Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said the publication of the Hallett report “makes it imperative that all of the political parties recommit themselves as quickly as possible to recommence the suspended all-party talks.”
Mr. Adams was speaking this morning at a meeting of the Sinn Féin National Officer Board which is being held in Louth. The meeting was also attended by senior party regional representatives across the island.
The meeting will review the post July 12th situation in the north; the Hallett report, all-island opposition to austerity cuts and the recent Cabinet reshuffle by An Taoiseach.
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“While the July 12th orange marches passed without major incident there remains a serious crisis within the political institutions with unionist leaders refusing to engage positively to resolve the outstanding issues of legacy, flags and symbols and parades.
“The publication of the Hallett Report makes it imperative that all of the political parties recommit themselves as quickly as possible to recommence the suspended all-party talks.
“The key to making progress in the time ahead is for the Irish and British governments to become champions for the political process. That means both governments unequivocally stating their determination to honour outstanding commitments from the Good Friday Agreement and other agreements, and to make clear to political unionism that they will not block progress.
“There is a responsibility on the two governments to enhance the political context for agreement by providing clear and positive leadership.
“There is a particular onus on the Cameron government which has been explicitly partisan in promoting a unionist agenda. The difficulties caused by this have been deepened by the British government’s attempts to impose welfare cuts on the Executive in outright conflict with the agreed Programme for Government.
“Unless this is opposed by a united Executive these cuts, driven by the Tory austerity ideology, will inflict even more punishment on people with disabilities, the working poor, senior citizens, women and children.”
Commenting on the recent Cabinet reshuffle Gerry Adams said:
“The Cabinet reshuffle and allocation of Ministerial jobs reinforced Fine Gael’s domination of the coalition and the Labour Party’s role as junior partner.
“Joan Burton’s efforts to assert her new leadership status fell flat when the Taoiseach refused to appoint a Labour Minister to the Jobs Ministry or send Eamonn Gilmore to Europe as a Commissioner.
“Instead Labour has accepted responsibility for the imposition of water charges and property tax.
“Clearly the new Labour leadership like its predecessor is happy to continue to play second fiddle to Fine Gael and to implement the austerity policies that have crippled working families and hard pressed communities for the last three years.”