Northern Ireland news

Paisley/McGuinness/Robinson administrations rank highest on delivery and reconciliation

Stormont leaders Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness in 2007. Picture by Paul Faith/PA Wire

THE post-St Andrews partnership between the DUP and Sinn Féin is regarded as the most effective in delivering for society and nurturing reconciliation, new data suggests.

The Institute of Irish Studies-University of Liverpool/The Irish News opinion poll shows the power-sharing institutions led by Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley, who was later replaced by Peter Robinson, is ranked much higher than its successor.

Respondents were asked to rate the effectiveness of Stormont's administrations since the Good Friday Agreement.

In regards to delivering for society, the Paisley-Robinson/McGuinness-led executives were regarded as the most effective, scoring 64.2 per cent.

Likewise, the post-St Andrews administration that was in power for a decade up to 2017 topped the rankings for reconciliation, with a score if 66.4 per cent.

The high rating achieved by Paisley-Robinson/McGuinness is almost double that of the most recent administration, which was put in place in January 2020 following the New Decade, New Approach deal.

In terms of effectiveness in delivery the Paul Givan-Arlene Foster/Michelle O'Neill-led executive scored just 32.9 per cent, and 28.2 per cent for reconciliation.

The comparatively poor rating is reflected right across unionism, nationalism and neithers.

The administration established soon after the Good Friday Agreement , which was led by the UUP's David Trimble and the SDLP's Seamus Mallon, scored 58.8 per cent for its record on reconciliation and 53.7 per cent for delivery.

Director of the Institute of Irish Studies Professor Peter Shirlow said: "The Paisley, McGuinness and Robinson period led to growths in foreign investment, declining violence and a period of stability.

"For all their faults and their complex pasts, the post-St Andrews administrations showed a level of leadership that appears to have been absent with its successor."

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