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DUP inaction on north south meetings hampering government business – Hargey

1 October, 2021 - by Deirdre Hargey

Speaking after today’s meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council on Languages was prevented from going ahead Sinn Féin Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey MLA said;

“Today’s scheduled meeting of the NSMC on languages was prevented from taking place because DUP Executive Office Minister, Gary Middleton did not turn up.

“The virtual meeting was to discuss important Government business between both administrations, and while I was there along with Minister Jack Chambers representing the Irish Government, the DUP Minister was not.

“Since there must be cross-community representation from the Executive at meetings of the NSMC, the criteria was not met due to the inaction of Gary Middleton to participate and since the Executive Office did not nominate a replacement unionist Minister. So regrettably the meeting was cancelled shortly after it was due to begin this morning.

“I consider this inaction by Minister Gary Middleton and the Executive Office to be a serious failure to comply with the law and the Ministerial Code which require Ministers to participate in meetings of the NSMC.

“Therefore I am seeking legal advice on challenging the DUP inaction through the courts.

“We must be clear that when the political institutions were restored through the New Decade, New Approach agreement last January, it was all of the institutions, not some. 

“The DUP cannot cherrypick and through inaction and obstruction hamper Government business on behalf of the public we all serve and represent.”

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