10 October 2019
DUP South Antrim MP Paul Girvan has said the continued boycott of Stormont by Sinn Fein is ‘totally unacceptable’ as 1000 days without devolution approaches.
Paul Girvan said:
“For almost 1000 days Sinn Fein has blocked the formation of a Northern Ireland Executive. No other party collapsed Stormont – only Sinn Fein. It is they who chose to create instability. It is they who didn’t have the maturity to sit down around the Executive table and sort out issues of contention. It is they who are quite content to blockade Stormont with their myriad of red lines.
It is Sinn Fein who chose to prioritise the demands of Irish language fundamentalists at the expense of every child’s education, every hospital patient, every business and every person in Northern Ireland. Such an approach is reckless and irresponsible. It is entirely selfish.
No one objects to Irish language speakers being accommodated. Indeed, Arlene Foster has offered to legislate on language matters but Sinn Fein continues to prioritise its shopping list of narrow demands above vital reforms in our schools and hospitals.
As politicians, we are elected to govern. If Sinn Fein are incapable of doing that then they should let those of us who want to, get on with it. There are important matters to address. We face the heart-breaking prospect next week of extreme abortion being imposed in Northern Ireland against the wishes of the majority of people who live here.
Sinn Fein representatives have made clear they are not interested in restoring devolution in the near future, regardless of what the other four parties would offer. In recent days, Michelle O’Neill and Alex Maskey have let the cat out of the bag - even an Irish Language Act wouldn’t be enough. Sadly there is little prospect of reconciliation and a restored Executive while SF are in this mindset.
Northern Ireland will continue to lose out while Sinn Fein prioritise their narrow agenda.
Our offer remains to sort these contentious issues out while an Executive is functioning within a specified time frame. That would allow us to take decisive action on education, health, infrastructure and investment to benefit all Northern Ireland while reaching an accommodation of the reasonable.
My hope is that SF and their voters, see sense and recognise the harm they are doing before any more people have to suffer the consequences of their intransigence.”