Buncrana TD Padraig MacLochlainn has called on the Irish and British governments to “redouble their efforts” to restore the Stormont Executive following Sinn Fein’s success in the North’s Council elections.
The Sinn Fein TD says the “DUP cannot be allowed to block the government our people needs any longer”.
His comments come after Sinn Fein made history by becoming the largest party in local government – the first time a nationalist party has ever won the most Council votes in the North.
In the end Sinn Fein emerged with a record 144 seats at the weekend – up 39 from four years ago – comfortably ahead of the DUP on 122 seats, who remain unchanged from 2019.
Alliance made big gains too, increasing their seats tally by 14 to 67, but it was another disastrous showing for the SDLP, who slumped from 59 seats four years ago to just 39 now.
The UUP fared poorly too, dropping 21 seats to a total of 54.
Sinn Fein secured 30.9 per cent of first preference votes, ahead of the DUP on 23.3 per cent, 13.3 per cent for Alliance, 10.9 per cent for the Ulster Unionists and 8.7 per cent for the SDLP. The turnout was 54 per cent.
Deputy MacLochlainn says the electorate has sent a clear message – that the prolonged Stormont impasse must be overcome and the Assembly urgently restored.
“The Irish and British government now need to respond to the will of our people and to redouble their efforts to get all of the democratic institutions in the North up and running,” he urged.
Focusing on the picture closer to home, Deputy MacLochlainn is “delighted” with Sinn Fein’s performance in the Derry and Strabane District Council area, where the party scored a perfect 18 seats out of 18, gaining 39 per cent of the vote share.
He says the result is all down to the “hard work of our councillor teams on the ground”.
“I am delighted with the huge support given to our Sinn Fein Councillors and candidates in Derry and West Tyrone in particular. All of our 18 candidates for the Derry and Strabane District Council were elected and that is a tremendous endorsement from our people in those communities,” Deputy MacLochlainn said.
He added: “There was a big team of Inishowen and Donegal Sinn Fein members canvassing in Derry and Tyrone and we could see for ourselves the strong support for the leadership being provided by Michelle O’Neill in trying to get the Stormont Assembly and Executive back to work again.”