Protest tonight over lack of political progress

Hundreds are planning to attend an event in Portadown tonight when Northern Ireland marks the milestone of being the longest a country has gone without a working government.

Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 5:03 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:18 pm
From left Tim Reynolds (organiser) Felix Millington (aged 5), Aoife Reaper-Reynolds and her daughter Maya, Olyvia Millington holding the poster at the front, Kerry Millington, Tim Reynolds father Gordon who is a retired church pastor and former probation officer, Mel Wiggins OBE with her daughter Ada (age 2) and Levi Wiggins (age 7)

The ignominious accolade will be achieved next Tuesday when the NI Assembly will have failed to have met for more than 589 days.

The government collapsed in January 2017 after a breakdown in relations between the two main parties - the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Portadown will be one of several venues to mark the event under the campaign banner “We Deserve Better” and organiser Tim Reynolds has had around 700 people interested in attending.

The former Portadown College student, Tim, who works with Christian Aid, said he has no political background but felt the need to join the campaign.

“Having worked for the Salvation Army for many years I have seen poverty and disadvantage first hand,” said Tim, adding that since his return to Portadown he has seen many positive changes.

However, he felt the suspension of the Assembly had ‘stirred something up’.

He said the family-friendly event would give people a positive vent for their anger.

They are calling for the political leaders to re-establish Stormont institutions immediately and stop wasting the public’s time and money.

Plus they are asking the Secretary of State to reduce MLAs salaries if they do not actively engage in discussions to get back to government.

They are hoping people from Lurgan and Craigavon will also attend the event which will take place outside St Mark’s Church in the town centre at 7pm on Tuesday, August 28.