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'Butt out' Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams tells Secretary of State Theresa Villiers

And the SDLP have told the Secretary of State to "wake up and smell the coffee".

Published 08/07/2016

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers
Secretary of State Theresa Villiers

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has told Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to "butt out" after she dismissed a proposed all-Ireland forum to map a way through Brexit.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny proposed an All-Ireland Forum to look at the issue of Brexit.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny backing all-island forum to consider Brexit issues  

However Ms Villiers said she sees no reason to have such a body.

The DUP also rejected it.

Ms Villiers said co-operation between the Irish and British Governments alongside the Executive was vital adding that the the current North South Bodies were working well.

"I haven't seen a case for a fresh body to be added to the current structures," she said earlier on Friday.

Mr Adams has reacted with fury to Ms Villiers response, telling her to "butt out".

"The Brexit vote – which Theresa Villiers campaigned for – presents significant challenges for the people of the island of Ireland. Having contributed to the current crisis Theresa Villiers has no right to dictate to the Irish government and the rest of us how we should respond," he said.

"Ms Villiers lost the Brexit vote in the North. She should butt out. A National Forum is the right approach for all the people of Ireland – North and South ,if we are to minimise the likely damage that Brexit will bring with it."

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams calls for united Irish island
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams calls for united Irish island

Meanwhile SDLP West Belfast MLA Alex Attwood has claimed that the Secretary of State "just doesn’t get it".

"It is for the Irish government, political parties and people in Northern Ireland and Ireland to decide how best to respond to the EU referendum vote," he said.

"If that response includes a fresh structure to best protect the interests of the island, then well and good.

“That is just one of the reasons why the comments of the Secretary of State are ill-judged and high-handed. There are other reasons.

“The Secretary of State claims she sees no reason why a fresh structure is needed to respond to the Brexit threat. She and the London Government just don't get it."

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