SF receives confirmation from Poots about the Irish language

Mary Lou MacDonald said Sean Fein has received assurances from new DDP leader Edwin Potts that he intends to introduce Irish-language legislation and all other salient elements of the re-sharing of power.

She met Mr. Potts in Belfast today, in their first face-to-face meeting since he was elected to succeed Arlene Foster.

MacDonald described the meeting at Stormont as «constructive.»

President Sinn Féin said she made it clear to Mr. Poots that she wanted to share power with the DUP’s business, stressing that it was «the only show in town».

Yesterday, Mr. Poots insisted that Stormont share the power he would not be in danger under his DUP.

He reiterated his intention to do away with Northern Ireland’s Brexit Protocol, but said he had “no intention whatsoever” to jeopardize the transfer of power.

In an interview with the Palestinian Authority News Agency, Mr. Potts said he wanted to see all outstanding commitments in the new decade, the New Approach deal that revived power-sharing in 2020 was honored, including legislation related to the Irish language and the full implementation of the military covenant in Northern Ireland.

Some within the unions and loyalties have suggested that the DUP be prepared to bring down the institutions if the new trading arrangements are not removed after Brexit.

The party has also faced calls to block the planned Irish language laws while the political deadlock over the protocol remains.

However, Mr. Poots said yesterday that he remains committed to all elements of the 2020 NDNA deal.

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MacDonald said it had received similar confirmations from the DUP leader designate on Wednesday.

«The new leader assured us that he and the incoming leadership intend to fulfill all the commitments of the new contract, and the new approach, all of them,» said Ms. MacDonald.

“Of course, this is what we expect and want it to be done in a timely manner, and there is nothing to be gained by delay.

«We signed these matters and God know we spent many months negotiating them. So the deal was sealed and now it is a matter of handover, but yeah, we talked about that, and we have been informed and reassured by the incoming leader that he strongly intends to introduce NDNA in its entirety.»

Speaking more broadly about the meeting with Mr. Potts, Ms. MacDonald said, «I’d like to describe the meeting as constructive. We have put to the new leader our strong desire to make politics work, to ensure the success of power-sharing.»

She said Northern Ireland faces «a plethora of challenges» as it emerged from the Covid-19 emergency, including repairing health services and rebuilding the economy.

«We believe these institutions can work for everyone,» added MacDonald.

«We believe power-sharing is the only symptom in town. It’s the only way we can do the right thing by all of the people we represent, and we know you need strong and constructive leadership to make it happen.»

«We are here to deliver exactly that.»

Read more:
NI Protocol «needs to be removed» – Edwin Potts
The government is concerned about the UK’s hostile rhetoric towards the NI Protocol

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