Radio silence from DUP over Gerry Adams' plans to retire

Ian Knox cartoon 20/11/17 
Andrew Madden

THE DUP, who have failed to strike a deal with Sinn Féin to get the Stormont executive in place, issued no statement on plans outlined over the weekend by Gerry Adams's to stand down.

Despite repeated calls to the party for comment there was no response last night.

It is understood that DUP leader Arlene Foster is currently out of Northern Ireland.

She was spotted on a flight from Belfast to Malaga on Friday with a group of women, with fellow passengers telling how she "looked relaxed and happy".

It is not known when she is expected back.

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Despite Mr Adams outlining his plans to quit at the party's ard fheis on Saturday, there was little other reaction from within the ranks of unionism yesterday.

Robin Swann last night called on Mr Adams to "step aside" from the Stormont talks process saying his contribution has been "neither helpful nor constructive."

As Mr Adams announced plans to resign, the Ulster Unionist leader also said it was time for the Sinn Féin president to "show some compassion" and help locate the graves of the remaining Disappeared victims.

TUV leader Jim Allister echoed his sentiments.

Mr Swann said he hoped Mr Adams would "show some compassion" as he re-iterated a call for him ask the republican movement to hand over any information they have in relation to the remaining Disappeared.

He also said that Mr Adams should move away from the Stormont talks proceess "immediately" as his contribution has been neither helpful nor constructive.

"When others within Sinn Fein have been seemingly keen to do a deal, he has stamped on them," he claimed.

TUV leader Jim Allister said Mr Adams would get to enjoy a retirement which the "IRA brutally denied to so many."

Arlene Foster. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

TUV leader Jim Allister said Gerry Adams was afforded a retirement that IRA victims were not. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

UUP leader Robin Swann called on the Sinn Fein leader to help locate the burial sites of the Disappeared and for him to remove himself from the Stormont talks process. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker Press

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