Nelson McCausland has no regrets over refusing to shake hands with Mairtin O Muilleoir

Posted By: February 24, 2017

Distributed by Irish National Caucus
“Almost every day, it seems, the DUP is determined to demonstrate its Anti-Catholic credentials. Here is another boorish and ugly example where a DUP leader refuses to shake hands with the respected  Minister of Finance and publisher of the Irish Echo, Mairtin O’Muilleoir. Just imagine a white Member of Congress refusing to shake the hand of an African Member of Congress, and you get the picture.
Unfortunately, for as long as newspapers like the Belfast Telegraph continue to, in effect, cover up Anti-Catholic bigotry, there will be little progress. Again, just imagine if the Washington Post  condoned  anti-Black conduct, and you get the picture. 
When our Animated Internet video ( states that some Protestants still do not accept Catholics as equal, Arlene Foster and the Belfast Telegraph charged we were lying and being sectarian! The video—while acknowledging the progress— states: ‘There is still deep-rooted Anti-Catholic bigotry in Northern Ireland. A significant  section of the Unionist/Protestant community resents sharing power with Catholics (Nationalists and Republicans) because they have never accepted Catholics as equals.’ The Belfast Telegraph in an Editorial screamed: “Irish National Caucus lies must be challenged.” (January 29, 2016).
And yet, here, again, is further proof of how the Belfast Telegraph just refuses to accept what every honest, informed person knows: ugly Anti-Catholicism is still very much present in a significant  section of Northern Ireland.”
—Fr. Sean Mc Manus

The DUP’s Nelson McCausland

News Letter. Belfast.Thursday, February 23, 2017

The DUP’s Nelson McCausland has said he does not regret refusing to shake the Sinn Fein finance minister’s hand during a televised election debate.

Mr. McCausland claimed he had been left “angry and disappointed” by a number of comments made by Mairtin O Muilleoir during the program and that to accept a handshake at that time would have been disingenuous.

He also accused Mr. O Muilleoir of offering his hand “for show”.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long described the incident as “playground behavior” and said it “does not inspire confidence” that the DUP and Sinn Fein will be able to work together after the election.

The DUP and Sinn Fein assembly candidates were participants in a Nolan Live election debate broadcast on Wednesday.

Towards the end of the show Mr. O Muilleoir attempted to shake hands with Mr. McCausland, however, the DUP man refused.

M.r O Muilleoir later Tweeted: “Never refuse the opponent’s open hand after a contest no matter how deep the divisions or impassioned the debate.”

However, Mr. McCausland said: “Mairtin O Muilleoir is a man who does things for effect. He was doing it for show.”

He added: “It is not a question of respect. I am not averse to shaking hands with anyone. At that moment I was angry and disappointed and was reflecting on what he had said. In particular, he said ‘[n Sinn Fein, we believe in live and let live.”
“For 30 years the IRA murdered people and many republicans eulogized in the crimes. Those people weren’t allowed to live so it was very hypocritical to say that.”

Mr. McCausland continued: “I was also concerned about the finance minister’s numeracy skills.

“He said the Gay Pride parade was the biggest parade in Belfast. I think when you count participants and supporters nothing in the city of Belfast could rival the Twelfth of July.”

Ms. Long said that the deterioration of the relationship between the DUP and Sinn Fein over the past few months was clear to see.

The Alliance assembly candidate added: “This sort of playground behavior is beyond pathetic and does not inspire confidence these two parties will be able to resume a civil partnership after March 2.”