ALLIANCE has said that if the DUP decides to officially talk to loyalist paramilitary groups, it could no longer refuse to talk to Sinn Fein representatives directly.
Alliance Deputy Leader Eileen Bell MLA stated:
“While everyone knows that the DUP policy of not talking to political groups liked to paramilitary organisations is something of a fiction, the party’s refusal to engage directly with Sinn Fein is having a detrimental effect on restoring devolution.
“It would be the ultimate in hypocrisy if the DUP were now to talk officially to the PUP and UPRG, yet refuse to engage with Sinn Fein. How could the DUP ignore Sinn Fein when the IRA has gone further towards ‘going out of business’ than any of the loyalist paramilitary groups?
“Only last night, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson sat across a table from Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty on the BBC’s Hearts & Minds show. Obviously the DUP has no problem sharing a studio with Sinn Fein, but if it is serious about restoring the Assembly it will have to share an Executive too – and that means talking to republicans.”