Monday 23 October 2017

Martin McGuinness: DUP's 'antipathy for all things Irish' is disappointing

Martin McGuinness Photo: PA
Martin McGuinness Photo: PA

Deborah McAleese

Martin McGuinness said that the DUP's "abysmal" response to the renewable heating scandal was the "last straw" for Sinn Fein.

He said he also felt disappointed by the DUP's "very clear antipathy towards the Irish language and all things Irish".

The former deputy first minister referred to an incident during Euro 2016 when Sinn Fein had asked the DUP if Arlene Foster would accompany him to a Republic of Ireland match and a Northern Ireland match. He claimed the party refused.

"I wasn't asking her to go to a 1916 commemoration or anything to do with the anniversaries of commemorations, but they refused. I ended up going to the Northern Ireland match and the Republic match. Arlene went to the Northern Ireland match.

"That certainly, coupled with other attitudes coming form the DUP, clearly shows that in relation to their willingness to respect that there are Irish people here in the north, whose allegiances, some to both teams, but probably most to the republic. They weren't prepared to reach out. I find it all particularly disappointing.

Mr McGuinness added that his "passionate hope" in the aftermath of the elections is that the DUP will recognise "there is no going back to the status quo."

"There has to be a fundamental change of attitudes.

"I still think a big effort needs to be made to get an agreement which is solid and shows that people in the DUP and British Government are prepared to ensure there are no more allegations of financial scandals within the administration and there's an administration that is truly committed to the whole concept of equality and parity of esteem."

Belfast Telegraph

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