A Cavan-Monaghan TD has hit out at the comments of outgoing Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster, who branded the resignation by power-sharing counterpart Martin McGuinness as "not principled" and "purely political".“Anyone who knows Martin McGuinness, who has engaged with him, must unshakaingly acknowledge that he has been a useful, personable and committed person in terms of working for the betterment of all sections of society," stated Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Sinn Féin Deputy for this region.
Mr McGuinness announced on Monday afternoon last, January 9, that he was resigning as Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive in protest at the DUP's handling of the controversial so-called 'Cash for Ash' scheme, which has reportedly left the Stormont executive facing a projected £490m bill.
"He has put it up to Arlene Foster and this negative disposition towards the general Republican and Nationalist community in the North, their identity, hopes and aspirations is no longer acceptable. Whatever future relationship there will be and there must be, it can only be held together with parity of esteem and respect for the equal rights of all who encompass that part of Ireland," Deputy Ó Caoláin told The Anglo-Celt.
Meanwhile, fellow constituency TD, Fianna Fail's Brendan Smith has expressed his serious disappointment with recent developments in relation to the Northern Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence, said: "The imminent fall of the present Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly is a very retrograde step for this country. It comes at a time when politicians in Northern Ireland and indeed throughout all of this island need to be focused on the day to day issues facing our people and also on the major issues that will arise due to Brexit."
Deputy Smith added that the recent developments in Northern Ireland again impede the All Ireland approach to Brexit needed to counteract the many challenges that will arise for all of this island over the next number of years.