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Crisis of leadership now dominating direction of DUP – Kearney

8 June, 2018 - by Declan Kearney

Writing in his latest blog, Sinn Féin National Chairperson, and South Antrim MLA, Declan Kearney, has said that rights and democracy are being denied in the north as a result of a lack of leadership within the DUP.

He writes:

"The democratic rights vacuum which is now synonymous with the northern state has once more been brought sharply into focus.

"The anti-rights agenda of the DUP is being enabled and reinforced by the Tory government.

"Citizens’ rights in the north of Ireland are being held hostage to the political and electoral survival of British Tories.

"The present status quo is not sustainable

"The DUP is not in a comfortable position. Key figures in that party have big decisions to make.

"The reality is that some within the DUP are uncomfortable with its anti-rights agenda; the sectarianism, homophobia, racism and intolerance which characterises their party; and its hostility to reconciliation and healing.

"They know these are unreasonable and indefensible positions.

"They know there was a deal on the table with Sinn Féin which could have restored the political institutions, and which should have been positively embraced.

"They know Sinn Féin acted at all times in good faith.

"The DUP is not a monolith.

"However, others oppose anti-sectarianism, a rights-based society, and proper power sharing, because they prefer communal and political division.

"They calculate instinctively and electorally, that their dominance and influence depends upon sectarianism and sectarian segregation.

"These are the people who are in charge and they are giving negative leadership.

"Civic unionism is being denied positive political leadership by the DUP, as well as access to a rights-based society and government in the North today.

"Republicans and unionists have to constructively engage to identify how we can find common ground and work together to deliver common solutions for the common good of society.

"That must not be inhibited by the failure and crisis of leadership at the heart of political unionism.

"Constructive political engagement, good faith, courageous and decisive leadership is the only way the political institutions will be re-established on a sustainable basis. 

“It’s time to make this happen and to give our people hope again.” ENDS/CRÍOCH

The full text of Declan Kearney’s blog is available at

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