Monday 16 September 2019

John Downing: 'Strange bequest again puts the spotlight on 'do-nothing' Sinn Féin'


Keeping mum: Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Keeping mum: Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
John Downing

John Downing

That old maxim of "where there's a will there's a relative" has proved untrue on this occasion.

The tale of the strange bequest of £1.5m (€1.65m) by deceased Welsh mechanic William E Hampton, who died last year, tells us that where there's a will there's Sinn Féin. And the party's selective scruples allow it, as a United Kingdom party, to accept the windfall.

Its other and varied scruples will allow it to continue its boycott of the UK parliament at a time when 56pc of Northern Ireland voters are rendered voiceless in the Brexit debate. That one also allows their rivals in the Democratic Unionist Party to call all the shots for the people of the North with knock-on effects for rest of the island.

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And the party's strange political scruples will also allow it to continue the two-and-a-half-year boycott of the power-sharing structures in Belfast, which came from an investment of time and money from a wide variety of parties in Dublin, London, Washington and Brussels.

Its do-nothing approach to Brexit in London and Belfast will continue.

In this jurisdiction it will continue to pursue what it clearly deems the biggest political prize, a role in the Dublin government.

The other Dáil parties, which would not have been able to take the UK-based bequest, will look carefully at whether this money will be spent in the Republic in pursuit of that end. It absolutely should not be spent in this jurisdiction.

Fine Gael points out it had to turn down a €100,000 legacy from an English-based supporter. Smaller parties in the North can ponder the unfairness.

Irish Independent

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