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‘FF leader out of touch with northern electorate’ – O’Neill

19 September, 2017 - by Michelle O'Neill

Fianna Fáil Leader Mícheál Martin is clearly out of touch with the Northern nationalist electorate following his latest outburst against Sinn Féin, the party’s northern leader Michelle O’Neill has said.

“Micheál Martin’s latest attack on Sinn Féin has no credibility north of the border, where we are by far the largest nationalist party and where Fianna Fáil don’t even put themselves before the electorate,” she commented.

“This is the same man who called for the suspension of the Assembly and Executive two years ago and who now lectures the northern parties about the need to restore the institutions. 

"If he believes that should happen without having addressed the fundamental rights and equality issues which caused its collapse, then he should put that to the electorate here because I can tell him that the nationalist people were abundantly clear in the last two elections that they don’t want to see any return to the institutions unless it is on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

“But rather than making positive contributions and defending the rights of Irish citizens north of the border, Mícheál Martin prefers to indulge in constant attacks on Sinn Féin which are only motivated by his own party’s electoral considerations.

“In his latest outburst, he again rules out going into government with Sinn Féin. Not only does this ignore our mandate across the island, it ignores the fact that his party has already spent many years in government with Sinn Féin through the North South Ministerial Council. Is he now saying that he would refuse to work with Sinn Féin ministers as equals within the NSMC? If so, that would represent a fundamental breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

“It is also extremely arrogant to assume that he will be in a position to dictate terms of the next Dublin government when an election hasn’t even been called, let alone a vote cast, because, of course, Mícheál Martin continues to prop up the current Fine Gael administration. 

“Mícheál Martin knows that Sinn Féin in government stands up for rights and equality and we hold government partners to account. I suspect that is what he is really afraid of.”

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