DUP Says Sinn Fein Must End Mixed Messages and Demonstrate Leadership
Speaking today Edwin Poots said: ‘The events of the weekend at Sinn Fein’s conference make public what many of us have been aware of for some time. That is the need for Sinn Fein to demonstrate clear leadership to its own membership and activists by ending the mixed messages coming from senior levels of the party.
“On the one hand Martin McGuinness did state that dissident republicans were ‘traitors’, but he then is happy to meet the Parole Commissioners calling for the release of dissident prisoners Marian Price and Martin Corry. These kind of mixed messages may explain why over a quarter of Sinn Fein activists surveyed were content to justify dissident republican violence and only 12% agreed that these terrorists were ‘traitors to Ireland’.”
Adding to these comments, Arlene Foster said: ‘Issues were raised in the Assembly today by the First Minister seeking clarity on the views held by the Sinn Fein candidate for the position of Deputy Speaker. Whilst these assurances were forthcoming they were only necessary because of the issues which arose from Sinn Fein’s own conference.
“The lack of leadership at the top of Sinn Fein has been evident in the absence of any effective response to nightly attacks on vulnerable communities such as those on the Fountain Estate in Londonderry. Republicans are always more than willing to pass comment on others, but this may simply be to distract from their own inaction and the clear splits they obviously face despite continual micro-management of their own party structures.
“The responsibility falls to those at the top of Sinn Fein to step forward and offer some leadership, not just to the entire community of Northern Ireland or to nationalist/republican voters, but to Sinn Fein’s own membership and activist base. The difficulty they appear to have in convincing their core supporters does not point towards an ability to move forward and deliver a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland.”