Unionist politicians have criticized a Sinn Féin “Brits Out” poster that allegedly appeared in a Northern Ireland university.
Queen’s University Belfast is investigating complaints about a poster reading “Brits Out” that allegedly appeared at the Sinn Féin fresher’s fair stall.
“Queens University should be open and welcoming to all. Those who erected a ‘brits out’ poster are an embarrassment to most people who want to move forward,” said a statement from Democratic Unionist Party MP Emma Little Pengelly.
“Mary Lou McDonald carried a banner with a similar message at the New York St Patrick’s Day parade. She cannot hide from this backward statement.
“I am British. I have constituents in South Belfast who are British. Students at QUB are British. This poster is offensive and downright unacceptable. I would condemn such a statement if it related to any other nationality.
“There is enough space in Northern Ireland for people who are British, Irish or Northern Irish and those who identify as none of those. The University and Sinn Féin must distance themselves from this sectarian and racist poster.”
The youth wing of the party is believed to have displayed the poster at their stall in attempts to recruit new members.
Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey has defended the poster in context, however, telling the BBC that it was a "political poster with historical context.”
"That is a political poster which was designed years ago,” he continued.
"Nobody understands that to mean people who have a British identity have to go, this is all about the British state involvement in Ireland".
Queen's University said it is "committed to sustaining a harmonious environment free from language or materials that are likely to be provocative or offensive.
"Queen's expects all of its staff and students treat each other with dignity and respect.
"The university is investigating issues relating to the Students' Union Fresher's Fair and the relevant disciplinary measures will be applied as appropriate following the investigation."
In March, Sinn Féin's leader Mary Lou McDonald was highly criticized for being photographed in the New York St Patrick’s Day parade behind a banner reading “England get out of Ireland.”