Irwin says Border Poll debate “exposes Sinn Fein’s economic illiteracy”
Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman Councillor William Irwin MLA has said that the border poll debate has “exposed Sinn Fein’s economic illiteracy”.
His comments came after the DUP Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster stated on the Stephen Nolan show that the DUP had been discussing the issue of a border poll and could “call Sinn Fein’s bluff”.
In the live debate the Fermanagh MLA directly challenged Mitchell McLaughlin on what she described as Sinn Fein’s destabilising insistence on a border poll and warned him to be “careful what they wished for”.
Locally, William Irwin said that the issue had generated a lot of discussion, with the vast majority of people he had spoken to believing that no appetite existed for the poll, with many pointing to the reality that the recent census figures illustrated a majority of people were happy within the Union.
Speaking to Newry Times, Irwin stated, “This has been an interesting week, as by tactically taking the wind out of Sinn Fein’s sails and engaging in public conversation on this issue, the DUP have publicly proven once again the economic illiteracy of Sinn Fein.”
“When directly challenged by the media to explain how the fanciful notion of unification could be financially viable, Sinn Fein mutter, stutter and grind to a steaming halt.
“We have had the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland dismiss the idea of a poll outright and even the Irish Prime Minister has very publicly poured cold water on the issue and on Sinn Fein.”
Irwin continued, “The glaring reality is that the majority of people are happy within the Union and the majority realise the very real and tangible benefits of maintaining the link with the United Kingdom. These benefits include a £10billion subvention from the UK Treasury to assist in the running of Northern Ireland.
“Indeed, the Republic of Ireland is itself deeply indebted to the UK following significant resources being provided to assist the Republic’s economy in its long and arduous road to financial recovery.
He added, “There is no doubt that Sinn Fein on this issue have been truly exposed by their lack of understanding of the key issues, including the fact that the people of the Republic would also have to be consulted in any poll.”
“As this debate has clearly shown, there are much more important issues to be discussing and that has been acknowledged by most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, the British Government and even the Irish Government. Sinn Fein will eventually catch up.”
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