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Francie Molloy put forward for Deputy Speaker

11 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Mid Ulster Francie Molloy has been put forward as one of the Deputy Speakers in the Assembly. This is the first time a Sinn Féin member has held this position and is a reflection on the increased political strength of the party over recent elections.

Commenting today after his appointment Mr Molloy said:

"Obviously I welcome the fact that Sinn Féin have taken this position. However what is much more important is moving swiftly to the position where the Assembly can meet along with the Executive and All-Ireland Ministerial Council as the fully functioning power sharing institutions demanded by the Good Friday Agreement. What Peter Hain is proposing on Monday falls short of that.

"I will not be taking part or chairing debates on issues over which the Assembly has no power. I am not interested in a talking shop. I will play a full role in trying to get an Executive elected and through that allowing the Assembly to begin to do its job.

"Given the historic initiatives taken by republicans over recent times I believe that a real opportunity to make progress does now exist. We have an opportunity to send British Ministers home and for local politicians, who know the issues, to take responsibility for deciding the future direction of Health and Education, the Environment, Policing and Justice and much more.

"But big decisions lie ahead for Ian Paisley and his party. Are they up for sharing power on the basis of equality and respect or are they going to continue running away from the difficult but challenging business of decision making." ENDS

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