Republicans and unionists have made progress possible
Welcoming the announcement of major developments in the peace process, Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said it was a credit to all involved in the recent negotiations and an important step forward for all the people of Ireland.He said:
"I welcome the these major developments in the peace process. Today's unfolding events represent an important step forward for all the people of Ireland, allowing for the long overdue and full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
"The achievement of progress is a credit to all involved in the negotiations. It has been a very difficult process for both republicans and unionists. And this is the most important point of these negotiations and their outcome. It has been the representatives of Irish republicanism and of Irish unionism who have faced each other and who have come to an agreement, an agreement that I expect will sustain despite the efforts of those who seek to undermine the peace process and the promise of the Good Friday Agreement itself. I commend in particular the negotiators from my own party whose tenacious efforts have borne fruit.
"Republicans have yet again proven their commitment to the peace process and their willingness to take risks. Too often the political will on the part of republicans to make very difficult decisions has been taken for granted. But the record shows that when courageous initiatives were needed republicans have not been found wanting.
"The next step in the process is the long-delayed and postponed Assembly elections. I am confident that this election will see very significant gains for Sinn Féin. As an all-Ireland party we will be contesting the elections on a national basis, with party members and elected representatives from throughout the 26 Counties joining our colleagues on the campaign trail.
"I look forward to the re-establishment of an inclusive Executive, the full operation of the all-Ireland Ministerial Council and the implementation bodies. We need to see further rapid progress, especially on demilitarisation and on the delivery of a real economic peace dividend for the border region." ENDS