Issues of rights and integrity need to be resolved - O'Neill
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill said today that political institutions in the north will only enjoy public confidence if they are based on the principles of the Good Friday Agreement of mutual respect and parity of esteem and have integrity at their heart.
And the Mid Ulster MLA said that the price of the toxic Tory/DUP pact for the people of the north is no Assembly and no Executive.
Michelle O’Neill said:
“Confidence in the political institutions in the north was at an all-time low as a result of the the DUP blockading people's rights and the public were outraged at the series of financial scandals, including the RHI fiasco associated with the DUP amid allegations of misconduct and corruption.
“In his letter of resignation Martin McGuinness cited these DUP financial scandals and its ‘shameful disrespect’ towards whole sections of our community, including women, the LGBT community, ethnic minorities and Irish language speakers.
“In March last year Sinn Féin won 224,245 votes in support of our platform of ‘Integrity, Equality and Respect’ in government.
“Sinn Féin has worked since then to restore political institutions, which deliver for all our citizens on the basis of equality and rights and bringing to an end the DUP’s financial scandals and disrespect.
“We had an agreement in February which paved the way for the re-establishment of the Executive, but the DUP reneged on this agreement and collapsed the political talks.
“The Tory government’s response, with the full support of the DUP, has been to adopt a do-nothing approach to restoring power sharing.
“The British government continues to facilitate the DUP’s disgraceful denial of rights enjoyed by citizens everywhere else on these islands, language rights, marriage rights, women’s rights and the right to a coroner’s inquest.
“So while the Tories continue to place their selfish party political interests over public services and equality for all citizens, the price of their toxic pact with the DUP is no Assembly and no Executive.
“But the issues of rights and integrity which need to be resolved are not going away.
“All roads lead back to the negotiating table.
“Fifty years after the civil rights campaign, rights will not be denied.
“The British Irish Intergovernmental Conference will meet again in the Autumn, the two governments need to lay out a clear plan for a successful outcome and the full implementation of outstanding agreements and the safeguarding of rights for citizens in the north.”