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Ó Caoláin welcomes Agreement

5 February, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed today's Agreement announced at Hillsborough Castle.

He said:

"The Agreement announced today is a very significant step forward for all the people of Ireland. I commend the Sinn Féin negotiators, the DUP negotiators and those of all parties and both Governments who contributed to this very welcome and positive development.

"Republicans throughout Ireland have been very patient not only over recent weeks but over recent years with regard to the vital issue of policing. A date has now finally been set for the long overdue transfer of policing and justice powers from London to Belfast. That is a major achievement and it will also be a major challenge to ensure that policing services are delivered equitably and efficiently for all communities and that the justice system is independent and fully rights-based.

"I welcome especially the commitment to work on the outstanding issues from the St. Andrew's Agreement. That must include completion and full working of the all-Ireland structures, including the North-South Parliamentary Forum. Only yesterday in the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee in the Oireachtas we discussed the progress being made in all-Ireland co-operation on education and how so much more can yet be done. The same applies in areas like health, transport, employment creation, agriculture and so on.

"The real test of this Agreement will be how it delivers improvements in the daily life condition of ordinary people, not only in the Six Counties but across this island." ENDS

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