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I support direct rule as a last resort – Claire Sugden MLA

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Claire Sugden
Claire Sugden

‘The beginning of the week gave much hope that compromise would be reached to enable Northern Ireland to move forward after 13 awful months without political leadership.

Today we are again left desolate by the main political parties and bereft of any hope that we will have a locally, serving government who best understands the needs of the people of this wonderful country.

It is contemptible in the 20th year of the Good Friday Agreement that we are unable to overcome the smallest differences in the face of the bigger problems within our public services. A generation later we should be uniting, respecting one another and realising our dark past is behind us. Instead the politics of fear has gripped us tighter.

The Good Friday Agreement stopped the violence but it didn’t reconcile the people. It has ensured just enough distance to keep us apart. A new phase is needed to stimulate genuine respect and appreciation of the differences that enrich us.

I support direct rule as a last resort. Public services in Northern Ireland have suffered because we had direct rule for so long. Devolution is our best option. We cannot, however, continue without any governance and HM Government has responsibility to ensure NI public services are sustained. Decisions following today’s news must be made quickly and the Secretary of State should not allow further posturing.

God Bless Northern Ireland.’

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