Senior Civil Servants have revealed that there is a belief that Sinn Fein have “no intention” of going back into a Stormont Executive and have backed the DUP’s claim that Michelle O’Neill’s most recent public announcement, calling for the talks to begin on the 28th August, was nothing more than a “stunt”.
Sources within the civil service have said that they are preparing for a prolonged period of direct rule as there is an increasing acceptance that Sinn Fein have abandoned Stormont. This failure to govern will leave the health department and other frontline public services in a precarious situation.
It is also understood that Sinn Fein, after the 28th August, are planning on calling for all MLA salaries to be suspended. A number of Sinn Fein party workers have already sought out other jobs, with one Civil servant saying;
“Sinn Fein have no intention of going back into government. It has run its course for them here in Northern Ireland. That leaves us in limbo and it is health, education and other vital services that will be hurt by Sinn Fein’s politicking. ”
Sinn Fein continue to claim that their failure to enter into Government is based upon a failure to grant LGBT and Irish Language rights. However the High Court recently ruled that there is no right to same-sex marriage and that the failure to legislate for this does not breach the human rights of LGBT couples.
Further to this it is already been established that there is no ‘right’ to an Irish Language act. Unionist sources have pointed out that despite Sinn Fein’s repeated claim to be stalling on the basis of ‘rights’, there is actually no denial of rights and that the courts have already made this clear.