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Acting First Ministers comments inaccurate – O’Dowd

21 January, 2010 - by John O'Dowd

Responding to remarks this evening by the Acting First Minister Arlene Foster complaining that Sinn Féin was not present to talk with her party today, Sinn Féin Assembly member John O’Dowd said:

“On the media this evening Arlene Foster complained that Sinn Féin was not available for talks in Stormont today. The fact is that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness told Peter Robinson in no uncertain terms last night that the Sinn Féin negotiation team would be reporting to the National Officer Board today as the party made an assessment of the talks process to date and would not be in Stormont. It is up to Arlene Foster to explain why she thought otherwise.

On the issue of transferring powers on Policing and Justice, Mr O’Dowd expressed his amazement that Ms Foster claimed that the St. Andrews Agreement contained no timeframe on this issue.

“I was amazed this evening when on BBC Radio Arlene Foster blandly stated that the St. Andrews Agreement contained no timeframe on transferring powers on policing and justice. The fact is a cursory glance at the St Andrews Agreement clearly shows that the date mentioned for transfer was May 1st 2008. No amount of selective reading will alter that fact and the more important issue that the DUP are in default of that Agreement.” CRÍOCH

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