Belfast Telegraph

Dad wants 589 people to help mark Stormont's day of shame

By Lauren Harte

A Fermanagh man is leading the charge to get Northern Ireland's politicians back to work at Stormont after 18 months of deadlock by hosting a unique event in his home county.

Dylan Quinn, a father-of-four from Enniskillen, is using the power of social media to unite people into urging our MLAs to return to the Assembly chamber.

Northern Ireland has been without a functioning Executive since January 2017 and Dylan, a dancer, choreographer and businessman, says he is sick of the lack of political leadership.

He is organising an event for August 28, by which time Northern Ireland will hold the world record for being the longest running democracy without a government.

Previously, Belgium managed to function without an elected government for 589 days.

Dylan wants to bring 589 people together in Enniskillen on August 28 - one for every day we have been without a functioning government. He says it will be a colourful, inclusive and proactive event to say to politicians that "enough is enough".

"It's ridiculous and I know lots of other people are frustrated and feel that we are being let down by our politicians," he added.

"We have a health system, schools and an arts sector which are all struggling massively due to funding cuts.

"There's potholes all over the roads and we have no idea what's going to happen with Brexit and no-one speaking up for us."

Dylan said the event is intended to send a clear message to politicians that the ongoing impasse is unacceptable.

"There will be one person for every single day that we have not had a government, while our MLAs have been on full pay but not doing their jobs," he said.

"It's ludicrous that this limbo has been allowed to go on for so long.

"Our politicians need to get back to work and I want to tell them to do that by putting on pressure. I would really like people's help to make this happen and let them know that we deserve better."

Dylan's video appeal was posted on Facebook on Monday and has already been viewed over 100,000 times with multiple shares across social media. He hopes many others who are angry at the ongoing political limbo will take a similar stance by hosting events in other places.

"I'm doing this in Enniskillen but if anyone else wants to hold similar events in other towns that would be great to help build momentum," he added.

"This can only happen if people actually come together and make enough noise so our MLAs have to sit up and listen.

"I hope I succeed but even if I don't at least I'm trying to do something to say that I want the futures of myself and my kids looked after.

"I have this message for our politicians - stop mucking around and get back to work."

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