DUP attempts to rewrite history

Posted By: May 29, 2023


Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus


Members of Congress will find this Irish News editorial

insightful. I add this thought: Just as the American White

insurrectionists saw White Supremacy slip away; Protestants in Northern Ireland see Protestant Supremacy slip away …

But with this ironic difference: the White Supremacists occupied The Capitol, and the Protestant Supremacists vacated their “Capitol,” Stormont. —Fr. Sean McManus.

DUP attempts to rewrite history

Irish News. Editorial. Belfast. May 29, 2023.


Although there is a growing sense that a restoration of the Stormont executive is achievable in the short term, the latest intervention by the DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was a depressing reminder that his party’s stance remains surrounded by intransigence.

Sir Jeffrey sent a letter to the 122 DUP councilors who were returned just over a week ago which made the remarkable claim that the outcome of the local government election gave his party a mandate to maintain its opposition to the post-Brexit trade arrangements.

It will be remembered that, while the DUP’s share of the vote only marginally declined, it still managed to attract the support of less than 24 percent of the electorate.

Given that the overwhelming majority of councilors and MLAs want to see the immediate return of our devolved structures, it is bizarre that the DUP is able to veto any form of progress in the middle of an escalating economic crisis.

The wider trends from the election are unmistakable, with nationalists outpolling unionists at local government level for the first time in the history of the state.

Unionists won over 51 percent of council seats just nine years ago, but they dropped to 40 percent last week and their total vote was fully 20,000 behind the figure for nationalists.

It is certain that the gap will increase in the coming years, so there is an overwhelming case for the DUP to reflect on its ever-weakening status and reach some form of pragmatic accommodation with the non-unionist majority.

Instead, Sir Jeffrey seems intent on continuing to fight battles that have effectively been long since lost and claiming that the protocol deal “placed a barrier between us and the rest of the United Kingdom which is offensive to us as unionists.”

No matter how many times he attempts to re-write history, it has been well documented that senior figures in his party initially gave a firmly positive response to the protocol.

This was an entirely consistent response on their part, as they had so strongly and foolishly backed the Brexit debacle which made new trade arrangements inevitable.

It has been encouraging to find the debate moving in the direction of resolving the financial agreements which may facilitate a full revival of the Stormont administration, but ordinary people who are under enormous financial and other pressures cannot wait much longer for the assistance they so urgently need.