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Adams announces events to mark tenth anniversary of Good Friday Agreement

5 April, 2008

The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle met today in Dublin. The Ard Chomhairle received a briefing from MEP Mary Lou McDonald on preparations for the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum and party President Gerry Adams updated the party leadership on ongoing efforts to ensure that the British government honour their commitment to transfer powers on Policing and Justice to the Assembly.

The Ard Chomhairle finalised arrangements for nine public meetings being held by the party to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and one year jointly leading the Executive in the North.  These will begin in Belfast on Tuesday night.

Speaking during a break in the meeting in Dublin Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: 

“This week marks the 10th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. In the course of the past 12 months there has been significant progress particularly in ensuring that the Agreement’s power sharing and all-Ireland institutions are up, running and progressing.  However there are still many challenges ahead in particular the transfer of policing powers, Irish language rights and building the economy.”

“At this time Sinn Féin is particularly focused on ensuring that the British government honours the public commitment to transfer powers on policing and justice away from London and into the hands of locally elected politicians.

“The transfer of powers is not an abstract notion. Putting control of policing and justice into the hands of the Assembly and the Executive is vital for the establishment of a policing service which is democratically accountable and representative of the community it serves.

“It is also vital if we are to ensure that we have a policing service which is responsive to the needs and demands of the people and one which can effectively work with local communities in tackling issues like anti-social behaviour.

“So in the time ahead much work remains to be done.  We are about to embark on a series of public meetings and our Lisbon Treaty campaign is up and running. In addition to the transfer of powers there are clearly a number of other key issues which the Executive and in particular the new leader of the DUP need to address. These include Irish Language rights, the Bill of Rights, the Long Kesh site and equality matters.

“So Sinn Féin remains focused on all of this.  We want to find a resolution to these and other issues. But we will not allow the basic rights and entitlements agreed 10 years ago to be diluted or diminished. The Agreement continues to be the road map to a better future for all of the people on this island.” ENDS


Note to editor: The times and venues of the meetings are:

     * Tues 8th April - Belfast (The Europa Hotel) - 7.30pm

    * Sun 13th April - Strabane (Fountain St Community Centre) - 8pm

    * Tues 15th April - Upper Bann (Asbourne Hotel, Lurgan) - 8pm

    * Wed 16th April - Derry (The Guildhall) - 8pm

    * Thurs 17th April - Toomebridge (The Elk) - 8pm

    * Fri 18th April - Fermanagh (The Slieve Russell) - 8pm

    * Sun 20th April - Down (The Downshire Arms Hotel, Hilltown) - 8pm

    * Tues 22nd April - Newry Armagh (Silverbridge Resource Centre) - 8pm

    * Wed 23rd April - Galbally (Galbally Community Centre) - 8pm

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