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Adams Criticises Taoiseach decision to take Foreign Affairs

19 January, 2011 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has criticised the Taoiseach’s decision to take up the Foreign Affairs brief following Micheál Martin’s resignation as Minister.

Mr. Adams said: “The Taoiseach’s decision smacks of an ad hoc approach which does not take account of the importance of the issues involved. His decision will mean less focus by the government at a time when more focus is required. There is an urgent need for a ministerial appointment

“There is an ongoing need for the government to deal with the British government on outstanding elements of the Good Friday Agreement in a robust and consistent way.

“Such an approach needs to run parallel with a government led process of engagement, particularly with the unionist parties, and especially on cross border and all-Ireland elements of the Agreement.

“Sinn Féin has expressed concerns to the government about its approach on these matters. These are now compounded by the Taoiseach’s decision. In my opinion these important matters cannot be properly addressed without direct Ministerial focus.

“It is impossible for the Taoiseach to do this in a way which the Good Friday Agreement and the government’s responsibilities demand.

“For example the British have one Minister, a Secretary of State, with direct responsibility for those matters which have not been transferred to the Executive in the north. This Secretary of State, an English Tory, clearly sees himself as a defender of the Union and unionism and, as he perceives it, British national interests. His party has a formal relationship with the Ulster Unionist party.

“For his part the Taoiseach’s decision smacks of an ad hoc approach which does not take account of the importance of the issues involved. His decision will mean less focus by the government at a time when more focus is required. There is an urgent need for a ministerial appointment.” ENDS

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