‘Stunning victory for Sinn Féin’ – McDonald

The election of 26-year-old Órfhlaith Begley as the first female MP for West Tyrone is a stunning victory for Sinn Féin, Party President Mary-Lou McDonald has said.

“In the last election, Sinn Féin took a massive percentage share, winning 50 percent of the total vote in West Tyrone,” she commented.

“All the predictions were that it would be impossible to come close to that result but tonight, Órfhlaith Begley has done just that in her first election and created history by becoming the first female MP for West Tyrone.

“That is a stunning victory for Órfhlaith and for Sinn Féin.”

The result, Mary-Lou McDonald added, should be seen as a mandate to end the DUP’s blockage on a return to the power-sharing institutions.

She commented: “This election was the first time the people have been to the polls since the DUP walked away from the draft agreement and collapsed the talks process.

“Tonight the people have given their verdict on that and it is a huge endorsement for genuine power-sharing based on rights, equality and respect for all.

“The DUP should now end their blockage on a return to power-sharing and if they refuse, there is an onus on the two governments to urgently convene the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference to resolve the equality and rights issues at the heart of the crisis.”