Ulster Unionist South Down MLA John McCallister has said the Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report makes depressing reading for those who genuinely wish to achieve a shared future in Northern Ireland.
Mr McCallister who is the Deputy Leader of the UUP’s Assembly Group said:
“The Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report makes rather depressing reading for those of us who genuinely want to achieve a shared future in Northern Ireland.
The legacy of our history and in particularly the recent Troubles is very much still with us. Survey after survey shows that the people of Northern Ireland want to move on and turn “shared future” from a cliché into a living, breathing reality.
For the last five years the DUP and Sinn Fein have been the two lead parties at Stormont. These two parties rose to power as the most hardline proponents of unionism and nationalism respectively. Their political instincts are not to create a shared future. Their mutual political interests are to perpetuate division, because from that division comes their political strength.
As Ulster Unionists we are committed to power-sharing and a shared future, not a shared out future. We have always believed that the Union with Great Britain offers the best prospect of long term peace and prosperity for all the people of Northern Ireland. As Unionists we do not seek anything for ourselves that we are not prepared to offer others.
Northern Ireland is a wonderful place. With the ending of the terror campaign we were finally given a chance to see what life could be like in this Province. The worldwide economic downturn has put a brake on economic progress, but we have endured worse and come through the other side. We are now preparing to commemorate momentous events which took place a century ago and which shaped the Northern Ireland of the Twentieth Century.
One hundred years on we have the opportunity to shape the Northern Ireland of the 21st Century. We have a choice. A shared future or a shared out future? Our destiny is in our own hands.”