First Minister Peter Robinson is under fire after he failed to issue a statement on the death of Cardinal Cahal Daly.
The much respected 92-year-old former Catholic primate, who died earlier this week, was renowned for his work towards peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and for the hardline attitude he adopted towards the IRA, as well as the hand of friendship he extended to the Protestant community.
But last night the DUP was refusing to make any public statement on behalf of the First Minister following Dr Daly’s death in Belfast City Hospital on New Year’s Eve.
In contrast, a string of Protestant clergymen have been paying tribute to the former Catholic Primate of Ireland who was instrumental in the peace process. They include Presbyterian Moderator Stafford Carson, The Reverend Donald Kerr [actually spelt "Ker"], President of the Methodist Church in Ireland and Church of Ireland Primate Alan Harper.
Public representatives have indicated that as Northern Ireland’s leading politician, representing the whole community, the First Minister should have made a public statement on the death of such a high-profile figure ...
A DUP spokesman, after taking a number of calls from this office, instead issued a statement on behalf of DUP Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster ...
SDLP MLA John Dallat said: “Not only is Peter Robinson out of tune with the Catholic community but he is also out of tune with the vast majority of the Protestant community as well. The fact that the First Minister will not issue a statement is in reality a statement in itself.”
Update - First Minister Peter Robinson has now issued a statement.