Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein says 'rudderless DUP has no interest in restoring power-sharing'

By Gillian Halliday

Sinn Fein has said it is "no longer clear" who leads the DUP or "whether the party has the intention or ability" to resolve the ongoing political stalemate at Stormont.

In a blog post published last night on the political website, Sinn Fein national chairperson Declan Kearney accused the DUP of displaying "rudderless" political leadership and "disinterest" in the ongoing negotiations to restore the power-sharing institutions by a senior Sinn Fein figure.

The South Antrim MLA said those currently in charge of the DUP have "turned away from power-sharing" as its leadership lives in a "delusional bubble".

He referred to recent comments by Arlene Foster that the Good Friday Agreement could be altered to accommodate a Brexit deal, as well as her "outburst" on her opposition to any suggestion of a border down the Irish Sea when she referred to a "blood red line" as evidence of this.

"The overwhelming majority of republicans, nationalists, and many others, including sections of civic unionism, do not believe the DUP is serious about restoring genuine power-sharing," he said.

"The DUP leadership is constantly in denial about how society in Ireland views its sectarianism, homophobia, and toxic pact with the Tories."

Warning the DUP that it could not expect to return to an Executive while it continues to "oppose equality and rights" on social issues such as same-sex marriage and the Irish Language Act, Mr Kearney stressed that it must show accommodation on these issues.

"The wider nationalist constituency is fed up to the back teeth with the subversion of the political process by the DUP, the British Tory government and others in political unionism," he said.

Urging "whoever is in charge" of the DUP to do some soul searching, Mr Kearney said the party must address itself whether or not it can commit to a "shared future with republicans, nationalist and others".

"Unless, and until (it) can clearly answer these questions... it will remain exactly where it is now: out of power," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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