Foster’s ‘crocodile’ remarks need context: TUV candidate

The 'TUV's Richard Cairns at last May's election count in South Antrim
The 'TUV's Richard Cairns at last May's election count in South Antrim

Arlene Foster’s claim that the DUP would never agree to the establishment of an Irish language act has been questioned by a TUV election candidate.

Richard Cairns, the TUV’s candidate for South Antrim, said the DUP leader’s remarks – made at the DUP’s election launch in Lurgan on Monday – should “be put in context”.

At the launch, Mrs Foster dismissed Sinn Fein’s demands for the implementation of such an act by saying: “If you feed a crocodile, it will keep coming back for more.”

Mr Cairns said: “Arlene Foster’s comments about feeding the Republican crocodile need to be put in context. The ultimate act of appeasement to Sinn Fein/IRA was when the DUP deemed them fit partners for government. Ever since then Stormont has only operated because Sinn Fein believed that it was serving their purposes.

“The DUP has already shown remarkable ability to bend when it comes to the Irish language with Paul Givan miraculously discovering £50,000 for a project after days of saying the money wasn’t there and that Irish already received preferential treatment without it.”

Mr Cairns added: “Similarly, Sinn Fein have forced considerable movement from the DUP down though years on issues on which the DUP said they wouldn’t move. In July 2006 Dr Paisley promised that Sinn Fein would only be in government ‘over our dead bodies’.

“Yet by October 2006 we had the St Andrews Agreement which paved the way to the DUP/Sinn Fein government.”