President & CSR on Voting in Parliament

On hearing the result of the voting in Parliament, the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Rev. Sam McGuffin and the the Chair of the Church's Council on Social Responsibility, the Rev. Dr.David Clements have issued the following Statement

We recognise and share the deep frustration at the failure of our local politicians to get the Executive functioning again at Stormont. We also recognise that politicians will use whatever mechanisms are at hand to advance a cause they are passionate about. In the absence of devolved government at Stormont, opportunities to push forward legislation in Westminster are not easily found. We recognise the overwhelming support there is for a pension for people seriously injured during the Troubles, and the need for compensation for victims of HIA. It is a shameful failure that these matters have not already been dealt with here in Northern Ireland.

The other two big issues linked into the business today by way of amendments are more difficult.  Introducing same sex marriage and abortion, virtually on demand, into Northern Ireland are much more contentious. It will be disappointing if these things are legislated for ‘over the heads’ of people in Northern Ireland. There are deeply held convictions on these issues, and although some attitudes can change remarkably quickly, there is no clear consensus here. With these devolved matters, there should be careful discussion and debate in Northern Ireland and democratic decisions made by locally accountable politicians. 

We understand how some could see these as issues that may pressurise local parties to come to agreement sooner rather than later. We also want to give every encouragement to our local politicians to make progress, but we are deeply concerned if these very sensitive issues are used as ammunition in that cause


Issued by: Rev. Roy Cooper (07710945104)
Press Officer, Methodist Church in Ireland.