Daily Ireland today gives some of the best coverage of the SDLP’s weekend conference. Unfortunately not much has made it online, but it does cover Durkan’s keynote on the issue of law and order:
“The fact is Sinn Féin have benefited from the way this process has been managed. Over the past number of years, there has been a very exclusive process where the governments have concentrated on Sinn Féin on one hand and the leading unionist party on the other”.
Mr Durkan laid down the gauntlet to Sinn Féin ahead of the Westminister elections, when he will contest SDLP veteran John Hume’s Foyle seat.
“People are getting a bit sick of hearing Sinn Féin resort to keep quoting their mandate in relation to any question they are asked about IRA crime and ongoing activity. Sinn Féin are quoting those votes as though that somehow denies or dismisses or excuses those sorts of crimes.
“The nationalists who gave Sinn Féin the vote did so because they thought it was going to reinforce the process. They didnt do so to justify or indulge criminality. It annoys many nationalists when they hear people like the DUP saying that the problem is that the nationalist community are prepared to vote to indulge paramilitarism and crime”.