Irish former PM asked to apologise for ‘ghettoes’ claim | Northern Irish politics

The former prime minister of Ireland and one of many architects of the 1998 peace accord in Northern Ireland has been urged to apologise after claiming loyalists in “ghettoes” didn’t have a clue in regards to the Brexit protocol.

Bertie Ahern mentioned folks in “east Belfast and the ghettoes and the areas where you are likely to get trouble” had mischaracterised the particular preparations within the Brexit deal and noticed it as pathway to a united Ireland.

His feedback had been described as “demeaning and degrading” by the east Belfast DUP MP Gavin Robinson, who urged him to make clear his remarks and provide an apology.

Robinson mentioned: “To associate east Belfast with a ghetto and suggest loyalists are not able to understand the protocol is demeaning and degrading.

“People in my constituency who can’t get their Amazon parcels from another part of the United Kingdom well understand the impact of the protocol. Rather than belittling those who oppose the protocol, Bertie Ahern should seek to understand why not a single elected unionist in Northern Ireland supports the protocol,” mentioned Robinson.

The spat got here as a fifth week of talks over the Northern Ireland protocol got here to an finish with negotiations over checks and the management of products crossing from Great Britain and Northern Ireland anticipated to proceed into December.

Speaking on Thursday at an occasion hosted by the Brexit Institute in Dublin, the former taoiseach mentioned the protests staged by some loyalist communities had been extra about identification politics than the Brexit commerce preparations.

“The reality is in east Belfast and in the ghettoes and in the areas where you’re likely to get trouble, is that people haven’t got a clue about the protocol, not a clue.

“They see it as identity. They see it as a road to the Dublin government taking over again and this is a pathway to that. That’s how they see it, even those who you might consider to be a bit more intelligent and articulate. That is the difficulty,” mentioned Ahern.

“As a man who was central to the Belfast agreement being negotiated, Bertie should be honest in recognising that the protocol does alter Northern Ireland’s status within the United Kingdom single market without any consent from people living here, driving a coach and horses through the Belfast agreement.”

Robinson’s DUP colleague Diane Dodds described Ahern’s remarks as “snide” and “despicable”.

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