Peadar Tóibín criticises Sinn Fein demand for Irish language act as a block to progress on ‘life and death’ issues

The anti abortion and republican party Aontú has criticised Sinn Fein for refusing to return to Stormont until there is a commitment to an Irish language act .

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 1:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 1:11 am
Peadar Toibin, the leader of Aontu
Peadar Toibin, the leader of Aontu

The party leader Peadar Tóibín said it was unacceptable for the demand to be used to hold other issues hostage.

The BBC reported that at the launch of Aontú’s Westminster manifesto yesterday, Mr Tóibín was asked about Sinn Fein’s refusal to return to Stormont without such a language act.

Mr Tóibín replied: “There are bread and butter, life and death concerns that are consuming the people of the north of Ireland on a daily basis and indeed it is wrong to stop development or progress on those issues, because of the Irish language act.”

Mr Tóibín, who left Sinn Fein over its policy on abortion, continued: “You cannot be a left wing political party and allow for your communities to slide into poverty and sit idly by. You can’t be a party seeking to tackle the regional issues and allow for the counties west of the Bann to suffer so much economically.”

Aontu is standing in seven constituencies in the coming general election.

Sinn Fein collapsed the power-sharing assembly in January 2017, initially over matters including the RHI scandal. Latterly it made clear an act must happen for it to support a return.