Sinn Féin have vetoed a unionist attempt to erect a stone monument at Stormont to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland. 

The Democratic Unionist Party, Ulster Unionist Party, and the Traditional Unionist Voice submitted the proposal to mark 100 years since the foundation of Northern Ireland later this year, while the SDLP and the Alliance have also backed the plan. 

However, Sinn Féin have reportedly vetoed the proposal and claim that the plan should have first been discussed by all political parties in Northern Ireland. 

They say that the proposed monument, which will be built in the shape of Northern Ireland's six counties, "reflects only one political perspective". 

Unionist leaders issued a joint statement in the wake of Sinn Féin's veto expressing their dismay that the proposal was rejected. 

"This is the party that talks most about respect for all communities, but when a modest proposal was made on behalf of the wider unionist community it was callously vetoed," DUP leader Arlene Foster, UUP leader Steve Aiken, and TUV leader Jim Allister said in the joint statement. 

The unionist parties said that the monument would be paid for by party funds and by Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin said that the "centenary of partition" offered an opportunity to embrace "very different perspectives of that event". 

"Unfortunately, the proposed stone has been designed and commissioned by representatives of one tradition and reflects only one political perspective," Sinn Féin said. 

The SDLP, which represents a nationalist voting base, said that it supported the monument in "a spirit of generosity". 

"As the late John Hume said, difference is the essence of humanity – the answer to difference is to respect it," the SDLP said in a statement. 

The Alliance said that monument was a "modest plan" to celebrate Northern Ireland's centenary and said that it was just one component of an overall series of events to celebrate the centenary later this year. 

"While we respect everyone has a different view on partition, the centenary should be marked in a shared, inclusive way, with a focus on the future," the Alliance said. 

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