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1 July 2019

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Unionist senator criticises southern Establishment hypocrisy towards Sinn Féin

Senator Ian Marshall made the remarks in an interview with the Sunday Times.

It is hypocritical of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to consistently rule out entering government with Sinn Féin while expecting the DUP to do so in Stormont.

AN ULSTER unionist senator has criticised Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over what he says is a hypocritical attitude to Sinn Féin in the South.

Senator Ian Marshall made the remarks in an interview with the Sunday Times.

Speaking to reporter Justine McCarthy, he said:

“I never realised the hatred that exists in Leinster House for Sinn Féin.”

Marshall went on to say that he believed any democratic party “are entitled to be in government” and that it is hypocritical of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to consistently rule out entering government with Sinn Féin while expecting the DUP to do so in Stormont.

Following the 2016 General Election, both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael repeatedly ruled-out the possibility of entering Government with Sinn Féin.

The Armagh-based Senator also said he considered his election to the Seanad to be a ‘bridge-building exercise’ adding that he has “been greeted with warmth and sincerity” in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Senator Marshall was elected to the Seanad last year as a during a by-election on the Agriculture Panel. He received the backing of both Fine Gael and Sinn Féin. An ulster unionist, he is also a former President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union and is a vocal opponent of Brexit.

Speaking at the time, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said her party had endorsed his nomination as she believed he would be “an independent voice in the Seanad; providing an anti-Brexit unionist perspective, which is a welcome addition to the political discourse surrounding the issue in the Oireachtas.”

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