Video: Violent republicans will fill the vacuum, warns Willie Hay

Willie Hay.
Willie Hay.

The DUP’s Willie Hay, has warned “daily instances of bombs being made by dissident republicans” are a portent that destructive forces are waiting to fill the Stormont vacuum in the absence of power-sharing.

“The political vacuum cannot be allowed to continue. Dissident republicans are now targeting police officers on a nightly basis,” said the long-standing Derry DUP man.

Speaking in the British House of Lords before Parliament was prorogued early on Tuesday morning, he said: “There are daily instances of bombs being made by dissident republicans.

“The worry in Northern Ireland is that someone else will fill the vacuum if we cannot get the institutions up and running. There is no doubt about that.”

The former Derry Mayor, who now takes the title Lord Hay of Ballyore in the House of Lords, made the remarks while members of the PSNI were dealing with a command wire initiated bomb in Creggan.

“Do we really want to bring another generation in Northern Ireland through what we all went through? I think not, so the stakes are high for getting the Assembly up and running,” he said.

The erstwhile Stormont Speaker claimed it was not only political stability that was under threat.

“I shall say a few words about education. Education in Northern Ireland is in a mess.

“You have only to speak to teachers, and to school principals in particular. The budgets are under terrible pressure. When it comes to the impact of the funding crisis in the classroom, principals, governors and parents continually bend over backwards to make sure that the cuts do not impact on the children, but it is only a matter of time,” he remarked.