NUS-USI Say Civic Groups Could Deliver Talks Progress

NUS-USI President Fergal McFerran has said it’s crucial that there is no suspension of devolution, and that politicians must reflect carefully on their responsibility to provide mature and effective leadership.

NUS-USI President Fergal McFerran said, “I believe it’s time to acknowledge that despite the strong frustration felt by many due to the current stalemate, there is still a significant amount of good will from within civic society to do what we can to enable politicians to deliver agreement.

“Throughout our history, individuals and groups from across civic society have played an important role in contributing to our politics in a meaningful way. In the vacuum of leadership that we’re currently experiencing, there may well be an opportunity to be creative in allowing civic society to once again step up and play their part.

“I respect the mandate of each and every party and each and every MLA, but with those mandates come a responsibility to serve all of our people and an expectation that stable, devolved government is not just a possibility but must be a reality. As far as I’m concerned there is no alternative to devolution and whilst there are clearly substantial disagreements amongst some parties I believe those gaps can be bridged.

“We need to see a re-emergence of the brave, bold politics that delivered the Good FridayAgreement in 1998 to genuinely reinvigorate our journey to a truly reconciled society that allows us to all to work together to build a united community based on the values of cooperation and mutual respect.

“I sincerely hope, for the sake of the many thousands of students across Northern Ireland that I represent, that our politicians can find it within them to provide the mature and effective leadership needed to restore devolution,” said Fergal McFerran.