Sinn Féin Chief Whip Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has called on the British government to “listen to the international community and end the sabre-rattling and game-playing in Ireland”.
He was speaking at the Edentubber Martyr’s Commemoration today.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:
“Much progress has been made since the dark days of the conflict but there are today powerful people in London and among the leadership of political unionism who seek to return us to the days of a hard border and all that goes with it. This would inflict untold damage to the economic and social life of this region, undermining the peace process which was so painstakingly built over so many years.
“However, let the message go out loud and clear from this gathering today, that the people of the border counties – and the people of Ireland, North and South, will never permit that to happen.
“The DUP and others may hanker for the past, but we are not going back. Our every step now will be forward. Forward to a better, peaceful, inclusive and prosperous future for this island.
“Let us remember that DUP rhetoric around the Protocol has real consequences. It has led to some young people from the unionist community jeopardising their own futures and facing criminal convictions, while those who led them onto the streets face no consequences as they sit comfortably on the benches of Westminster.
“Any activation of Article 16 will highlight the utter contempt of the Tory government for people in the North. As far as they are concerned, the people of Ireland, North or South are mere playthings in their game of chicken with the European Union.
“The Good Friday Agreement is an international peace treaty and the international community, including the European Union and the United States, are heavily invested in it. Our peace will not be rode roughshod over by a cynical cabal of right wing Tory opportunists and unionist leaders who cannot come to terms with the new political realities.
“In the real world people want solutions in the talks between the EU and the British Government. People in the North want the Protocol to work. They want it to be allowed to create jobs and attract investment.
“The British government must listen to the international community and end the sabre-rattling and game-playing and work to find solutions in the best interests of people in the North.”