Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness says the North’s new district councils must stand up for equality and seek progressive alliances at all times.
He says the 11 new councils, which will come on line on April 1, present an opportunity to do things better.
He added: “Councils in which Sinn Fein are a significant influence must become models of equality, inclusivity and partnership.
“They must be exemplars of justice and fairness.
“The new structures must become pillars tolerance, diversity and inclusion, reconciling and accommodating not just orange and green but all the other political, social and cultural colours that make up our society in the 21st century.”
The new Councils, says Mr. McGunness, must reach out and embrace minorities and the marginalised.
“They must set an example in the challenging task of reconciliation and provide an alternative to the triumphalism and domination which characterised unionist domination in local government in this state for so long.
“So, we must at stand for equality and seek out progressive alliances at all times.
“That is how we will block the DUP’s attempt to legalise anti-gay discrimination in the Assembly. The DUP sponsored Bill is going nowhere.
“The referendum in the south on marriage equality will move us further towards equality and inclusion on this island. We need to continue on that journey.
“As a society, north and south, we must realise equality for all our citizens.”