Uachtarán Shinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald TD has wished Jeffrey Donaldson well in his role as leader of the DUP and said that at the centre of their discussions next week will be the issue of genuine power-sharing.
The Sinn Féin President said:
“I want to wish Jeffrey Donaldson well in his role as leader of the DUP and look forward to meeting with him next week
“At the centre of our discussions will be the issue of power-sharing. If he is up for real partnership with the other parties in the Executive then he will find willing partners in Sinn Féin. As I said last week – we want to see functioning political institutions. But institutions whose success is measured, not in the ability to stay afloat but in the impact they have on citizens’ lives. That means an Executive and an Assembly that guarantee and promotes rights, that deliver strong public services and that develops our economy, drives opportunity and protects workers’ rights
“Jeffrey has spoken of his desire to be an inclusive leader and many across society, including women, the LGBT+ community and those with an Irish identity, will be watching to see what that means in practice. But we have been very clear that we will not stand by while the rights of anyone in society are denied. Equality and respect need to be at the cornerstone of all that we do.
“There also needs to be an acceptance of the reality that the protocol is not going anywhere. It is essential and contains necessary protections for farmers, businesses and manufacturers. Solutions to the outstanding issues can be found but only through good faith engagement and use of the Joint Committee.
“Endangering the stability of any of the political institutions will not lead to solutions and it would be folly of the DUP to go down that road.
“Our focus is on working to deliver good government to provide more jobs, more homes and a better health service and it is my hope that will be the focus of all Executive Ministers.” ENDS/CRÍOCH