Progress made in negotiations
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams is back in Belfast today after a whistlestop 4 day tour of all 5 EU constituencies on the island. Mr. Adams joined party colleague and EU candidate Bairbre de Brún on a canvas in North Belfast this morning.
Speaking during his visit to that part of Belfast Mr. Adams said;
'Over recent weeks Sinn Féin has fought an EU election across the island, as well as a local government election campaign and a referendum campaign on citizenship in the south. This has taken a massive effort on behalf of our party activists and supporters and I want to congratulate them all for their efforts and to ask them to keep it up for the next few days.
Without taking the electorate for granted I am confident that Sinn Féin will make significant political and electoral advances. We are on target to gain representation in the European Parliament for the first time and we are poised to dramatically increase the amount of local government seats in the south. From canvassing in the north it is clear that people are frustrated at the failure of the two governments, but especially the British government, to implement the Good Friday Agreement in full.
However, people are not for giving up on the Agreement and they and we are determined to see the obligations and commitments in the Agreement honoured in full by all participants. In recent weeks, despite our busy schedule the Sinn Féin negotiating team has continued to hold intense discussions with the two governments. I believe we have made progress in these.
The European and the local government election provide an opportunity for the nationalist and republican electorate to endorse our efforts and strengthen Sinn Féin's mandate as we enter what will probably be the most difficult and challenging negotiations since the Agreement.
I am confident that on Thursday and Friday people throughout this island - from Waterford to Derry, from Galway to Dublin - will respond positively to our record of hard work and achievement and to our vision of a new Ireland, A new European Union, on an island of equals in a Europe of equals.