Rallies organised to tell MLAs: Get back to work

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

EVENTS aimed at "shaming and embarrassing" politicians back to work at Stormont are to be held in Warrenpoint Square and St Christopher's Park in Newry on Tuesday, August 28.
The significance of that date is that it will be the day that Northern Ireland breaks the world record for the longest period that a democracy has been without a functioning government.
On that date, 589 days is how long this country will have been without politicians actually doing what they were elected and are still being paid to do.
The woman behind the Warrenpoint event is 46-year-old Clodagh Murphy, who is from the town. Clodagh describes herself as "a regular Northern Irish working person" and told the Democrat that she was spurred on to organise what she says will be a "colourful peaceful protest" by the pledge of Enniskillen man Dylan Quinn to hold a similar protest on the 28th.
With little sign that the political logjam in the north will be broken any time soon, Clodagh had some strong words for our MLAs.
“Northern Ireland is about so much more than religion and politics, and the people in power need to grasp this concept or perhaps we as voters need to stop allowing these bitter, self absorbed, greedy politicians into power," she declared.
“Every day we hear people talk and complain about how our MLAs are still being paid so they can pay their bills, go on their holidays but NOT actually doing the jobs they are paid for.
“We realise some are still doing constituency work but it is not enough. Legislation and vital funding are being held up and withheld due to no one in power giving the ok or signing relevant documents.
“We basically have no Government to fight our corner. I do not know one other person who could not show up for work, whilst being mentally and physically able to, and still get paid?!
“Nor do I know of many who are afforded the luxury of not turning into work because they disagree with their colleague's political beliefs and still get paid. This is in effect what our government is doing and we need to show them we have had enough and will not put up with this any more."
Clodagh outlined that there she has already had significant support from numerous people, and that there are speakers lined up for the evening. She stressed, however, that she does not want the event to be "hijacked" by politicians, and although she would like to see them there - if they do come, they should use their ears and not their mouths.
“I want it to be an informative event and a media event so our politicians can see how their actions are detrimentally affecting the very people they are supposed to be helping," said Clodagh.
“So any and all politicians are welcome to attend but in a listening capacity.
“Maybe we can embarrass and shame them into going back to work.
“I am hoping we will have speakers from different services like the Fire service, the NHS, the Education sector, also local community groups who are self funding to help and support each other.
“We will also have a student's perspective so it is an event for young people in the community also. Every member in our society is affected, irrespective of age, race, religion or culture and all are welcome on the August 28."
These protests are being organised under the hashtag #wedeservebetter, and Clodagh insisted that they are not "political rallies". Rather she said that their purpose was to give a voice to the "ordinary, hard working, kind people of Northern Ireland".
“We are not puppets, we are people with our own minds who want our politicians to do the job they are paid to do," she added.
“It's not rocket science; it's the way of the world, and if they cannot do this, then stand down and we will create a Government that will.
“This affects every single one of us and its time to make a change. If at all possible, we would ask people to come in big bold bright colours, as it is a colourful peaceful protest open to every single person in Northern Ireland."


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