurt me. If i dont like a flag i will not fly it. It is called live and let live, and i am not going to petition shops to atop selling flags.
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