Upper Bann Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

James Brokenshire's tolerance of the DUP's blocking of the equality agenda, the reneging on past agreements and recent financial scandals all led to the current situation - O'Dowd

Published: 2 November, 2017

Upper Bann Sinn Fein MLA John O' Dowd has responded to recent political developments in regards attempts to re-establish the Executive and James Brokenshire's statement that he is not in a position to bring forward legislation to re-establish the Executive.

Mr O' Dowd said:

"It has to be remembered what led to the erosion of confidence in the political institutions and Martin Mc Guinness's resignation in January after ten years in office.

"James Brokenshire's tolerance of the DUP's blocking of the equality agenda, the reneging on past agreements and recent financial scandals all led to the current situation.

"Sinn Féin's focus in these negotiations has been on the delivery of rights which are the norm everywhere else on these islands. Many of these rights are fundamental parts of the Good Friday and other agreements. They are for the benefit of all sections of society and threaten no-one. Furthermore, marriage equality, language rights, the Bill of Rights and the right to Coroners Inquests are supported by a majority in the Assembly and in wider society.

"The only reason they are denied is because of DUP and other Unionist politicians resistance to the rights agenda and the British Government's acquiescence in this. That has been compounded by the Tory-DUP pact.

Concluding Mr O' Dowd said;

"Talks without end are not the way forward, the two governments need to act urgently in their joint responsibility under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. The two governments are not referees in this process they are players .

"Sinn Féin are ready to renter the Executive but that Executive will only be sustainable and workable if it is built on the firm foundations of the Good Friday and subsequent agreements. Those foundations are currently not available."