Peninsula Alderman, Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the Minister for Political Development’s forthright assurances given to Councillors at last week’s meeting with Ards Borough Council members. Even though Mr Paul Murphy is not long in office, he seems to have a real grasp of the problems associated with Northern Ireland, from the underfunding of health and education, to the need for more local involvement in running Northern Ireland’s affairs.
Alderman McCarthy, as the Alliance representative for Strangford constituency at the Castle Buildings talks, has been in regular discussion with Mr Murphy, and said that the Minister’s response to the varied questions put to him set out in clear terms what we all have to do to reach an agreement. Mr Murphy explained that the most important part of the present political discussions is the agreed setting up of a Northern Ireland Assembly, representative of all parties where locally elected people can have responsibility for running the affairs of Northern Ireland.
There also has to be a good constructive and workable arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and the third element of the discussions must be the relationship between Ireland and Britain.
Mr Murphy reiterated once again that the Principle of Consent of the people of Northern Ireland was paramount and it is up to the elected representatives of the people to work together to bring about consensus. If and when that agreement comes about, Mr Murphy and his other ministers and go home, and Northern Irish politicians can exercise their responsibilities by running the affairs of Northern Ireland in a fair and equitable manner.
Alderman McCarthy hoped that all council members will play their part in supporting Mr. Murphy and his colleagues to bring about a resolution of our problems.