Southern political leaders must defend the Good Friday Agreement - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said this afternoon that political leaders in the south need to move beyond seeking to try and find avenues by which to try and score political points against Sinn Féin and focus instead on the facts surrounding the collapse of the north’s political institutions.
“I have listened to comments from the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin this afternoon and it is clear that, as usual, instead of focussing on facts that he is trying to find fault with Sinn Féin’s approach to the provocation, disrespect and arrogance of the DUP.
“Let me be clear - no one has worked harder than Sinn Féin, and Martin McGuinness in particular, in defending the integrity of the political institutions established as part of the Good Friday Agreement, and attempting to deliver real partnership government on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
“The DUP on the other hand has been actively working to undermine that process, completely contrary to the principles of power sharing and partnership. The British government too, has failed to live up to its responsibilities.
“The current crisis surrounding RHI has nothing to do with ‘orange and green’ politics. It is about doing the right thing for all citizens, who have potentially seen half a billion pounds of their money squandered as a result of DUP incompetence.
“With regards issues like the functioning of the institutions, parity of esteem, equality and respect in government and government decisions, it is about defending the interests of all citizens, not just one community or another.
“That is why an election is required, and I commend Martin McGuinness in taking decisive action to deal with the DUP's attitude to the political process. There will be no return to the status-quo.
“Sinn Féin’s course of action is motivated solely about defending both the letter, and the spirit, of the Good Friday Agreement. That is the fact of the matter that the Irish government and other southern political leaders, including Micheál Martin, need to act with us to achieve that, instead of trying to score political points in a most unjustifiable manner.”