The DUP’s Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson has responded to comments made by Sinn Fein Dail Leader Caoimhghin O’Caolain where he threatens that Sinn Fein will pull its Ministers out the Executive. Responding to the Sinn Fein comments Mr. Donaldson said,
“This outburst from Sinn Fein’s Southern leader, overflowing with threatening language, is not in anyway constructive or helpful. Indeed, I would suggest that it would be more befitting for O’Caolain to keep his focus on Sinn Fein’s affairs in the South and leave issues pertaining to Northern Ireland to those who are elected here to deal with them.
Whilst the DUP has made it clear to the Sinn Fein leadership that we are committed to working through outstanding issues and bringing them to a resolution, such language, as has been used by this Sinn Fein representative, begins to cast significant doubt on Sinn Fein’s commitment to making progress in Stormont.
The DUP’s position on the devolution of Policing and Justice has always been crystal clear. O’Caolain well knows, as it was made very clear on the last day at St Andrews, that the May date, for the transfer of Policing powers, was a target date put forward by the Government and the Irish. Indeed, the DUP made it very clear on that occasion that we had not agreed to any date for the transfer of these sensitive powers.
Progress on outstanding issues is based on there being sufficient community confidence to support any advancement. Sinn Fein can assist in the building of this confidence by their public display of commitment to Policing and the rule of law and their cooperation with the Police in apprehending those who continue to engage in acts of terrorism. However, the issuing of threatening statements suggesting that Sinn Fein Ministers will walk away unless their demands are met is not the way to make progress.
The DUP has said repeatedly that it is a unionist ideal to have the policing powers back in Stormont as it was our unionist forbearers who first exercised the powers in the building. Therefore our commitment to making progress, in keeping with our electoral pledges, cannot be questioned.”