Colum Eastwood appeals for tolerance around people's personal 'poppy' choices

Colum Eastwood.
Colum Eastwood.

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has implored people to exercise tolerance around people's personal decisions on whether or not to wear a remembrance poppy in the run up to the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War on November 11.

The SDLP leader was speaking after the Republic of Ireland and Stoke City star James McClean's position - he has consistently refused to wear a poppy since he left Derry City for Sunderland seven years ago - was reiterated widely in the Press yesterday.

The Foyle MLA stated: "Surely remembrance is a personal thing. If you want to wear a poppy that's fine. If you don't that's fine too. Can we all stop pretending to be offended by other people's choices."

Many nationalists and others refuse to donate to or participate in the Royal British Legion's annual 'Poppy Appeal' in Britain and in the North.

The refusal is due to Britain's armed forces' involvement in atrocities in Ireland and elsewhere.

According to the RBL's official website the "Legion was founded by veterans after the First World War. A century on from the start of that conflict, we're still helping today's Service men and women, veterans, and their families in almost every aspect of daily life.

"We also champion Remembrance, safeguarding the memory of those who have given their lives for our freedom through Remembrance education and events."