Orders of the Day — Northern Ireland Act 1974

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 pm on 26th June 1985.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Martin Flannery Mr Martin Flannery , Sheffield, Hillsborough 10:35 pm, 26th June 1985

The hon. Gentleman has only just come into the, Chamber, so I shall not give way to him.

No solutions are supplied, and bigotry is triumphant. The attitude to the minority cannot be accepted easily. More and more people are beginning to see this.

Recently, I went to Northern Ireland with an official delegation of my party. We went because we have to talk. A childish attitude is shown by those who say that they will never speak to Sinn Fein. I am not new like the hon. Member for Crawley (Mr. Soames). I have been here a long time, and I have heard it all. Endlessly it was said that Sinn Fein would never go to the people because nobody would vote for it. Somebody has voted for Sinn Fein now, but nobody will speak to Sinn Fein members, and they are not to be allowed in the councils, although large numbers of people have voted for them—what childish nonsense that is. In one breath, it is said that nobody will vote for Sinn Fein, and therefore it is encouraged to enter the elections, but with the other, when people have voted for it, it is said that it will not play any role in the councils and its members should go away and not darken their doorsteps again. That is childish, and the British people will not accept such childishness.