Sinn Féin have reacted angrily to comments made by SDLP assemblyman John Dallat in the Sunday papers that Conor Murphy MP MLA had scheduled the 2016 opening of the Dungiven by-pass to coincide with the centenary of the Easter Rising.
In a statement, Sinn Fein Colr. Paddy Butcher said: “Attacking Sinn Fin minister Conor Murphy, Mr. Dallat cautioned the residents of Dungiven to ‘hope the Dungiven bypass is less of an aspiration and more something they (Sinn Fin) are actually capable of delivering’.”
Responding on behalf of Sinn Fin, Francie Brolly MLA said: “Mr Dallat is an apologist for decades of SDLP inertia, ineptitude and inaction. When the SDLP held the office of Deputy First Minister and Minister of Finance no substantial commitment to delivering the Dungiven bypass was ever made. The SDLP’s 15 minutes of fame in government have now gone for ever.
“When Conor Murphy MP MLA first took office his key priority was to address the injustice of years of direct rule and latterly UUP and SDLP minister’s failure to invest in the economic infrastructure west of the Bann. Sinn Fin will ensure that work on the Dungiven bypass will start in 2012.
“Furthermore the announcement on the A5 Derry to Aughnacloy preferred route will be made in early August. This scheme at a cost of 400m will be the largest of its nature on the island of Ireland. “
With regards Mr Dallat’s statement that Sinn Fin’s commitment to Irish reunification is “just an aspiration”, Mr. Brolly added:
“The establishment of a 32 county Socialist Republic is our party’s primary objective and we will not rest until we achieve this through a peaceful democratic process.
“Mr Dallat’s party by contrast pay lip service to the goal of a united Ireland in their manifestoes whilst it is quite clear they are perfectly content with the status quo.”
See what John Dallat said on page 45