‘Don’t be scared,’ Mary Lou McDonald tells unionists after Sinn Féin surge

“Don’t be scared,” was Sinn Fein chief Mary Lou McDonald’s message for unionists spooked by her get together’s surge on the polls, lining up the North’s first ever nationalist first minister at Stormont.

“The future is bright for all of us,” she insisted.

Bright, however not orange, maybe. Ms McDonald insisted it was “unthinkable” that unionist leaders would try and stymie the massively, if solely, symbolic elevation of Michelle O’Neill because the political figurehead for the area.

Amid solutions from the Democratic Unionist Party that it might not be going again to Stormont until there have been modifications to the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol preparations, Ms McDonald warned voters wouldn’t stand for it.

It is “no time for theatrics” whereas individuals are being crippled by a cost-of-living disaster.

Speaking at Magherafelt rely centre, in Co Derry, the place Ms O’Neill made her victory speech on Saturday afternoon after topping the ballot in Mid-Ulster, Ms McDonald urged a power-sharing authorities, with O’Neill at its helm, be established inside days.

“At this point, we need good government and the kind of leadership that my friend and colleague Michelle O’Neill will bring in spades,” she stated, on the Meadowbank Sports Arena.

“We are in circumstance where houses and families are struggling to put bread on the tables, struggling to heat their homes. This is not a time for theatrics. This is not a time for playing games.”

It is a time for “grown up, sensible partnership politics”, she was adamant.

“That is what people want and we look forward to an Executive being established and I look forward to Michele O’Neill being nominated as first minister, to lead from the front.”

Live outcomes hub: View all the most recent outcomes for each constituency right here

The concept that unionists would “stand on the sidelines and allow people to struggle and struggle badly” throughout hovering on a regular basis gas, utility and meals prices is “unthinkable”, she added.

“We would attraction to all people to take inventory, take breath and actually perceive the large duty that each one of us carry, collectively.

“Collectively we have an obligation to get government up and running.”

Standing at her aspect, Ms O’Neill insisted: “The people have spoken.”

“Our job now is to turn up (at Stormont). Leadership matters, equality matters, turning up matters,” she advised reporters and get together supporters who mobbed the pair after they arrived late afternoon.

“There is no reason for any delay. We should have an Executive formed now – next week. We should agree a programme for government, to put money into people’s pockets. That is what people voted for.”

On the constitutional questio, the imminence or in any other case of a Border ballot, Ms O’Neill caught to the Sinn Fein playbook on the thorny subject for this election.

There is already “very healthy conversation” underneath means. Indeed, she inspired these against her personal political cornerstone of a reunified Ireland to become involved in debate about “what our future looks like.”

And there was a message for Government Buildings too. “The Irish Government must create the conditions for that open conversation about constitutional change,” she stated.

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