A divisive talk is planned this week when a member of Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican party once banned from broadcasting by the British government, will come to campus. Sean Oliver, the party’s All Ireland Agenda co-ordinator, comes to campus to debate with a member of the loyalist Ulster Unionist Party about the past and the future of Northern Ireland.
There has already been some protest in the build up to the event as the party were notoriously close to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) – the militant group that committed a number of attacks on British civilians in the 1980s. While Sinn Fein always claimed to be separate from the IRA and a legitimate political party it appears that there is some who would rather they not attend, with one student asking on the facebook event “is there a platform to stop terrorists talking?”
In 1988 Sinn Fein, the political wing of militant Irish republicanism, was banned from broadcasting by the Conservative government. They announced that organisations in Northern Ireland believed to support terrorism would be banned from directly broadcasting on the airwaves.
The talk will be held in Arts A103 from 6pm on Wednesday.