Last quote about Northern Ireland
All quotes about Northern Ireland
We now have a short window of opportunity to resolve outstanding issues and for an executive to be formed. Everyone owes it to the people of Northern Ireland to grasp that and provide the political leadership and stability that they want. On timing, there are a short few weeks in order to resolve matters.
We are just disappointed that Sinn Fein did not come to the talks in the same spirit as we came to the talks. We are standing firm - previous agreements need to be implemented. We came at the negotiations with the right attitude, wanting to make the institutions work, wanting to deliver for all citizens. Unfortunately, the DUP maintained their position in relation to blocking equality, delivery of equality for citizens - that was the problem.
We came at the negotiations with the right attitude, wanting to make the institutions work, wanting to deliver for all citizens. Unfortunately, the DUP maintained their position in relation to blocking equality, delivery of equality for citizens – that was the problem.
It is particularly concerning that a vacuum in devolved government in Northern Ireland should now be occurring just as the island of Ireland faces up to the many serious challenges represented by the UK exit from the EU. In these circumstances, all concerned must redouble efforts to achieve the re-establishment of power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, which is so plainly in the interests of all its citizens.
Negotiations will only ever be successful when parties are prepared to be flexible in order to secure outcomes. To date, there was little to suggest that Sinn Féin want to secure agreement. The DUP stands ready to continue to discuss how we can secure new arrangements for Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that means fully respecting, and indeed strengthening, the devolution settlements. But never allowing our Union to become looser and weaker, or our people to drift apart. And it says this: that when this great union of nations - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - sets its mind on something and works together with determination, we are an unstoppable force.
Three weeks ago the people of Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly for effective, devolved, power-sharing government. Since then I have been working intensively with the political parties and with the Irish Government to find a way forward, including putting forward a number of proposals. I am determined to see a functioning Executive in place at Stormont. I have spoken to the Prime Minister and this remains the UK Government's priority. This is the necessary first step to addressing the issues of greatest public concern – health, education and other public services in Northern Ireland.
The DUP was ready to form a new administration without pre-conditions so as to allow us to have a budget and to deal with the many matters that currently face the people of Northern Ireland. Throughout the course of Saturday Sinn Fein behaved as if they were the only participants whose mandate mattered. This cannot and will not be the basis for a successful outcome.
And it says this: that when this great union of nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – sets its mind on something and works together with determination, we are an unstoppable force.
While regrettable, the reality is that sufficient progress was not achieved in the time available to form a new executive.
This is a critical time for Northern Ireland. We are on the cusp on the triggering of Article 50 by the British Government.
How a person's journey started is of course important, but it is how it finishes which is actually more important.
Today I will travel to Londonderry to attend the funeral of former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Having worked with Martin McGuinness for almost a decade, I want to pay my respects to his family on the occasion of his death. He was a complex character but anyone who talked with him will know that he was devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren. Regardless of where we were in the world or who we were meeting, Martin would always speak of getting home and of his family.
Martin played an immeasurable role in bringing about peace in Northern Ireland, and it's that peace we all want to endure.
There are people in this church today whose presence would have been unthinkable only a generation ago. They have forged working relationships with Martin McGuinness; they have built friendships with him; they have occupied Stormont's benches alongside him. Some have even sat in government with him. You are all very, very welcome. The word journey has been used by many people in recent days to describe Martin's transition from man of war to man of peace. The word journey is also used frequently to describe the believer as he or she lives life on the way to union with God.
The presence of those political rivals and opponents among you, who have come to pay their respects this afternoon, is the most eloquent testimony to the memory of Martin McGuinness. When you seek his monument, you – by your presence – are his monument.
Having worked with Martin McGuinness for almost a decade, I want to pay my respects to his family on the occasion of his death.
Fermanagh and Omagh council's decision to open a book of condolence in Enniskillen for Martin McGuinness is hurtful to the families that his IRA murdered on Remembrance Sunday 1987.
He did not, as some have suggested, have a Damascene conversion: he believed in a united Ireland. Sinn Féin is more determined than ever to deliver that goal. The death of my friend and comrade Martin McGuinness has left a deep void. It is a huge blow to all of us who knew and loved him, especially his wife and family. Martin was an extraordinary human being. Funny, caring, a committed family man, a keen fisherman, an enthusiast for all kinds of sport from cricket to hurling. He loved Derry. The city – along with his wife, Bernie, his family and his mother, Peggy – moulded him into the complex, compassionate, warm, human being he was.
The world of politics and the people across this island will miss the leadership he gave, shown most clearly during the difficult times of the peace process, and his commitment to the values of genuine democracy that he demonstrated in the development of the institutions in Northern Ireland. As president of Ireland, I wish to pay tribute to his immense contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland -- a contribution which has rightly been recognised across all shades of opinion.
With him the truth has died and that's the big problem. There are so many families here and in Northern Ireland he could have had information on, but with him the truth has died for many of these families and that is sad. People are piling the praise on him but it isn't valid. He didn't come forward with the truth.
I'm very aware of the fact that Martin McGuinness had questions to answer in relation to the Claudy bomb, there were questions over the Enniskillen bomb and he also had questions to answer in relation to the death of Frank Hegarty. There are people who never got their answers.
Martin McGuinness has taken to the grave the truth and the answers that we need to be able to move forward. He knows who bombed Enniskillen. Initially my thoughts and prayers go out to the Enniskillen victims. I will always remember Martin McGuinness as the terrorist he was. If he had been repentant my thoughts might have been slightly different. There was no remorse or repentance from him even up to his death.
I am so sorry for all the innocent victims of Northern Ireland because we will never, never get the true story. Martin McGuinness chose to be a terrorist, he chose to go into government, he chose to take the bomb and bullet. My parents never had a choice - they died and we will never get justice.
My war is over. My job as a political leader is to prevent that war.
There will be a fight for peace. You have to fight for peace. And we are dedicated to that.
Up until March 26 this year Ian Paisley and I never had a conversation about anything–not even about the weather.
I've always believed throughout the course of my political life that Ian Paisley was a very bitter, very harsh person and was really only interested in his political opinion holding sway. I am not offering up what he thought about me. Obviously he probably had as poor an opinion of me as I had of him.
It gave Ian a lot of happiness as well to know that he had left that impression with [him]. His friendship with Martin McGuinness had meant something very special to him.
I have a past and I've never hidden from it. I was involved in armed struggle. But I've always had my eye on the future. It has taken decades to reach this point. We have a historic chance now to bring lasting peace to Ireland and we have to do all in our power to seize it.
As a son who was very close to his father I could give respect to anyone who could give respect to my father and treat my father with respect. We did end up getting on in a respectful and friendly way.
Sometimes in the history of conflicts – and, goodness me, the island of Ireland has been involved in centuries of conflict with Britain – you need leaders who can rise above their past and, at that point, Martin McGuinness certainly stood the test and proved to be an indispensable figure.
My feelings are with the Enniskillen families. Martin McGuinness has taken to the grave the truth and the answers that we need to be able to move forward. He knows who bombed Enniskillen.
He had the grassroots credibility of a republican leader and former IRA commander, that could enable him, along with Gerry Adams, to take his followers, to take republicans, from the past of terror and horror into a democratic future, which is what he did. Sometimes in the history of conflicts - and, goodness me, the island of Ireland has been involved in centuries of conflict with Britain - you need leaders who can rise above their past and, at that point, Martin McGuinness certainly stood the test and proved to be an indispensable figure.
His contribution helped build the relative peace we now enjoy. While our differing backgrounds and life experiences inevitably meant there was much to separate us, we shared a deep desire to see the devolved institutions working to achieve positive results for everyone.
Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness. He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the re-unification of his country. But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both.
I liked her courage in agreeing to meet with me. There's nothing I have seen in my engagements with her that this is someone I should dislike - I like her. She knows my history. She knows I was a member of the IRA. She knows I was in conflict with her soldiers, yet both of us were prepared to rise above all of that.
Sometimes in the history of conflicts – and, goodness me, the island of Ireland has been involved in centuries of conflict with Britain – you need leaders who can rise above their past and, at that point, Martin McGuinness certainly stood the test and proved to be an indispensable figure. I realized watching the Ashes series on the television in the corner of my office ...that he actually was following the England cricket team, he knew all the players.
Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness.
Before Mandela came out of prison he stretched out his hand in friendship to a people who had been arrogant, who had neglected the blacks, and who had been very narrow-minded. Dialogue has replaced conflict. Respect has replaced mistrust. What I want to see develop now and in the time ahead is a relationship based on equality and respect between our two islands for the first time in our history.
He served the people of Northern Ireland as deputy first minister for nearly a decade and was pivotal in bringing the republican movement towards a position of using peaceful and democratic means. In recent years his contribution helped build the relative peace we now enjoy. While our differing backgrounds and life experiences inevitably meant there was much to separate us, we shared a deep desire to see the devolved institutions working to achieve positive results for everyone. I know that he believed that the institutions were the basis for building stability.
The former IRA man made the Good Friday Agreement work. But now power-sharing is under threat, and the stage is set for a return to grievance politics. When I first met Martin McGuinness in October 1997 I declined to shake his hand. As far as I was concerned he was a terrorist and a member of an organisation that had shot and wounded my father, and put my brother on a death list for eight years.
I had already accepted that Martin McGuinness had moved on. When I witnessed his historic handshake with the Queen I realised it was as much about reaching out the hand to the Unionist community as doing so with her.
While we certainly didn't always see eye-to-eye even in later years, as deputy first minister for nearly a decade he was one of the pioneers of implementing cross community power sharing in Northern Ireland. He understood both its fragility and its precious significance and played a vital part in helping to find a way through many difficult moments. At the heart of it all was his profound optimism for the future of Northern Ireland -- and I believe we should all hold fast to that optimism today.
First and foremost, my thoughts are with the family of Martin McGuinness at this sad time. While I can never condone the path he took in the earlier part of his life, Martin McGuinness ultimately played a defining role in leading the Republican movement away from violence. In doing so, he made an essential and historic contribution to the extraordinary journey of Northern Ireland from conflict to peace.
While we certainly didn't always see eye-to-eye even in later years, as deputy First Minister for nearly a decade he was one of the pioneers of implementing cross community power sharing in Northern Ireland. He understood both its fragility and its precious significance and played a vital part in helping to find a way through many difficult moments. At the heart of it all was his profound optimism for the future of Northern Ireland – and I believe we should all hold fast to that optimism today.
Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness. He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the reunification of his country. But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both. On behalf of republicans everywhere we extend our condolences to Bernie, Fiachra, Emmet, Fionnuala and Grainne, grandchildren and the extended McGuinness family.
I don't really care how history assesses me, but I'm very proud of where I've come from.
Ah, don't you worry, we'll help him out.
I am an unapologetic Irish republican and I value very much the contribution Queen Elizabeth has made to the peace process and to reconciliation.
Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness. He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the re-unification of his country. But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both. On behalf of republicans everywhere we extend our condolences to Bernie, Fiachra, Emmet, Fionnuala and Grainne, grandchildren and the extended McGuinness family. I measc laochra na nGael go raibh a anam dílis.
Throughout his life, Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness. He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the reunification of his country.
We have the issues on the island of Ireland to do with the peace process, to do with relationships with Northern Ireland, to do with the free movement of people north and south and into the UK, which of course means the maintenance of the common labour market which we've had been Ireland and the UK for quite a long time. There's a second set of issues to do with trade then. And it's in our interests that we would come as close to the UK having a free trade agreement with the European Union as is possible, because 1.2 billion worth of trade crosses the Irish sea every week.
I presented the Congressional leaders with Sinn Fein's proposal 'The Case for the North to achieve Designated Special Status within the EU'. I asked the Congressional leaders to support this position. It has been suggested that British Direct Rule could be imposed if there is no agreement. This would be an enormous act of bad faith by London and a reversal of the joint position set out by the two governments (of Britain and Ireland) in 2006.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has looked at this issue. It is not right to have a border poll at this stage. What we should all be focusing on is bringing the parties together to ensure that we can continue to see the devolved administration in Northern Ireland working, as it has done, in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland. We want to see that devolved administration being formed and that is what all the parties should be looking for at the moment.
There is a limited window in which the assembly and executive can be restored.
I am listening not just to those who voted for the DUP but to those who cast their votes for other parties. When the talks begin on Monday I will seek to work with other parties to create the circumstances where we can not just get the executive up and running again, but do so in a way in which it will endure.
I thought I’d be the last minister to govern from London. But after the collapse of power-sharing, and now this seismic election result, I’m not so sure.It was an it-will-never-ever-happen moment when, in May 2007, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness together took power in Northern Ireland’s devolved government. Optimism reigned, and I said I would be the “last direct-rule secretary of state”. But after 10 years of stable and peaceful devolution that prediction could be undone.
I can't dictate who leads the DUP, but I can dictate who we [Sinn Féin] go into government with.
In general, the power-sharing institutions have been a remarkable success. The core institutions functioned, and they presided over what, by comparative standards elsewhere in the world, has been a remarkably successful peace process. From Sinn Féin's point of view, not only were the DUP being ideological, they were acting against the evident self-interest, the material self-interest of Northern Ireland. And so if you have a partner that is irresponsible, a partner that won't listen to advice, it's a very difficult issue.
[T]he big elephant in the room is Brexit, which these two parties [Sinn Féin and the DUP] have taken different positions on.
I think it's very clear that was absolutely not about RHI. It may have been the excuse but it certainly wasn't the cause of the election. The cause of the election was Sinn Fein and republicanism wanting to rerun the election, they have mobilised their vote in a very effective way. I am pleased that the DUP has come out as the largest party in terms of votes. It is very clear in terms of unionism that it is the Democratic Unionist Party that speaks for unionism.
Northern Ireland has made great strides forward over the past two decades. All of us must continue the work of building a stable, peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland that works for everyone, based on the strong foundations of the Belfast agreement and its successors.
As co-guarantors of the Good Friday agreement and subsequent agreements, the Irish and British governments stand ready to provide whatever support or engagement may be necessary to re-establish the devolved institutions. In this regard, I plan to be in touch with the parties in Northern Ireland and with Secretary of State Brokenshire over the next 24 hours.
This is terrible. There will be no living with them (Sinn Fein) now. All my life there has been a Unionist political majority. I feel a bit exposed now and wonder what the future holds.
I think it's a brilliant day for equality, I think it's a great day for democracy. The vote has increased. I think that is because people knew that action needed to be taken, they have had their say, we now need to get down to the business of fixing what's wrong and delivering for all citizens.
We are very, very happy. This has been a fantastic turnaround for the SDLP. In a very poisonous atmosphere. We have come out with an increased support and I don't think anybody was predicting that.
In pure terms, the buck stops here. We will get there. Some day Northern Ireland will vote as a normal democracy. We will vote in a post-sectarian election, but it's now clear it will not happen during the duration of my political career.
It is also a re-assertion of our position on Brexit, that this part of Ireland should have a special designated status. Whatever your position is on the constitutional issue, that the only way to stop a land frontier between a European state and the British state on this island is to make sure there is a special designated status within the European Union for this part of Ireland.
To effectively hand power back to London would I think be a disaster for devolution and a serious set back for progress in Northern Ireland.
If Sinn Fein becomes the largest party, the DUP will not go into government with them and if the DUP remain the largest party, Sinn Fein have said they won't work with Arlene Foster. I just don't see it happening.
The prospect of a devolved government being formed, which was already slim anyway, is very remote.
There's a distinct possibility that Sinn Fein could become the largest party. There's also a possibility that there could be a tie.
That would be a total failure of the politicians of Northern Ireland.
A lower alcohol limit would help to deter motorists from drinking at all before getting behind the wheel and encourage them to have 'none for the road'. With Northern Ireland set to follow Scotland's example, and numerous organisations supporting a lower alcohol limit, the government should examine the evidence from other countries and lower the drink-drive limit in order to improve public safety.
That was the hardest part about it. I've had some tough times playing for Northern Ireland, individually and with results, too. I made my debut when I was 19, back in 2004, so you go through a lot of qualifying campaigns and get very little back, whereas that Euro 2016 campaign was really enjoyable. But that's life. What happened to me has happened to many people.
What we want are short negotiations to sort these issues out.
The political process in Northern Ireland continues and my absolute intent and resolve is to see that we get devolved government back into place at the earliest possible opportunity and I'm not contemplating anything else.
We don't want to have hard borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic. We want to have the Good Friday Agreement not to be put under risk and we want land borders be as open as possible. Because the Irish challenges in this very contexts are not only Irish challenges, they are European challenges.
It's a huge honour and a big, big privilege for me to be chosen be the new leader in the north and follow in the footsteps of Martin McGuinness, a political giant.
Last year, Gerry Adams and I confirmed that we had a plan in place for transition to a new leadership. For my part, it was my intention to step aside in May this year. Unfortunately, my health and the current crisis have overtaken this time frame. I am not physically able to continue in my current role and have therefore decided to make way for a new leader.
As Deputy First Minister for almost a decade Martin McGuinness has been a major figure at Stormont. While never forgetting the past, I believe the work at Stormont provided the foundations for our relative peace today.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Martin. He and I first met over 45 years ago behind the barricades in Free Derry and have been friends and comrades since.
Additional administrative burdens on businesses and the restoration of a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are among the problematic effects.
No-one should underestimate the challenge faced to the political institutions here in Northern Ireland and what is at stake. While it is inevitable that debate during an election period will be intense, I would strongly encourage the political parties to conduct this election with a view to the future of Northern Ireland and re-establishing a partnership government at the earliest opportunity after that poll.
There will be no return to these institutions of the Good Friday Agreement unless we have equality, unless we have respect, unless we have an end to the corruption of these institutions and corruption within these institutions. There can be no return unless there's fundamental change to the approach of the DUP and how they do power sharing.
Northern Ireland does not need, nor does its people want, an election. With the triggering of Article 50 to leave the European Union, a new president in the United States of America, a volatile global economy, now more than ever Northern Ireland needs stable government.
Brexit is a complete mess and everyone here seems to be ignoring it. It is definitely time for change in Northern Ireland.
Sinn Fein will not tolerate the arrogance of Arlene Foster and the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party). We now need an election to allow the people to make their own judgment.
Over this period of the elections, both the British government and the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) in my opinion have grievously undermined the institutions and have eroded public confidence. So we in Sinn Fein will not tolerate the arrogance of Arlene Foster (First Minister of Northern Ireland) and the DUP.
The First Minister has refused to stand aside, without prejudice, pending a preliminary report from an investigation. That position is not credible or tenable.
My health has absolutely nothing to do with this whatsoever. If the DUP think in the aftermath of an election they're going to step back into ministerial positions short of resolving the critical issues, then they're living in a fool's paradise.
I want to say that the Pope has confirmed that he is coming to Ireland for the World Meeting of the Family – a fact that I appreciate very much – arising from the invitation of the Irish Bishops. We discussed what he might do and obviously that is a matter for His Holiness and the Bishops and if that means that he also travels to Northern Ireland, then we will co-operate and assist in whatever arrangements are arrived at.
Since the beginning of the negotiations with FARC, the United Kingdom has been a strong supporter of the search for peace in Colombia by sharing its experience with the Northern Ireland peace process, by exercising its leadership in the UN Security Council, or by contributing to planning for implementation of post conflict strategies.
There is absolutely no good news whatsoever about Brexit. There are no good opportunities flowing from Brexit and I made it clear to the British Prime Minister that the democratically expressed wishes of the people of the North, who see their future in Europe, who voted to remain in Europe, should be respected.
Europe is not going to allow the free movement of goods and people into its territory without there being some sort of checks and balances. There's not going to be this back door wide open. There's 23,000 people cross the border every day to work or to study. Whatever border is erected would be problematic.
The North is going to be seen as the ugly duckling on the dance floor. A key reason investors were drawn to Belfast in the past two decades was access to the 500 million customers in Europe.
Whoever it is, is going to have to deal with what we think is a legitimate demand from Sinn Fein on foot of a vote that is so hugely detrimental to the people of the north, to in a civilised way, conduct a border poll, a referendum.
I represent Scotland within this house. And I'm proudly Scottish, I'm also proudly European, and the people of Scotland, along with the people of Northern Ireland and the people of London and lots and lots of people in Wales and England also voted to remain within our family of nations. Scotland did not let you down, please, I beg you, chères collègues, do not let Scotland down now!
I think it's not such a clear choice. I'd want to understand a little bit more about how Ireland is going to process these very real political challenges caused by Brexit. There's a lot of countries in play, I wouldn't underestimate the political risk with Northern Ireland.
Well I do believe that given the vote that has been taken by English voters effectively dragging ourselves and Scotland out of the European Union, that we do have a right to test opinion.
The implications for all of us on the island of Ireland are absolutely massive. This could have very profound implications for our economy (in Northern Ireland).
The purpose of taking the pills is to show they are safe because in the North (Northern Ireland) there is a lot of scaremongering around the issue.
Dr. Karadzic is disappointed. He's astonished. He feels the trial chamber took inference instead of evidence in reaching the conclusions that it did.
Everything that is wrong with our society now is a result of decisions taken by the three people to my left. Michael (Martin) did drive the bus over the cliff and now he wants the keys back to get into the bus again.
I want a United Ireland where everyone has a good job and enough to live on. … I'd be willing to sweep the roads in my world, and it wouldn't seem like a bad job if they got the same wage as everybody else, but do you not think now that people are just too greedy? Somebody always wants to make a million. Anyway, before you can try, you have to get this country united. We'd make sure that Protestants are fairly treated.
Few public figures have made such a journey from violence to peace as Martin McGuinness, and many people will acknowledge the contribution and commitment to the common good which he made in the latter part of his life.