Search
  • Greg O'Loughlin

DUP Rebuffs Last Change for Government – Election on the Way

On Thursday, October 27th the Assembly in the North of Ireland was reconvened in a final attempt to establish a government. Failure to do so by midnight on the same day would trigger an election.


Six months ago the people went to the ballot box. They overwhelmingly voted for parties that wanted to work together for the betterment of all. They returned Sinn Féin as the largest party and Michelle O’Neill as the First Minister Elect.

Since then the Democratic Unionist party has refused to respect that vote and blocked the establishment of a government.


Speaking at the last meeting of the Assembly Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O’Neill said, “Today, this Assembly is meeting in a last-ditch attempt to form a government and get things up and moving.


People will be watching on bewildered, as they go to work, and want to see their politicians do the same.


Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP are in a perpetual stand-off with the public, the majority of whom they do not speak for, or indeed represent. He stood for election yet failed to show up. This is his mess, and a failure of leadership by him and his party.


Michelle added, “The facts are that in May of this year, people voted for change. Because people want politics to work. The electorate wants grown-up politicians to take the everyday challenges workers and families are facing seriously.


But the DUP is continuing to deny and disrespect the outcome of the May election. They want yesterday, and it’s no longer available to them.


If the DUP continues to block power-sharing, let’s be clear Direct Rule as we have known it in the past, is not an option. The alternative to power-sharing is Joint Authority from London and Dublin.”



Remarks by First Minister Designate, Michelle O’Neill MLA, NI Assembly sitting, 27 October 2022, Stormont


"Thank you, Mr Acting Speaker.


Today, this Assembly is meeting in a last-ditch attempt to form a government and get things up and moving.


People will be watching on bewildered, as they go to work, and want to see their politicians do the same.


Most of us here want to do the job we were elected to do.


Today our caretaker Ministers rally to take decisions, within tight limits, before their civil servants are left in an impossible position come midnight where they are expected to run our essential public services yet have no budget and no powers.


Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP are in a perpetual stand-off with the public, the majority of whom they do not speak for, or indeed represent.


He stood for election yet failed to show up.


This is his mess, and a failure of leadership by him and his party.


Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP have left us all at the mercy of a heartless and dysfunctional Tory Government, whose own survival is all that counts.


They care less for the consequences of their dire policy decisions and political choices on workers and families here.


Jeffrey Donaldson points the finger at everyone else for the DUP’s own indefensible and enduring failures.


The facts are that in May of this year, people voted for change.


Because people want politics work.


The electorate want grown-up politicians to take the everyday challenges workers and families are facing seriously.


Jeffrey Donaldson and his party do not take these matters seriously.


At a time when workers, families and businesses are suffering from the incredible pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, when our health service is broken and needs fixed and waiting lists tackled – people need to know that we have their backs.


The Secretary of State met with the parties yesterday restating his position that come one minute past midnight tonight, should no First Minister and Deputy First Minister be appointed that he will call another election.


However, here we are in the chamber now and within this hour we could appoint a Speaker, First Minister and Deputy First Minister and appoint a new Executive who can meet and take decisions to put money into people’s pockets today.


But the DUP is continuing to deny and disrespect the outcome of the May election.


They want yesterday, and it’s no longer available to them.


But what the People want is the change they voted for in that election.


Yesterday evening the new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen.


They stressed the importance they both place on relationships between London and Brussels, and on working together as friends and allies, as they confront the global challenges and uncertainties of war in Europe, and the energy crisis.


But they also stated their shared preference for joint solutions and a negotiated solution to the current Protocol issues which will provide the stability and predictability society and business here need after the disruption and upheaval of Brexit.


Most parties in this chamber whilst opposed to Brexit, do support the Protocol and also want it to work better, so the negotiating parties have our fulsome support to land a deal.


But for the avoidance of doubt let’s also be clear.


This Assembly and any Executive has no mandate or role in these negotiations, so to hold back power-sharing and hold down the public in the meantime is futile, reckless, short-sighted, and senseless.


If the DUP continue to block power-sharing, let’s be clear Direct Rule as we have known it in the past, is not an option. The alternative to power-sharing is Joint Authority from London and Dublin.


Go raibh maith agaibh."



16 views0 comments