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McGuinness comments on 10th anniversary of GFA

21 March, 2008

Commenting as we approach the tenth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the then Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator and now Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said:

"Politics in the north had for years been a scene of failed political initiative after failed political initiative by the British government as they sought to undermine support for Sinn Féin and bolster the so called centre ground of the SDLP and UUP.

"Each of these efforts failed. They failed in the main because they were based on the exclusion of Sinn Féin and the people we represent. Within seven months of Sinn Fein joining the talks process, and after decades of failure, we had the Good Friday Agreement. Last year Sinn Fein achieved what many considered impossible, a comprehensive agreement with Ian Paisley and the DUP. There could never have been a successful accommodation without the involvement of Irish Republicans. Inclusive dialogue was the key.

"After the historic deal made between Sinn Fein and the DUP last May the power-sharing and all-Ireland political institutions are in place, stable and delivering.

"Sinn Féin is proud of the role we have played in the course of the negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement and in the years since in securing its implementation. Politics on the island of Ireland have been transformed and the process of change will undoubtedly continue and undoubtedly continue to deliver for citizens across the island in the years ahead." ENDS

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