The constant pandering to republicans has created understandable resentment across the community

A letter from Councillor David Taylor:

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 11:32 am
Letter to the editor

The pandering to republicans has caused resentment

The principles of justice and rule of law have been critically damaged by the PPS decision not to prosecute senior republican political representatives in respect of their clear breach of the Covid regulations through their attendance at the funeral of Bobby Storey.

We are in a very dire place in Northern Ireland if a situation is permitted to prevail where certain political representatives can act above the law with no threat of action being taken against them, despite their flagrant disregard for the laws of our land which the rest of society have to abide by.

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The reality is this current crisis will inevitably and regrettably have serious consequences for public confidence in our policing and justice system.

The genuine and palpable anger that exists amongst the general public of Northern Ireland must ensure that never again are double standards allowed to exist in the application of the rule of law.

The most hurtful aspect of the decision taken by the PPS is that the many families across Northern Ireland of different faiths who have lost a loved one over the last year — and who abided by the regulations in place — have now had the trauma and hurt associated with their grief compounded further and that is totally unacceptable.

The constant pandering to and tip toeing around republicanism has created an atmosphere of understandable resentment across the community in Northern Ireland, in addition to increasing disillusion around the credibility of our devolved political institutions.

I firmly believe that Northern Ireland and all of its people are best served with a functioning system of devolved government.

This must however, be delivered on a basis where all political parties are genuinely committed to working in an open and honest manner and where certain political representatives are not permitted to act without any fear that the rule of law will be applied against them, as if they have some kind of free pass.

To ignore the seriousness of the current situation will I fear cause irreversible damage to the political institutions in Northern Ireland.

David Taylor, Ulster Unionist councillor, Bessbrook

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