Seamus Mallon: Karen Bradley not the right person for NI Secretary of State job

Former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon has said that Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley is not the right person for the position.

“She has shown that she hasn’t a clue what she’s doing here. She has no idea of the problems or the nuances. God love her, why she was put there I don’t know,” he told RTE radio’s Today with Miriam O’Callaghan show.

Because of the links between the DUP and the government in Westminster “I fail to see how a DUP Secretary of State can properly chair these negotiations.”

It is important to realise that there are five other political parties in Northern Ireland that have participated in the work of the Executive and the Assembly, he said.

The people represented by the five other parties are being completely ignored “in the begging that goes on” for an agreement between Sinn Féin and the DUP.

That’s bad for politics, it’s bad for the community. It is cynical in the extreme.

Mr Mallon said that he hopes things can change “this time.”

Unfortunately over the past two years the two parties involved (Sinn Féin and the DUP) have seen fit “to toss all previous efforts out the window.”

Both those parties did not support the Good Friday Agreement, he said.

The British government needs to be reminded of its responsibilities to the Good Friday Agreement, he added.

When you strip it all down Sinn Féin and the DUP are not catering for all of the people in Northern Ireland, they are catering for their own supporters, their own people. It has been a type of great silo politics.

He called for the five other political parties to be involved in monitoring the system and any signs of corruption. “I believe a clean up is needed in Northern Ireland politics.

“We can’t go into another session (of Assembly) without cleaning up the administration.”

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