We need stable government not endless political drift - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald, speaking in Queens University to mark 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement, called for a renewed commitment from all political leaders that "we will work together, that we will share power together."
She expressed her belief that the DUP is at a crossroads and a moment of decision, and said "it is unconscionable that we stay in this limbo and that things continue to drift. As time ticks away, we are missing precious opportunities. Now is the time to get government back up and running. We need momentum. We need stable government. We need power sharing."
Ms. McDonald said, "Yesterday we heard extraordinary words from George Mitchell, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern and others about historic events 25 years ago that culminated in the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
"The challenge that has now crystallised for all of us today is how do we recreate the spirit of 1998. We need a renewed commitment from all political leaders that we will work together, that we will share power together and that we have a government that will work in the interests of everyone.
"Almost a year on from the Assembly election, we need a functioning government, we need the north-south bodies up and running, and we need the east-west relationship back on a sustainable footing.
"And critical to that is a consistent and deeper interest from both Irish and British governments, something which slipped in recent years and we need to reset all of that.
"So we need a decision from all political leaders, in particular the DUP.
"I believe that the DUP is now at a crossroads and a moment of decision. I hope that the decision they make is the right one because it is unconscionable that we stay in this limbo and that things continue to drift.
"As time ticks away, we are missing precious opportunities and I don’t think that we can collectively defend that nor should we try. The negotiations between the British government and the EU Commission are over. We need government up and running.”