Commenting upon the report that the attempt by Lord Cranborn to bring about cross-party Unionist agreement has failed, Alliance Spokesman Dr Philip McGarry has said that the last thing that Northern Ireland needs is either pan-unionism or pan-nationalism.
Dr McGarry said:
“The only way we shall achieve a real and lasting peace is to bring about an agreement that heels the bitter divide in our society. For this to come about moderate Unionists have a duty to come to an accommodation with moderate Nationalists and vice-versa. However, if instead nationalists continue to line up together and Unionists seek further Unionist Unity then all that will be achieved will be a deepening of division.”
Councillor David Ford, Alliance General Secretary, has described the procedures for the privatisation of Belfast International Airport as ‘disgraceful’.
David Ford, who is Councillor for the Aldergrove area, said: “It is clear that the sell-off was carried out in the interests of Conservative dogma, not in the interests of local people. The procedures which cost the public purse £50 million were disgraceful.
“I am also worried about the attitude of the present Government I don’t want to hear Lord Dubs blame the Treasury, rather than the DoE. I want to hear him say that Labour will stop all such sales.
“Lord Dubs is responsible for a huge range of public services including water. Will he give a commitment to stop the policy of selling of such assets?”
Alliance leader, Lord Alderdice, has paid tribute to Dick Spring, who has just announced his resignation as leader of the Irish Labour Party.
Lord Alderdice said, “I have worked with Dick Spring on and off for about ten years now, and find him a man of great ability and energy. I very much enjoyed his wry sense of humour and inevitably found meetings with him interesting, enjoyable and worthwhile. I have the greatest of respect for him and his ability and his loss as Labour leader will undoubtedly be the gain of wherever he chooses to take his future career. I believe that history will judge him not only one of the most influential but also one of the more positive influences in Irish politics in his generation.”
East Antrim Alliance Forum Member, Alderman Sean Neeson, has condemned the weekend attack on the home of SDLP councillor Danny O’Connor.
Mr Neeson says, “Any such attack must be condemned as an attack on democracy itself, which was undoubtedly carried out by mindless thugs. I would appeal to the local community to assist police in ending this type of sectarian attack that has surfaced in the Larne area.”