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Theresa May’s tolerance of denial of rights a ‘monumental failure’ – O’Neill

4 July, 2017 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin leader in the north Michelle O’Neill said the fact that a deal has not been done in the north was a ‘monumental failure’ on the part of Theresa May and the Tory government.

Michelle O’Neill said:

“Sinn Féin are disappointed but not surprised that a deal has not been done.

“This constitutes a monumental failure by Theresa May and her government. Decades of work are being put on hold to keep her in power.

“This is a consequence of the British Prime Minister supporting the DUP and the DUP supporting her.

“It should be very clear by now that a restored Assembly and Executive is only sustainable and tenable if it is based on fairness, respect and equality.

“The rights-based issues, whether they be Acht na Gaeilge, a Bill of Rights, marriage equality or the rights of families to coroners’ inquests are not solely Sinn Féin demands.

 “These are basic rights which are protected in England, Scotland, Wales and the rest of Ireland. The denial of these rights would not be tolerated elsewhere on these islands and it should not be tolerated here. But the British Government are prepared to facilitate this because they are in hock to the DUP.”

And Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said that it was not acceptable that the British Prime Minister is prepared to tolerate the denial of rights here, which are enjoyed everywhere else on these islands.

“Sinn Féin were, and are, prepared to work through the issues involved. It should not be a shock to anyone that unionist parties want to delay and that they come to the issues of rights, slowly and reluctantly but they cannot do that forever.

“The reality is that the Sinn Féin electorate will not consent to be governed by the DUP on their terms.

“We do not and would not expect the DUP electorate to consent to be governed by us on Sinn Féin terms.

“So it’s really quite simple. It’s all about rights. It’s about equality. Equality is good for everyone. It’s all about agreement and how these rights are going to be delivered. That’s the only way to get the institutions back in place. We have told that very directly to the DUP. We have said the same thing to the British Government. 

“Mrs May is prepared to tolerate the denial of rights here which are enjoyed everywhere else on these islands. That is not acceptable to us. It should not be acceptable to anyone else and we look especially to the Taoiseach to make this clear to Theresa May.”

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