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Paisley once again fails political leadership test

12 July, 2006

Commenting after Ian Paisley used his speech to the Independent Orange Parade in Portrush to make it clear that the DUP intend to continue blocking progress, Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy said that Ian Paisley once again chose to appeal to the lowest common denominator within his own community, rather that step up a show political leadership for the first time in 40 years.

Mr Murphy said:

"Political leadership is about stepping forward and taking risks. It is about ensuring that progress is made and a better society is delivered for all of the people who live here. For 40 years Ian Paisley has done the exact opposite.

"Once again today at his Independent Orange Order parade in Portrush, Paisley, instead of displaying political leadership, he has instead decided to appeal to the lowest common denominator within his own community. The sort of people who think it is acceptable to place offensive messages about their murdered Catholic neighbours on bonfires, as we witnessed in Paisley‚s own constituency last night.

"People who have watched Paisley's political career or indeed watched the behaviour of his party over recent months in the Assembly, will not be surprised by Ian Paisley‚s speech indicating that the DUP are going to continue to block progress.

"However the reality Ian Paisley has yet to address is the fact that the only basis that the DUP will ever have real power will be in power sharing institutions, with an all-Ireland dimension along with Sinn Féin. If the DUP continue to block progress and continue to stick in 'No Surrender' mode then the two governments must act. They must close the Hain Assembly, end the MLA salaries and bring forward significant and substantial joint partnership arrangements." ENDS

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