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Stormont lacks leadership, says Dail minister Flanagan

By Liam Clarke

Published 16/07/2015

The Republic's Minister of Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan
The Republic's Minister of Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan

Northern Ireland politicians have been accused of "serial brinkmanship" and a lack of leadership by the Republic's Foreign Minister.

Charlie Flanagan was reporting on the situation in Northern Ireland after a Dail debate on the Ballymurphy massacre of 1971 in which Paratroopers shot dead 11 civilians.

Members of the Dail called for a British Government inquiry, although Mr Flanagan sided with London on other issues.

Last Christmas local parties concluded the Stormont House Agreement but it wasn't implemented because Sinn Fein felt it would not give enough protection to welfare claimants from UK cuts.

Mr Flanagan hit out at the Executive parties for stalling the process, saying: "The people of Northern Ireland deserve so much more than piecemeal compromises or halting progress. They deserve vision.

"For months, Northern Ireland has been mired in deadlock over the budgetary and financial commitments agreed at Stormont House... I understand how challenging it is to find the necessary compromises. But in government there are always constraints; there are always difficult choices to be made within limited resources," he said.

"What we have seen over the past few months is serial brinkmanship. Last-minute negotiation in the spotlight of another feigned crisis is not leadership at all... we cannot afford, and cannot allow, that level of political neglect."

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