Speaking in the Assembly today, Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O’Neill said;
“I want to pay credit to Martin McGuiness.
“For over ten years, as deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness has worked tirelessly to make these institutions deliver for all our people, unionist, national and everyone else in our society. He took a leadership role to promote equality, respect, and reconciliation. His record, his commitment and the limitless energy he has brought to this process is beyond question.
“During that time, he has faced threats, a lack of respect and a failure by the DUP to reciprocate his trojan efforts.
“He persevered, because it was the right thing to do.
“The DUP have treated these institutions and sections of the community with contempt and arrogance.
“They have displayed disrespect towards women, the LGB&T community, ethnic communities and the Irish language and identity. That has diminished the institutions.
“The RHI scandal was created by the former First Minister when she was in the Economy Dept. Her refusal to step aside shows a total disregard for the the concerns and outrage of the public.
“Martin McGuinness resigned as deputy First Minister. That was the right thing to do.
“We will not tolerate the arrogance and disrespect of the DUP.
“Sinn Féin will not tolerate financial scandal, incompetence, or waste of public money.
“The Institutions can only function with the support of the people and can only operate on the basis of equality and respect.
“Sinn Féin will only be part of institutions which work and deliver for all in the community.
“There can be no return to the status quo.
“If something is broken, you stop and you fix it. That is the Sinn Fein approach.
“Today Sinn Féin will not re-nominate for the position of deputy First Minister.
“Sinn Féin has honoured all agreements, we have striven to make these institutions work.
“Martin McGuinness has acted at all times with integrity, dignity and respect. He has taken personal and political risks to build a process of reconciliation.
“If we are to return to this chamber then there must be real change. There must be respect and equality for all sections of our people.
“These institutions must operate to the highest standards, with no place for arrogance, or malpractice.
“It is now over to the people to have their say.”