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Sinn Fein does not have a lot to be proud of in Northern Ireland

Philip Ryan


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'Sinn Fein would have you believe Northern Ireland is a shining citadel perched in the top right-hand corner of the island. A beacon of prosperity and progressiveness.'

'Sinn Fein would have you believe Northern Ireland is a shining citadel perched in the top right-hand corner of the island. A beacon of prosperity and progressiveness.'

'Sinn Fein would have you believe Northern Ireland is a shining citadel perched in the top right-hand corner of the island. A beacon of prosperity and progressiveness.'

Sinn Fein would have you believe Northern Ireland is a shining citadel perched in the top right-hand corner of the island. A beacon of prosperity and progressiveness.

If only the political parties in the south would follow their example, then we, too, could live in similar utopian bliss.

Given the chance, Mary Lou McDonald will gladly show them the errors of their ways and transform the Republic, just as her party has changed Northern Ireland where they have been in power for more than 20 years - apart from the last three years when they decided not to be in power.

They did draw down their salaries, though, because they felt they deserved the money after creating such an ideal society with all the funding they received from the EU, the Tories and the Northern Ireland taxpayer.

Unfortunately, Northern Ireland is far from an ideal society and Sinn Fein does not have a lot to be proud of when it comes to two decades of power-sharing.

Take a recent report by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission which found more than a quarter of the UK's recent homeless deaths happened in Northern Ireland. The report found a shocking 205 homeless people died in Northern Ireland over an 18-month period.

Chief commissioner Les Allamby said the absence of the Executive for the past three years had taken its toll. "Rising poverty and homeless figures in Northern Ireland give cause for much concern," Mr Allamby said.

Try as you may, you won't find a statement from Sinn Fein's housing spokesperson Eoin O Broin condemning this indictment of his party colleagues.

Sinn Fein also tell us they are the only ones who can fix the Republic's health crisis so you would be forgiven for believing patients in Northern Ireland can walk into a hospital at any given time and be treated on the spot in their own private room.

The 108,582 people waiting longer than a year for a hospital appointment in Northern Ireland will tell you otherwise. And they are only a third of the 306,000 people waiting for their first appointment with a specialist.

When Northern Ireland's figures were published in December, Mark Jones from the Royal College of Surgeons said: "Northern Ireland's healthcare system is at the point of collapse."

Again, Sinn Fein's health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly did not see fit to issue a statement calling for a health emergency to be declared. She couldn't have called for the Health Minister to resign because there was none.

Three years earlier, the last Health Minister was none other than Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill, who has gone on to bigger and better things.

Yesterday, it emerged Sinn Fein was hiking up the state pension age in Northern Ireland to 66 while promising us all down here we could retire at 65.

Of course, the Tories are to blame for everything that doesn't work in Northern Ireland and poor Sinn Fein can only sit there and watch on in horror.

We are told voters in the Republic want change and Sinn Fein is trying to position itself as the protest vote party. But when you look at their record in Northern Ireland, it's hard to see how they are any different to the current lot down south.

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