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North – South boycotts hurt all communities – Richmond

15th October 2021 - Neale Richmond, TD

Continuing boycotts by DUP Ministers of vital meetings of the North – South Ministerial Council hurt all communities according to a Fine Gael TD.

Neale Richmond, the party spokesperson on European Affairs was reacting to the cancellation of further meetings of the North – Ministerial Council today (Friday) due to the non-attendance of the relevant DUP Minister, Edwin Poots.

Deputy Richmond said: “Once again we have seen a meeting of the North – South Ministerial Council cancelled due to the ongoing DUP boycott.

“Yesterday we saw a vitally important meeting of the North – South Ministerial Health Council proceed with the presence of Unionists. This was a productive and timely engagement when greater cooperation in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic is so important.

“However, the truculent approach of the DUP today is extremely damaging and benefits nobody.

“Not only have these continuing boycotts been deemed unlawful by the High Court in Belfast, they are a very clear display of poor faith by the DUP at a time when all politicians need to come together for the wider good.

“This week the European Commission made a series of extremely generous proposals to ensure the post Brexit protocol works more easily for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland. As those proposals are being discussed by EU and British officials, the least the DUP could do is show some good faith in return and start representing their electorate fully by attending North – South Ministerial Council meetings.

“How does today’s latest boycott benefit any farmer or fisher anywhere on this small island; be they a Unionist, Nationalist or other?” concluded Deputy Richmond.

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