Sinn Fein MLA tells Jim Allister to 'learn the difference between speaking off the back of a trailer to loyalists and addressing MLAs in Assembly'

Sinn Fein MLA, John O'Dowd, as accused TUV leader and MLA, Jim Allister, of employing an "unacceptable" tone when talking to female MLAs in the Assembly chamber in Stormont.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 1:42 pm

Mr. O'Dowd was reacting to a comment concerning Irish language legislation directed at deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill by Mr. Allister on Monday.

Mr. Allister made the comment during Executive Office Question Time in the Assembly when deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill, was answering a question about New Decade, New Approach.

"Why among all the New Decade, Old Approach commitments was Irish language legislation thought to be more important than the multiple issues that affect our constituents to the point where the deputy First Minister was prepared to ensure there was no progress in any of those unless she got her way with her poisonous agenda?," said Mr. Allister on Monday.

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Sinn Fein MLA, John O'Dowd (left) and TUV leader and MLA, Jim Allister.

Mr. O'Dowd raised the issue as a point of order in the Assembly on Tuesday morning.

"I would ask that the speaker's office not only look at the comments of Mr. Allister but in the manner and tone they were delivered which I found to be unacceptable.

"I find Mr. Allister's approach to members of this house at times quite aggressive - I particularly find it in that manner when he is addressing women in this house which I find particularly shocking.

"I think Mr. Allister needs to learn the difference between speaking off the back of a trailer to loyalists and speaking to the people who represent his fellow citizens on this island when addressing people in this chamber."

Mr. Allister was brief but straight to the point with his response.

"Could I make it very, very clear?

"I have no apology to make for speaking the truth.

"And I do welcome the fact that the truth still seems to hurt."

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