And they don’t speak for us the (majority) and are unable to make any deals with any British Prime Minister!!!
The North of Ireland’s DUP party has urged UK prime minister Boris Johnson to seek a time-limit to the Irish “backstop” in exchange for an all-Ireland food customs regime, the Irish edition of the Sunday Times reported. “The DUP has urged Johnson to seek a time-limit to the backstop, somewhere between three and six years, as a quid pro quo for a pact on food,” it reported, without citing sources.
With many thanks to the: Euobserver for the original story
As Irish language activists brought their protest for an Irish language act to the steps of Stormont, the three main unionist parties stressed that sufficient protection was already in place.
Friday’s protest follows an open letter earlier this week, signed by 200 civic, political and sporting figures and published in the Irish News, calling on both the UK and Irish prime ministers to take “resolute action” on Irish language.
The Ulster Unionists, DUP and TUV have all spoken out against having further legal obligations placed on public bodies in terms of making provision for Northern Ireland’s small number of Irish speakers.
Immediately following yesterday’s protest, a DUP spokesman said: “We recognise that Irish is important to some people but schools and hospitals matter to everyone. That’s why Sinn Fein should lift their blockade of the Assembly so we can progress issues which matter to everyone.”
The spokesman added: “The Irish language is already supported through public funds. Irish culture and language should not be elevated above any other culture in NI. We want a fair and balanced deal.”
Doug Beattie of the UUP said his party has “respect” for the language and its cultural contribution, and added: “It is part of our shared culture and identity and should be respected and cherished.”
However, he added: “All commitments under the Belfast Agreement have been met. Nobody is prevented from learning and speaking Irish and it is well provided for in terms of public funding. We do not believe there is the need for an Irish language act but that does not mean we do not support the language community.”
The TUV is also opposed to new legislation, with a spokesman saying that “Northern Ireland already provides Irish medium schooling at a cost to the public purse of £20m per year”.
He said the republican call for “equality” has already been shown to be “the Trojan horse of the entire republican strategy,” and added: “There would be discrimination against non-Irish speakers when it came to employment, particularly in the legal profession and civil service.”
Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill said the message of a growing demand for an Irish language act was being heard “loud and clear”.
The party’s NI leader said: “Sinn Fein will continue to support the campaign for an Acht Gaeilge which includes rights and legal protections for Irish speakers in the north, just as exists elsewhere on these islands.”
With many thanks to the: Belfast News Letter and Mark Rainey for the original story
MP apology over Orange Order comparison to dissidents
An MP has said it was not his intention to conflate the violent activities of dissident republicans with the Orange Order or the Apprentice Boys of Derry while making a statement in the Commons.
It comes after concerns were raised about the MP’s comments by DUP MP Gregory Campbell.
Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney said organisations such as Saoradh — the political wing of the so-called ‘new IRA’ which claimed responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee — the Apprentice Boys and the Orange Order were “the only barriers to peace”.
He made the comments as Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley updated the Commons on the latest talks aimed at breaking the political impasse and restore the devolved institutions.
He said as part of the post Good Friday Agreement generation, he found many were “bemused and offended” by the intransigence of the Northern Ireland political impasse.
He told MPs there needed to be more “temperate language” from both sides as they tried to find compromise in order to reach an agreement.
He said: “In raising my concerns about Saoradh taking part in a parade in Glasgow this weekend — which did take place in the end — I was confronted by people who questioned all sorts of motives. The lack of faith, the lack of trust on either side.
“Whether I call out the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys of Derry intimidating Catholics at prayer in Glasgow, whether it’s organisations like Saoradh bringing their toxic politics and violence to the city of Glasgow. I call out both sides, because they are the only barriers to peace.
“We a bit need more temperate language from both sides and an understanding that, to paraphrase Mo Mowlam, if both sides are willing to compromise, we will get a good outcome.
“That is the way ahead. We need to understand that no one will get everything they want out of these negotiations.”
Saoradh are a different order of violence from anything that has taken place.
The comments caused DUP MP Gregory Campbell to raise his concerns.
“When criticising — quite rightly, in the view of many, many people — the actions of Saoradh, the political wing of murdering terrorists, but he made an oblique comparison with that group of, as I say, murdering terrorists with others who walk on the streets such as the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys.
“That should not go unanswered, and it should be totally and utterly condemned by all right-thinking people.”
Mr Sweeney again took to his feet in the chamber to address Mr Campbell’s comments.
“It was not my intention in making that statement to conflate the motives of those organisations,” he added.
“I was merely reflecting my constituents’ concerns, as brought to me, about the intimidation that has taken place in the city of Glasgow, as they see it. I was merely reflecting that. I was not conflating violent acts with anything else.
“I abhor the actions of Saoradh, they are a different order of violence from anything that has taken place involving any other organisation in recent times. It was not my intention to cause that degree of offence.
“If it has been received in that way, I beg your forbearance for that it was not my intention.
“It is important that both sides understand each other if we want to reach a compromise — that was merely my intention in raising those concerns. I have had dialogue with both sides on that issue.”
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Jonathan Bell for the original story