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No return to Unionist Majority Rule - Adams

3 October, 2008

No return to Unionist Majority Rule - Adams

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP MLA is in the United States on a four day speaking tour.

Mr. Adams will address meetings in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. Among his engagements will be Xavier University in Cincinnati on Friday evening.

Speaking last night in Cleveland the Sinn Fein President updated activists and supporters on the current crisis in the political process.

Mr. Adams told his audience that "the current gridlock exists because the DUP has failed to honour commitments it made in the St. Andrews Agreement in October 2006.

Specifically, the DUP has refused to agree a timeframe for the transfer of powers on policing and justice from London to the Assembly and Executive in the north.

Its opposition to transfer does not stand up to serious scrutiny.

Among other issues the DUP has also refused, in a gratuitously insulting and offensive way, to introduce an Acht na Gaeilge and it is opposing efforts to modernise and reform the educational system.

At this point it appears that the most reactionary elements in the party are dictating the pace of its engagements with the rest of us.

This is the real reason for the current crisis. It lies in the DUP's refusal thus far to work the Executive as a partnership and power sharing government.

Some DUP representatives want to run the institutions in the same way unionism used to run the north - in their interests solely, even though the leadership knows this is not sustainable.

It knows this is not acceptable and that Sinn Fein will not allow any return to unionist majority rule.

In addition, there are clearly elements of the DUP who remain bigots; who really don't want to have a Catholic about the place.

They are opposed to power sharing in any form.

The fact that the DUP is in a power sharing arrangement with Sinn Féin means that these bigots are in a place they never expected to be: a partnership government in which the DUP leader Peter Robinson is in a shared joint Ministry with Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, and in which neither can take any decision of worth without the approval of the other.

It is obvious that in the longer term the DUP refusal to fulfil its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement and St. Andrew's Agreement is untenable.

The DUP's assertion that it is not bound by any of these agreements - and particularly its ridiculous claim that it does not assent to the St. Andrews Agreement, given how it claimed that Agreement as a great achievement for its leadership - is a serious challenge to the two governments and the rest of us.

So there is a lot of work yet to be done.

That is obvious.

It is also obvious that the DUP leadership knows the truth of all this.

Sinn Fein is giving it time to adjust to the new dispensation - we are entirely satisfied that the vast majority of republicans are on board for our approach - but we are not satisfied that appropriate efforts are being made to get unionism where it should be - on the side of inclusivity and power sharing.

Is Sinn Fein prepared to work through these difficulties? Yes.

But we need to have a sense that those we work with are open to a future based on the right of citizens to equality and justice.

If the political will exists none of these matters are insurmountable. We have overcome greater and more difficult problems.

Sinn Féin is coming at all of this positively.

Our core political value is based on the right of human beings to be free citizens - liberated, empowered and equal.

Our strategies and tactics are designed to bring this about." ENDS

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