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MBE award condemned

Seán McGoldrick, Assistant PRO Republican Sinn Féin
February 17, 2004

The presentation of an Honorary MBE to Julitta Clancy of the Meath Peace Group by the British royal, Princess Anne, on behalf of her sister the Queen was criticized by Republican Sinn Féin today. Seán McGoldrick, RSF assistant PRO said acceptance of such an award by a person claiming to promote 'peace and reconciliation' was extremely regrettable.

Seán McGoldrick said the award from a sectarian hereditary monarch was stained by centuries of colonialism. Taking part in such a ceremony did nothing to promote peace or prove a persons commitment to it.

"Republican Sinn Féin still maintains that British royals are not welcome in Ireland while Britain holds Six Counties," he said.

The MBE (Member of the British Empire) has been rejected by people such as leading black poet Benjamin Zephaniah who turned it down because he felt it stood for colonial brutality, slavery and racism.

The writer and political analyst Yasmin Alibhai-Brown returned her award last December because of its echoes of Empire, the Blair government's commitment to a "new, even more loathsome American empire" and the UK's "brutalising" treatment of asylum-seekers. Among those to receive an MBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours List was Pakistani Mo Kahn who received the award in recognition of his achievements in recruiting youth for the Royal Air Force.

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