Belfast Telegraph

Paisley's son hits out at Poots over his Sinn Fein insult

By Claire Williamson

A son of the late Ian Paisley has hit out at DUP Assemblyman Edwin Poots for saying his party "hold their noses" when doing business with Sinn Fein.

Former health minister Edwin Poots made the outburst during a debate on the BBC Nolan Live on Wednesday night.

Addressing Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey, Mr Poots said: "We do business with you because it is in the interest of Northern Ireland that we have peace in Northern Ireland. We hold our noses and do business with you.

"We do that because it is in the wider interest of Northern Ireland."

Mr Poots added: "I do not like doing business with Sinn Fein. I hold my nose about what has went on in the past about the activities of the IRA over 25 years, the murders that took place and there is a stench that still rises from that in many homes across Northern Ireland.."

In response, Mr Maskey said the DUP "have no choice" and said that Mr Poots was showing his "true colours".

He said: "The problem is you will work with Sinn Fein and you do work with Sinn Fein because Sinn Fein has a mandate, you have no choice.

"What I would rather you do is embrace power-sharing. I would much rather that your party and people like yourself would embrace the notion of equality and partnership and join in the institutions."

Kyle Paisley, one of the sons of former First Minister Ian who led the power-sharing Executive and was praised as the politician who cemented the peace process, said it was "rather disappointing" to hear the comments.

He told BBC Talkback: "For unionists to go into government with Sinn Fein and then talk about their partners in government in that sort of language, it makes unionism look bad."

He added: "And while Sinn Fein hold their patience on TV it makes them look good, and that's not good for unionism, it's not good for the electorate and the people who voted for them."

Belfast Telegraph


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