Irwin: Assembly recall is 'no stunt'

Irwin: Assembly recall is 'no stunt'

DUP MLA for Newry and Armagh, William Irwin

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Newry & Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin has told the Ulster Gazette that the recall of the Assembly is "not a stunt".

Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O'Neill and the SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood, have both criticised the recall.

But Mr Irwin has said that he was angered by other parties using such language, given the motion has been tabled to discuss the looming and concerning abortion law changes.

He said, “Make absolutely no mistake about it, the proposed changes to our protective abortion laws in Northern Ireland is one of the most concerning issues to arise in the Province in recent times. I firmly believe in the necessity of protecting the life of the unborn.

“The level of contact I have received from the public, very clearly articulating a major objection to these law changes, has been unprecedented. It is an absolute undisputable fact that the DUP did not collapse the Assembly and it is an undisputable fact that the DUP is ready to make Monday’s sitting of the Assembly the start of a new term – we have no preconditions."

He added, “Sinn Fein have already admitted that they are refusing to go back to the Assembly due to Brexit and the DUP’s active participation in the Westminster Government. Their reasons for failing to return to the Assembly change almost weekly. Bear in mind Sinn Fein take their salaries and expenses from Westminster yet refuse to take any active role in the House of Commons.

"This theme of ‘non-participation’ yet taking full use of tax-payers expenses is continuing with their Assembly boycott based on the ridiculous premise that the DUP are active at Westminster.”

He concluded, “The Assembly blockade cannot be justified and the people of Northern Ireland are clearly demanding a return of the institutions. By taking our seats in the Chamber on Monday the DUP will be very clearly showing our intent and willingness to get back to legislating for the people of Northern Ireland.”

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