FF Senator warns against exaggerating signficance of Stormont deal

“Thank God they are not calling this one historic,” says Ned O’Sullivan

Fianna Fáil candidate Paschal Mooney: said he was glad the parties in the North had seen a little bit of reality. Photograph: Collins

Fianna Fáil candidate Paschal Mooney: said he was glad the parties in the North had seen a little bit of reality. Photograph: Collins

 

Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan has warned against exaggerating the significance of the new Stormont deal.

He said he would give it a cautious welcome. “Thank God they are not calling this one ‘historic’ as that word has been played out,” he added.

He said it was encouraging that the Irish Government had an input.

He asked: “But for how much longer will the two major parties in the North expect everybody else to stop everything and hold their hands when they are having another one of their problem stop-the-world-I- want-to-get-off fits?”

Mr O’Sullivan said real politicians were supposed to solve problems in a real way.

He said he was encouraged by “the signs of life” on the unionist side, while the change of leadership in the SDLP might reinvigorate politics generally.

Independent Senator Seán D Barrett said nostalgia in the Ulster Unionist Party for traditional opposition was misplaced.

“A power-sharing government is the way to proceed,” he added.

“Traditional opposition politics along the lines of the Westminster model was tried for 50 years and it did not work.”

Mr Barrett said the North was not a society needing an adversarial model.

Labour Senator Aideen Hayden said she had noticed the significant number of new “peace walls” when recently visiting a number of housing estates in Belfast.

“There is nothing more clear, more obvious or more evident of the continued existence of sectarianism than seeing a wall dividing two communities,” Ms Hayden added.

Fianna Fáil Senator Paschal Mooney said he was glad the parties in the North had seen a little bit of reality.