Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 5, 2024 / 14:40 pm
Newly appointed Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill made history over the weekend by becoming the first Catholic and first Irish nationalist to lead the country’s government in its 103 years of existence.
“As an Irish republican, I pledge cooperation and genuine honest effort with those colleagues who are British, of a unionist tradition, and who cherish the Union,” O’Neill, who is a member of the Irish nationalist and democratic socialist party Sinn Féin, said in an address to the Northern Ireland Assembly on Saturday after assuming the position of first minister.
“This is an assembly for all — Catholic, Protestant, and dissenter,” O’Neill added. “Despite our different outlooks and views on the future constitutional position, the public rightly demands that we cooperate, deliver, and work together.”
Despite Sinn Féin’s historical association with Irish Catholics, O’Neill and the party are at odds with Church teaching on a number of issues. For example, Sinn Féin supported the increase in access to abortion and the party supports children having access to transgender drugs.