The Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has sought a commitment from the Taoiseach to hold urgent talks with the British Prime Minister in order to address the deteriorating political situation in Northern Ireland.  His call follows the news that the Ulster Unionist Party plans to withdraw its minister from the power sharing Executive following the murders of Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison and Kevin McGuigan.

Deputy Martin commented, “The decision of the UUP to withdraw its minister from the Executive is deeply regrettable.  It confirms Fianna Fáil’s concerns about the seriousness of the situation facing the Northern Ireland institutions.  This latest development comes following a series of escalating problems.  It follows the failure of parties to implement the Stormont House Agreement, very serious allegations about the sale of NAMA’s loan book in the north, the vicious murder of two people in Belfast and the confirmation by the PSNI Chief Constable that the Provisional IRA continues to maintain a command structure and that members of the PIRA may have been involved in the murder of Mr McGuigan.

“Fianna Fáil rejects Sinn Féin’s repeated slur that those who raise questions about their behaviour are motivated variously by anti-peace process sentiment, electoral consideration or assorted other negative agendas.  We have been raising these issues consistently over recent years because we believe passionately in the peace process and we are determined to hold those who threaten it to account.

“Too many people have put too much into the peace process over too long a time period to allow the Northern institutions to simply unravel.  The peace process belongs to no individual parties, but to the entire nation.  It is important therefore that the Taoiseach move quickly to give a statement on the situation and to confirm an early meeting the British Prime Minister David Cameron.”