Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon during Leaders Questions with the Tánaiste the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD called on the Irish government to remind the British government of its outstanding obligations to the peace process.
The Sinn Féin leader expressed concern that “the unionist parties – particularly the DUP – have put back the issues that were dealt with by Richard Haass and Meghan O’Sullivan until after the Local Government elections which then brings us into June and that means the marching season.”
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny is in London today meeting the British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Sinn Féin leader welcomed the Dáil contribution by the Tánaiste in which he clearly said that there shouldn’t be “any unpicking of difficult decisions that were made and arrangements that were put in place … the issue post the St. Patrick’s period is the continuation of the Haass O’Sullivan talks … it isn’t satisfactory to the Irish government that this is an issue that is parked until after the elections in May.”
The Sinn Féin leader raised the issue of the OTRs which is among several legacy issues in common with all conflict resolution processes.
Gerry Adams put to the Tánaiste that there “needs to be a very basic principal, in terms of peace keeping that when agreements are made, when commitments are given, they have to be kept …”
The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said: “I do agree that when agreements are made they have to be kept.”
In a statement after Leaders Questions Gerry Adams said:
“In the wake of unhelpful remarks by British Secretary of State Teresa Villiers last week it is important that the Taoiseach remind the British Government of its outstanding obligations to the Peace Process.
“Among other issues, the British Government has failed to implement key parts of the Good Friday Agreement. These include Acht na Gaeilge, the Civic Forum, the Bill of Rights and other issues of equality and human rights.
“The British Government has also refused to establish an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane or to hand over files in relation to the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, despite a call to do so by the Oireachtas.
“We are now entering the third month since Dr Richard Haass and Professor Meghan O’Sullivan presented their proposals. This followed lengthy discussions with the political parties and others.
“The UUP has rejected Haass and the DUP has yet to set out its definitive.
“The issue of the past, flags and parades will not go away and need to be addressed in the context of the Good Friday and subsequent agreements.
“Unionist parties will only do so however if encouraged by both Governments to cease living in denial by hiding from the Haass process.
“The key to this is that commitments and agreement made must be honoured.”