In an open letter to politicians, the Archbishop of Armagh has advised government leaders to work together to maintain the peace after a snap election was called in Northern Ireland on Monday. The Catholic Herald reports.
The government collapsed after Sinn Fein formally announced it wouldn’t replace Martin McGuinness, who resigned as deputy first minister last Monday over concerns about the Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster’s handling of an energy scheme scandal.
The pair held a joint office so McGuinness’s resignation meant that Foster automatically lost her job.
In the letter, Archbishop Eamon Martin, who is Primate of All Ireland, called on politicians to make wise decisions.
He wrote: “Consider carefully your responsibility and noble vocation to work for the common good. The premature collapse of our political institutions so soon after the last election is a serious matter for all of us and cannot be taken lightly.
“The sense I am picking up from people on the ground is that it risks further disillusionment with the political process. We understand that it takes courage and generosity to stand for public office. But it also brings a trusted responsibility for leadership and integrity which can never be taken for granted.”
He added that the country needs to be able to trust politicians from all political parties to move forward with the peace process.