Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle endorses Haass proposals
Speaking today following a meeting of the party’s Ard Chomhairle, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said:
“December saw significant progress made at the talks convened by Dr Richard Haass and Meghan O’Sullivan on Parades, Select Commemorations and Protests; and Contending with the Past.
“Today, the Ard Chomhairle endorsed a recommendation from the party’s negotiations teamthat the Haass Proposals provide the basis for agreement and that Sinn Féin endorses it’s recommendations.
“The Irish and British Governments must now make clear statements in support of the Haass proposals and work with all parties towards their implementation.
“We also believe that there needs to be a wide ranging debate in all sectors of society particularly in those areas most acutely affected by these contentious issues.”
“As with every negotiation in which Sinn Féin has been involved, this document is a compromise position.
“In relation to the past Sinn Féin has always said that the needs of victims must be central to any proposals. We believe that the Haass document makes considerable advances on this issue.
“Sinn Féin would like to have seen some aspects of the document strengthened and improved further. However agreement on everything was not possible. This is particularly the case with the flags issue.
“Sinn Féin has little confidence that the proposed Commission on Identity, Culture and Tradition will resolve these issues.
“We are also disappointed that issues like Acht na Gaeilge and the development at the former Long Kesh prison site, which were part of previous agreements, were not advanced.
“These issues remain to be resolved in the time ahead.
“In relation to parades, Sinn Féin has consistently advocated direct, meaningful dialogue as the best means of resolving the few remaining parading disputes.
“In the absence of dialogue or a failure to reach agreement over contentious parades there is an obvious requirement for a robust regulatory body. We believe that the Haass proposals meet that demand.