Northern Ireland needed an earlier date for hotel re-openings than the Republic, yet now it will be later

Since before lockdown began almost 11 weeks ago, republicans have insisted that Northern Ireland rules stay in step with the Republic of Ireland.

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The tensions began when Sinn Fein walked out of the agreed Stormont position on school closures, and insisted that we follow the Republic on education. Some Catholic schools simply shut in advance of the Department of Education date.

Ever since then, Sinn Fein have seemed to be largely in control of the timetable over of relaxation. They delayed reform, such as cemetery and limited church openings.

Schools will not now be going back until far too late, the autumn, in line with the Republic, instead of now, like England. In fact, given the damage to the education of disadvantaged children, schools should arguably have gone back weeks ago, given that the classes will rotate at first.

But nowhere is the influence of the determined all-island advocates more absurdly evident than in hotels.

It would have made sense for NI to opens its hotels before the Republic’s date of July 20, given that we have a mid July holiday and they do not. But no, we had to be in step with them. Now that Irish hotels will open earlier than July 20, you can be sure that we too will be allowed to do so.

If any of this is being challenged behind the scenes, then the challenges are largely being lost.

This is what happens when one party is allowed to bring down mandatory coalition until its non negotiable political demands are met.

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