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Stormont is a farce so board it up, says ex-MLA Francie Brolly

By Leona O'Neill

A former MLA has launched a blistering attack on Stormont, describing it as "nothing but a load of hot air" and saying it should be "boarded up".

Francie Brolly (79) said he had no regrets over resigning from Sinn Fein and that if he could live his life over again he wouldn't pick politics.

He said Stormont was "just listening to a load of nonsense" until "the clock whizzed around to home time".

The veteran republican, who was a Limavady councillor before becoming East Londonderry MLA between 2003 and 2010, was speaking at an anti-abortion event in Derry's City Hotel.

He resigned in February after Sinn Fein voted to extend access to abortion last year.

The move came two years after his wife Anne, also a former councillor in Limavady, also resigned over the party's stance on terminations.

Mr Brolly said life in Stormont was "an awful experience".

"I have no regrets leaving Sinn Fein," absolutely none," he said.

"There just came a time to go. I could have left sooner.

"My thinking was do I stay in and try and change things from the inside or do I leave? But eventually it became impossible to change anything, you know how hardline they are.

"So I left and I am very happy. It means I don't have to worry that I'm toeing a party line, I do my own thing."

Mr Brolly said one thing he did regret was getting involved in politics in the first place.

He added: "If I had to live my life over again I wouldn't have run for election in the first place. It was an awful experience.

"It's not my kind of life, really.

"I was driving up and down to Stormont four days a week for nothing, really.

"I was listening to a lot of nonsense just. And that is what it is.

"It's all just hot air and little pages of stuff that some civil servant has written out for some little man and he gets up and reads it off and sits down again.

"And someone else gets up and reads off his bit.

"Everyone is just waiting for the clock to whizz round so you can get home. That is politics for you."

There has not been a functioning Executive for 15 months after Sinn Fein walked out over the DUP's handling of the RHI scandal.

Mr Brolly said that the political impasse had drained any hopes of moving forward and he did not envisage an end to the deadlock any time soon.

"I can't really see Stormont coming back, certainly not in the form that it was intended with the Good Friday Agreement," he added.

"The longer it lies dormant the less likelihood there is of it coming back.

"It's probably, in fact, time for boarding up the place."

Belfast Telegraph

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