Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has responded to the latest developments in Northern Ireland with dismay and says it emphasises the need for urgent intervention by both Governments.
Deputy Martin commented, “In common with everyone with an interest in Northern Ireland, I have watched developments in Belfast over recent days with growing dismay. I consider the decision of the leaders of unionism to withdraw from important talks, because of a Parades Commission determination, to be a symptom of profound political failure.
“Collapsing a talks process in protest at the decision of an independent statutory agency is not leadership. It offers nothing constructive for the people these leaders were elected to represent and serves only to further undermine public confidence in politics at a time of already dangerous disengagement.
“Fianna Fáil have been warning for some time that progress in Northern Ireland was being taken for granted and that the dominant political parties in the North were playing a dangerous game, appealing to their own electoral bases at the expense of any shared effort or vision.
“This latest development is, I fear, just the latest manifestation of that drift and underlines the urgency of a structured and energetic effort on the part of the Irish and British Governments to move the Northern process forward.
“Games are being played on all sides, and while the politicians play these games the ordinary people of Northern Ireland lose another little bit of confidence in their institutions and the entire process takes another step backwards.”