High Court judgement ’embarrassing indictment of the DUP’ – O’Neill

Speaking on today’s High Court judgement on the DUP Boycott of the North-South Ministerial Council Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O’Neill MLA described it as “an embarrassing indictment of the DUP and their continued juvenile antics in the Executive.”

Michelle O’Neill said;

“The DUP declared publicly that they are engaged in a political boycott of North-South Ministerial Council meetings in protest at the Brexit Protocol. 

“Today the high court stated that they cannot force DUP Ministers to act in good faith who are wilfully disregarding the rule of law and in breach of the ministerial code of conduct through their boycott of the North-South Ministerial Council.  The court acknowledges that the DUP is in plain breach of their obligations. 

“This is an embarrassing indictment of the DUP and their continued juvenile antics in the Executive. 

“Respect and support for the rule of law and the proper functioning of government in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement is paramount to the operation of our democratic institutions. 

“The High Court declared in October that the First Minister and his DUP colleagues are acting unlawfully by failing to participate in meetings of the North-South Ministerial Council. This fact has not changed. 

“It’s time for the DUP to get back to work and to respect and support the rule of law, and stop impeding the business of Government on behalf of the people and taxpayers who pay their salaries.

“For my part, I have consciously acted in good faith, seeking to act jointly in ministerial office and ensure that meetings have been convened in order to ensure progress is made on key areas of cross-border co-operation around public services, investment and securing wider benefits for citizens and taxpayers.

“The DUP inaction on North-South meetings, and their continued threats to walk away from power-sharing in protest at the Protocol, in the middle of an unprecedented health crisis, represents nothing short of political neglect and cowardice towards wider society and public opinion in the North.”

ENDS/CRIOCH —