Belfast Telegraph

Fed up... cut their pay now.. it's sickening: Northern Ireland public's verdict on failed talks

By Ben Tucker and Mark Edwards

The Belfast Telegraph took to the streets to see what the public thought after talks to return Northern Ireland's devolved institutions failed once again.

Sinn Fein and the DUP have blamed each other for the failure of the Stormont talks, with the UK Government now under pressure to introduce direct rule.

The two main political parties have been unable to come to an agreement, with the Irish language act being one of the main sticking points preventing any deal.

With Stormont being suspended for 13 months now, we asked the people of Belfast just what they think of our political leaders, and it is clear they are not happy.

Sarah said: “They [MLAs] are being paid and they just don’t seem to be able to get along.

"It is quite exasperating that we seem to be back at the same point that we were before all those years ago. I am absolutely fed up of it, people need to ask serious questions as to whether they are doing their jobs properly or not.

“If these people up at Stormont were in the private sector, they would be far more serious questions asked than have been asked so far.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster (right) and Sinn Fein’s Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Stuart said: “It is sickening to have a so-called government that can’t do anything. I just think it is ridiciously.”

While Paul said: “My son is a doctor, my daughter is a pharmacist and my other boy is a quantity surveyor and they just want to get on with their lives and they want to live in peace with the other community.

"Politically, I won’t vote for any of them [parties]. I think they [MLAs] should pay back the money that they have been getting.”

Brian, said he did not vote for the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

He added: “They [Sinn Fein] are making this Irish language an issue but nobody is stopping them from speaking Irish, learning Irish, doing anything they want in Irish.

“But they don’t have to impose it on anybody.”

One man said: “Both sides aren’t trying to do what the other side wants and it is just going to keep going and going. If it stays like this, a year from now we still be in the same situation, unless some does something.”

One Belfast woman said: “I think it is an absolute disgrace and they should cut there money. If it was anybody else they would be out on their ears, so why should they be getting paid for doing nothing?”

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