Church of Ireland

Irish church leader on DUP agreement and Northern Ireland deadlock

Mon 26 Jun 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

It's hoped the DUP deal with the Conservatives won't be the only political agreement this week.

Northern Ireland is still without a government after the DUP and Sinn Fein failed to strike a power sharing deal.

Bishop John McDowell is the President of the Irish Council of Churches.

He told Premier's News Hour the deal can only be good for Northern Ireland if it's followed by further agreement later this week.

He said: "It can't be translated into anything unless there's an executive to allocate those funds in political decision on where they might go. So it's an important factor but for us the most important factor is the return of an administration here."

McDowell was part of a group of church leaders who are urging Northern Ireland's politicians to strike a power sharing deal for the common good of everyone.

Leaders of five denominations have united to call on them to go the extra mile to reach an agreement.

The DUP and Sinn Fein have until Thursday to find a way to work together or risk being ruled from Westminster.

McDowell said expanding the deadlock with no budget has put the most vulnerable at greater risk.

He told Premier: "All of those people generally who don't have a big voice in society, who depend on a functioning executive to get money, and to get programs, and to get people with expertise to them. So that's our hope and prayer that those people aren't disappointed."

Listen to Bishop John McDowell speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here:

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