Watch: dad's Facebook call for NI-wide protests over Stormont inaction goes viral

A concerned father-of-four is calling for people to join him in a protest to highlight the inadequacy of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 4:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 2:52 am

Dylan Quinn, the artistic director of a dance company from Monea outside Enniskillen, has launched a social media campaign asking other ‘politically disaffected’ people to join him at a protest on August 28 - ‘the day Stormont will be 589 days without a government’.

“MLAs on full pay and Ministers on additional pay,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Join us to shout loud #wedeservebetter in #enniskillen or make it happen in your town. It’s not their future to limit, it’s ours to create.”

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When asked why he decided to launch the campaign, the 44-year-old said he was prompted to start ‘over a number of things’.

“I think hearing things on the radio about the MLAs being on holiday and returning to a ‘non-returning government’ and a barrage of news about the complexity of Brexit - all that combined and the reality that on August 28 we are to be the world-record holders of a ludicrous title made me think something has to be done,” he added.

“I don’t want to underestmate the constituency work MLAs do, but that is not the sole purpose of their role.”

Mr Quinn added that he hopes the protest he aims to hold in Enniskillen is replicated throughout Northern Ireland.

A locked entrance to the Stormont estate in east Belfast.

“I am hoping to have this protest in Enniskillen, but it can happen in any town or city - the message is the same,” he said.

“I think the fact the First Minister lives in our constituency is relevant. But if it can happen in Enniskillen it can happen where you are and I would encourage more people to help send out the message.

“The rough guidelines for the protest - and I am not saying it has to be this way - is we are getting 589 people to stand with number cards to be symbolic of the number of days we have been without a government and the MLA’s have received full pay. The message is that we deserve better.”

He added that he launched the idea of the protest on social media “so it will get to younger people, many of whom don’t feel they have a voice and feel cut off from politics”.

“That then leaves people voting down party lines and we are no further forward,” he said.

“I am talking as a father - as I don’t see any reason to encourage my children to stay in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“This a is a great place to live and to grow up but I am not confident there is a future here for young people.”