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Paul Walsh
cash for ash

Sinn Féin accuse DUP of 'out of this world strutting' as election threatened

Northern Ireland’s Renewable Energy Scheme is causing political uncertainty for the current Assembly.

SINN FÉIN HAS said that the DUP is demonstrating “out of this world strutting” over the ‘cash for ash’ scandal, claiming that calls for the First Minister’s resignation is not “an orange and green issue”.

On Saturday Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams warned that an election would be called if First Minister Arlene Foster wouldn’t resign over the energy scandal, which gave flat rate payment to use renewable energy, leading to people generating energy to earn money.

The failures were highlighted by whistleblowers, and the cost of the controversial scheme is estimated at £400 million.

In an interview this morning on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said that from the DUP’s reaction, “you’d imagine it was a minor public issue”.

She added that “vast sums of public money” had been wasted as a result of the scandal, added to an economy that had been “savaged by British Tories”.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland First Minister told the Belfast Telegraph that she would not step aside before the findings of the investigation, saying ”if Sinn Féin are playing a game of chicken and expecting me to blink in terms of stepping aside they they are wrong.”

If there is an election, there is an election and we will be ready for that election as the DUP always are.

When pushed to answer what Sinn Féin would do if Arlene Foster doesn’t step down, McDonald reluctantly confirmed that the current Northern Irish Assembly would collapse.

“They’ve been gambling on Sinn Féin,” she said. “If they imagine that they’re going to look the other way, pretend we didn’t hear the reports from whistleblowers, they have gambled wrong.”

24/6/2016 Brexit Crisis In Ireland Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

Why should Foster step aside?

The DUP’s Sammy Wilson previously said that Foster standing aside wouldn’t affect the investigation into the energy scheme, and claimed that calls for Foster’s resignation and election threats were purely politically motivated.

On this issue, the Sinn Féin deputy leader said that the investigation needed independence to come to its findings.

“Arlene Foster was the Minister who introduced this scheme, the person who was warned a year in advance by the Ulster Farmers Union [that it wouldn't work], the person who heard from two whistleblowers, and the person who a former ministerial colleague says she insisted on continuing the scheme.”

The real world of public life deeply enmeshed to remain while in office is simply untenable.
This isn’t an orange or green issue. This is a matter of good governance. If Arlene Foster was elected in any other jurisdiction in the world, she’d similarly be asked to stand aside.

Arlene Foster has steadfastly refused to resign over the cash for ash scandal, saying that she won’t be bullied by Sinn Féin into resigning.

There were worries about the current Stormont government’s longevity when it first formed – with commentators and rival parties saying that it would be difficult for them to find a compromise.

It looks increasingly like the Northern Assembly is moving into political uncertainty because of this topical issue.

Read: French police arrest 16 in connection with Kim Kardashian robbery

Read: Arlene Foster claims the scandal engulfing her is ‘because she’s a woman’, so what’s the truth?

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