Martin McGuinness resigns as Deputy First Minister

Sinn Fein have finally taken the plunge of calling it a day and bringing the curtain down on nearly 10 years of devolution.

I will admit, that I thought they would never do it but Martin McGuinness resigned as Deputy First Minister.

“Over the last ten years I have worked with DUP leaders and reached out to unionists on the basis of equality, respect and reconciliation.

“Over this period the actions of the British government and the DUP have undermined the institutions and eroded public confidence.

“Sinn Féin will not tolerate the arrogance of Arlene Foster and the DUP.

“Sinn Féin wants equality and respect for all.

“That is what this process must be about.

“Today I tendered my resignation.

“Today is the right time to call a halt to the DUP’s arrogance.

“There will be no return to the status quo.”

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  • Karl

    They loved it when they were outsiders and didnt have so many career politicians dependant on success to pay their mortgage. Not sure they’ll be as beligerent when there are likely to be 8 fewer DUP MLAs with the associated staff and allowances removed as well.
    For all SF have become part of the establishment the DUP journey to political acceptability has been much the same.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Anyone that claims to be a nationalist could not be happy with the PBP carry on re Brexit, even if you are left wing.

  • Fear Éireannach

    That’s east, you square that circle by having a different arrangement for NI.

  • Karl

    Its a good point but Theresa is busy pretending she has a Brexit plan and the DUP will prefer to take their chances with the electorate rather than the ultimate climbdown. SF will also be buoyed by the reaction of the nationalist electorate. Theres no last minute deal on this. That comes after the election.

  • notimetoshine

    I should imagine more than a few, especially after all the wrangling of the past few years I would think another ‘crisis’ is going to drive them nuts and likely as not they and the southern government will have to intervene.

    I’m not sure if the RHI thing is going to be enough to rose the NI electorate from their sectarian stupor. So likely as not we will end up with a DUP SF executive again, with Arlene at the head of the DUP. With nothing changed we’ll end up where we are now.

  • Obelisk

    No I don’t think they’ll get back in as First Minister. But I’ve never seen him look so old as he does in these photos. It just crystallizes for me that the time to pass the torch to the next generation is rapidly approaching for Sinn Fein.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    This “no return to the status quo”, I’d read as a re-negotiation of the Belfast Agreement in the light of those abuses of its safeguards which have appeared in DUP practice.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Karl, what if SF refuses to go into Government with a DUP First Minister? Renegotiation………..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Let us hope that the UUP make some real gains, Dan, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed, we need politicians who are campaigning for the entire community, not divisive factions.

  • eireanne3

    not full implementation of various bits of the Agreements that have fallen by the wayside?

  • woodkerne

    There was a perfectly logical and principled left-wing case against EU membership. It’s not a case I was persuaded by but it is/was one which was rational and consistent with a left-wing outlook and goals. The UKIP case for brexit, moreover, was an iteration of English-nationalist interests. Arguably, too, working class Labour voters rejected membership on nationalistic (aka chauvinist and anti-immigrant) grounds. The left case (Lexit) wasn’t anti-immigrant. It is worth remembering, too, prior to 1999, that SF weren’t always enthusiastic supporters of the EU.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Whatever philosophical left wing case exists against the EU in a student’s union debating sense, there is no practical case in NI when the result might be an overthrow of the entire peace settlement and the elimination of EU funding which will not be replaced by the Tories in London.
    PBP are just irresponsible, and probably admirers of UKIP, who are likewise.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    That would all be part of the renegotiation to my mind. The All Ireland bodies are really needed more than ever now an exit from the EU is intended by the Saxon, unless of course, as with the Countess Kathleen, “Masterful Heaven intervenes to save” us in the form of a snap “border poll”……..

    But, for one thing, that “petition of concern” malarkey needs some serious re-appraisal, and some genuine safeguards against interest group abuses need to be thought of.

  • woodkerne

    Yours are distinctly green-tinted glasses! UKIP and PBP both opposed EU membership, but for polar opposite reasons. The things UKIP would destroy – workplace protections, the social chapter, regulation, free movement – which they indicted the EU for affording institutional protection for, are the things that PBP regarded as inadequately defended by the EU. UKIP are xenophobes. PBP see themselves as internationalists.

  • Granni Trixie

    And will they do a sectarian pact with DUP. Crunch time over that one.

  • Granni Trixie

    Whilst public opinion does not appear to penetrate DUPers (“to me deaf” as Naomi Long puts it) perhaps the latest polls in Bel Tel where AF does terribly might do the trick.

  • the rich get richer

    Hacking for Donald Trump don’t look so bad now…………………………

  • Lionel Hutz

    You can see how much they moved to avoid this. They eventually even agreed to a public inquiry in the end. So I don’t think the DUP are relishing this.

  • J D

    The census answers on identity make unambiguously and irrefutably clear that is NOT the widely held view by “everybody”.

    I believe you are confusing a public figure saying something you agree with, with everybody in northern Ireland agreeing with you.

  • Karl

    SF wont go back in until commitments made previously have been honoured. Then there will a wider negotiation on equality, bill of rights, flag policy, POC. I think they will push the equality agenda on gay marriage via the British govt and drag the process out until a hard Brexit is confirmed, scaring the pips out of the DUP electorate if not the party.
    I think SF are gearing up for the long haul on this. Theres no point in the institutions if they dont deliver the republican agenda short of unification.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Save for the fact that people before profit have been useless on this issue

  • North Down

    More spin,last time they lost by 1 vote, what you don’t hear is that there was people who didn’t turn up to vote , or didn’t vote either way, because they knew the dup would put in pocket. I think about 6 and they were against gay mariage,

  • North Down

    Put in poc, not pocket

  • Lionel Hutz

    After all the buzz and frenetic commentary dies down, eventually the public will have to ask what the hell Sinn Fein are doing here.

    This is the party that refused to back a call by the SDLP supported by UUP and Alliance to have Arlene excluded only a few weeks ago and the assembly has been in recess since then. Sinn Fein made great claims about their proposed motion to be heard in Monday.

    So why this….why now?

    Sinn Fein are the only party who will not support a public inquiry now. They have been straegically all overy the place.

    You can only conclude that with their ears to the ground, Sinn Fein are getting an absouter kicking by the grassroots?

    Or please someone tell me what I’m missing

  • Granni Trixie

    Allow me to clarify. I have been in APNI long enough to know that “everybody” does not think like McIlroy but that some people do.
    I did identify with his apparent struggle to explain .- find words- to explain his identify.
    O and that bit about him speaking as a public figure – he would have an easier time sticking to the usual line so in his own way he was being quite courageous.

  • Craig Fisher

    I’d imagine that it’s because he’s never been as old as he is in these photos…;)

  • grumpy oul man

    Its Petition Of Concern, POC not pocket.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yep and those 6 knew they would not be popular with their voters so they didnt turn up. Cowards way out really.
    And its POC.

  • North Down

    Cowards way out couldn’t put it better,leader of the uup was one of them , he lost a lot of evangelical support over it , then again he gained a few liberals

  • Alan N/Ards

    You are so right. Arlene is an absolute disgrace and should be sent packing by the electorate.

    I listened to Paul Givan tonight and was horrified to hear the crap that he was spouting. The Dup do not see (or are refusing to see) that they are making a laughing stock of unionism. Their appalling lack of humility and civility is the very opposite of how a so called Christian party should be behaving.

    I have always seen the Dup and SF as the two ugly twin sisters of NI politics. It was very hard to tell them apart. It seems that over the past few years one of the ugly sisters has bought a mirror and didn’t like the image staring back her. She has bought some make up and started to try to make herself less repugnant. The other sister is still without a mirror.

  • eamoncorbett

    ND remember Peter got displaced by Naomi in EB and what with Trump and Brexit ,strange things can happen.

  • grumpy oul man

    Evangelicals make up a very small part of the population.
    Liberals (if by that you mean those who support the right of those who love each other to marry) are a much larger percentage of the population.
    If we had a referendum on this issue it would pass with a huge majority like it did in the south.
    It is a matter of shame that we lag behind more open and civilised countrys in this.

  • oval

    Not in an Assembly election as there’s nothing to be gained. Only really beneficial in a first past the post election.

  • Devil Eire

    To be fair, I’d find it hard to see every jot and tittle myself with spectacles like that.

  • ScottishClive22

    I dont think those in Westminster really care either way. As long as there are no news headlines (i.e. bombs and bullets) they are happy to ignore NI.

  • eireanne3

    bbc has a short video saying power returns to the SOS
    “What happens next?”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-northern-ireland-38561446

  • North Down

    Huge majority up noth rubish, about 35-40 percent of the people down south voted for gay mariage, of the people who voted 60percent. you support gay mariage your civilised good one

  • North Down

    You could be right but I can’t c it, I think the dup will lose 7seats at most

  • North Down

    That’s true

  • babyface finlayson

    Looks like I picked the wrong day to give up smoking!

  • Lionel Hutz

    Haha. So funny that this gentleman”s first comment is such a shill.

  • grumpy oul man

    That was a bit difucult to understand but i think your engaging in wishful thinking if you hink a majority in the north oppose gay marraige.
    And really on one hand we have a majority of people who believe in live and let live and a minotiry who would try to dictate to others how they would live.
    But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating ,
    The DUP will try to avoid any mention of gay marraige because enen in their arrogance they know that it is a vote loser for them.
    Im sorry ND but if you think the majority in the north oppose equal rights for the gay community then could i suggest you widen ypur socail circle. The general opinion is people are embarrassed with the medieval views of the DUP.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Is it the fault of the institutions or the people operating them?

    A consociational system demands the good will of the participants to be in any way effective. There is no system of government suitable for Northern Ireland that guarantees the kind of outcomes people want.

    What it comes down to is having parties with a clear plan….a clear program for government that they are both bound by.

  • file

    Maybe the long haul for Sinn Féin is to refuse seats in the executive and to go into opposition?

  • North Down

    Thanks for trying to understand my last post, your the second person who says the dup will try to avoid the gay marriage card, I still think people don’t understand how big the evangelical vote is , and they mostly come out to vote ,we will c in 8 weeks time, then I will c if I have to widen my social circle

  • Madra Uisce

    English Nationalism is on the rise and it is that coupled withBrexit which will seal the Norths fate and the sooner the better..

  • Madra Uisce

    The media should be pressing TV Mike in relation to the transfer of Unionist votes to the DUP, that will tell you all you need to know in relation to the UUPs position on themmuns.

  • Gopher

    Stormont is essentially SF’s construct, shared ministries, POC’s etc. As they have failed to prosper in their own design (what rocket scientist thought only nationalists would use POC’s (86 from the DUP and counting) they are hedging their bets now by calling an election and stating there will be no return to the status quo. In other words they want another go to create a new devolved assembly through negotiation, boycott and likely a few threats if the election does not work out for them.

    With Marty coming to the end of his *natural* life it gives Gerry alot of free publicity because guess who will want to represent SF if it goes to all party talks. Dont think it will be Connor or any of the rest, it will be the Gerry show.

  • Madra Uisce

    Not everybody is comfortable with the Our Wee Country nonsense espoused by Rory.

  • J D

    What I have taken from McIlroy’s statements over the years is how NI has changed. Previously anyone that prominent would have a clear position already staked out, there is no way they would have made it that far without the identity question having already come up and up and up.

    That and the rather nonchalant reaction most people had to his various statements.

    The heat from the conflict is slowly draining away and the wounds are closing over.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Johnny – the British Government would hold elections every week in NI if need be as long as there was no Bombs going off in Canary Wharf !

  • Granni Trixie

    I would not characterise what he said as you do but I accept what you say. All I’m saying is that from my perspective what he says has an authentic ring that it which you dont often hear.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The institutions have shown that they are open to serious abuse, but yes, this is in the end te responsibility of individuals and parties. As teh graffiti in San Francisco said “The people who are destroying the world have names and faces”.

    Parties with a claer plan would be a very good thing, but unfortunately the votesr go for the parties who wave flags and scare them with “themuns” shenanigans. We require a few air locks on such nonsense to be built into our structures before it will be safe to let the infants elected here loose again in the chamber to play out their paranoias.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Lets hope even the UUP can see that after the scandal and Arlene’s arrogance, that’s a no-go area. But You’ll have encountered my feelings about the UUP frequently enough to know taht I’m far from uncritical about them on Slugger. As I say, I’m not holding my breath on the votesr, but not on the UUP either.

  • ScottishClive22

    True, but they are not going to move votes from DUP to SF or SDLP or even Alliance on the basis of Gay Marriage. They might vote for UUP, but there choices are limited to Orange parties.

  • ScottishClive22

    Both Trump and Brexit are signs of a movement to the right not a movement to the centre. So its more likely DUP get more votes rather than less.

  • grumpy oul man

    Tell us how big it is.
    Evangelicals are a noisy bunch and overrepresented in politics but make up a small part of the population.
    Most people here dont even go to church on a sunday your more likly to find them in the gilf course or in the pub.
    Belfast council has backed pride for several years now and there has been little opposition from the happy clappys apart from the lunatic fringe like Mrs White who got less than a hundred votes when she brought her views before the electorate.
    It is interesting that other parties have brought up their support for marriage equalitybut the DUP is not mentioning their opposition to it.

  • grumpy oul man

    Some might but my point is that the DUP will play down there line on this issue as they know its not a popular line.
    North down seem to think it would be a vote einner for the DUP.

  • John Collins

    The opinion of those who did not vote is of no consequence.

  • Gingray

    Not sure there are many votes in that for them tbh – I could well be wrong, but SF have not really looked strong on the issues that matter to their voters.

  • Gingray

    Anthony, SF have been the lead nationalist party in coalition with the DUP for 10 years. Its taken a scandal and the SDLP/UUP taking the lead, but SF have finally sat up and taken notice.

    As Martys letter states, these issues have been around for a while, yet SF have done nothing about them.

    No wonder they are broadly perceived as being weak and toothless.

  • North Down

    It is when u say the people of the south voted for gay marriage, u can say the people who voted, voted for fay marriage there is a difference, same as Scotland u hear the people of Scotland and ni want to stay in Europe, when in fact only 30-40 percent want to stay in,70-60 percent voted out r didn’t vote , it’s called spin.

  • North Down

    Fundamentalists are a noisy bunch, they is a difference and yes u can b both, as I said most evangelical and fundamentalists vote and there children who might not go to church now, will still vote as there parents do, majority of people who don’t go to church don’t vote, a lot of evangelicals are very quiet u don’t hear them on the radio and so on, I said the dup will come back with 38 seats easy and they did, on the ground what i hear evangelicals out there will still vote dup, they aren’t noisy, the pollsters don’t pick them up very well, which happened last may, and there is thousands out there, 8weeks time the dup will easily be the biggest party

  • grumpy oul man

    No SC the gay marriage will not turn many voters either way i am just surprised that North Down seems to think its is a major factor and that fundamentalists are as big a group as he believes they are.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Its quite wrong to say they have done “nothing”. Its correct to say they havnt done enough however.

  • grumpy oul man

    How do you figure out that everybody who didn’t vote supports your point of view, that is strange in the extreme.

  • Gingray

    Anthony, here are the issues that Marty raised in his letter:

    – Negative attitude towards nationalists, Irish identity and culture
    – Women
    – LGBT
    – Ethnic minorities
    – Irish Language

    I have suggested that SF have done nothing to address these issues, can you give me something concrete that they have achieved on any of the 5 issues? 10 years as the leading nationalist party and zero to show for it.

  • grumpy oul man

    The Majority of people who don’t go to church don’t vote?
    could we have some proof of that please, it is a incredible statement.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    They have battled against the DUP on all thise issue and have been stonewalked all the way. Remember, for most of the last ten years the UUP, SDLP and Alliance were also part of the government and they too were stonewalled. By unionist and others. SF and others managed to get a majority in favour of marraige equality for example only to have a DUP poc bring it down.
    Its now back to the electorate to decide who and what they want in their political future. Sumilar to 1968, Unionist leadership is determined to discriminate against anyone who is not a sash wearing red white and blue fundamentalist. They have an opportunity to change that but its up to the voters to send that message and its up to the almost half a million people who dont vote to now bare their teeth.

  • Gingray

    So essentially SF have achieved nothing other than battling against the DUP. Not very productive eh! Good to see you acknowledging it tho, chink in the armour.

    SF didn’t leave by choice – they would have continued as the DUP lapdogs for the next 4 years if they could have, thankfully the public have made them see reason.

    And its good to see the same public pressure has forced you to stop being an Arlene defender – just need to get you to stop agreeing with your pal Bryson next.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Lol, are u in love with me or something? I am no good to you on that score mate so sorry. Personal attacks on me might entertain you but i find it all a bit creepy so u wont mind if i now block u. Cheerio.

  • North Down

    Not rocket science, in your words fast majority of people dont go to church, so that means the 45 percent who don’t vote are not church goers, most of them are working class as you should know

  • Gingray

    Block away an uaineoil! It is hardly my fault you have been found out as a party political mouthpiece.

    You defend SF unconditionally, even when you later admit they have been wrong, and you knew it, but ignored it.

    You fully admit that on the issues MMcG resigned over, SF have had 10 years and achieved nothing other than being perceived as DUP lapdogs.

    Facts are facts.

  • North Down

    That wasn’t the point, point was majority of people didn’t vote for gay marriage down south, people who bothered to vote the majority did vote for gay marriage, then u get people saying the people of the south voted gay marriage, when that’s not true, the people of the south who went out to vote voted for gay marriage, there is a difference, I know I’ve lost you

  • grumpy oul man

    north down , i am sorry but your maths is as bad as your logic,

    the 45% who don’t vote will be split between church goers and non church goers.
    I also find it very amusing that you assume that every church goer (or even the majority) agree with your views on gay marriage which again is a assumption, I know many regular churchgoers who have no issue with it and a few of them are ministers/priests.
    Now can we move on . i find this homophobia distasteful and frankly your attempts to stereotype diverse groups into your fantasy is also distasteful and inaccurate.

  • grumpy oul man

    Firstly the south had a referendum on gay marriage and it was passed,
    how you can claim that everybody who didn’t vote agrees with you is just silly it is reasonable to assume that the non voters opinions are split the same way the voters are. this is one of the principals that democracy and elections are built on.
    I do hope i haven’t lost you.
    the result of the referendum was accepted quite happily with no attempt to rerun it by the those who oppose it this would imply to those (not desperate to make a point) that most people are happy with the result.
    Now if the DUP thought that they could get votes by making a anti gay law part of their election campaign then they would.
    but they wont because they know that they are against popular opinion.
    the small rump of fundamentalists are over represented in the DUP and as proved by the humiliation that Mrs White got dealt by the voters of fermanagh are out of touch with the majority.
    this is the last time i shall engage with you on this as real politics are being discussed elsewhere and i have no intention of wasting my time on this dead end.

  • North Down

    This is the last time I will engage with you, and go out of my way to reply to you, you are the one looking to b smart , Mrs white got delt with , so am wrong ,rubbish talk read over all the posts u c you were wrong bit slow, never said once about hating gays, then again u didn’t think over the posts. Last tame I talk to you ; your the one trying to provoke me , I was trying to be nice . all the best to you .last time we talk

  • John Collins

    The fact is we, as in You or I, have no clue how those non players would have voted. Also by your logic Brexit should not now take place as 50 cent of the overall UK population did not vote for it. That is an utterly absurd idea of course

  • North Down

    I agree with all you say, I was being smart and he didn’t pick it up,

  • North Down

    I was being smart, one of his first posts, he posted was about the people down south voting for gay marriage, he really should have said the people who voted down south voted for gay marriage, he never picked it up, I agree with what u say