Review of Post-Primary Education

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 14 October 2002.

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Photo of Martin McGuinness Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin 2:45, 14 October 2002

On and off over the course of the past three years, I have worked happily with my Unionist and SDLP Colleagues in the Executive. All of us, including the DUP Ministers, have done good work on behalf of the people. I was struck by John Reid’s press conference this morning and the Ministers who were lined up beside him in front of the television cameras. They are probably all good and decent people, but none of them is from here. They do not know the communities, the geography and our problems as we know them. Of course, they will be overloaded by several portfolios.

The suspension of the institutions will be detrimental to our economy and to our health and education systems. I am saddened by that. Whatever happens, there will be a huge responsibility on all of us — not least on the two Prime Ministers, Mr Ahern and Mr Blair — to ensure that we get the institutions back up again in the interests of the future of our people.