Time to take a stand: Close

ALLIANCE Assembly member Seamus Close has said that the two Governments must do something other than make public statements about Sinn Fein’s connections to the IRA and its violence.

Mr Close said:

“People have been exhorted not to vote for Sinn Fein by a Government minister; the Taoiseach has said that he believes that the President of Sinn Fein was in the IRA; the Chief Constable has told us that the IRA is still active; the Security Minister has told us that Sinn Fein and the IRA are inextricably linked. Yet in spite of all this, the people of Northern Ireland are being denied devolution because both the British and Irish governments still insist that Sinn Fein is part of any future Executive.

“Sinn Fein got about 24 percent of the vote in Northern Ireland; that is their mandate which must be respected. But the mandate of the remaining 76 percent, who demand devolved government, must also be respected.

“Imagine the outcry if there had been no Agreement simply because 28 percent of the people voted against it. The British and Irish governments must now come clean. They must stop the deceit and hypocrisy and give the people what they voted for – a devolved government that does not include those that these governments have described as vomit-makers, Nazis or inextricably linked to a terrorist organisation.

“The current review is going nowhere and the governments know it. They must act in the interests of the 76 percent and not stymie things. They must stop pretending and start to govern. They must prevent democracy being held to ransom by 24 percent who practice pseudo-democracy.

“Lack of action can only be interpreted as political cowardice. The Governments are actually making things worse by highlighting Sinn Fein’s links to the IRA, and then taking no action. The Governments must stop playing party politics with democracy, by waiting on the European elections or worse still elections in the Republic of Ireland.”

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