Joe Reilly joins the Sinn Féin delegation to meet the Taoiseach in Government Buildings
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness and Árd Comhairle member Joe Reilly met the Taoiseach today in Government Buildings in Dublin. The meeting followed a meeting between the delegation and Tony Blair in Downing Street yesterday. Also at that meeting was Huge Orde. Councillor Reilly said "the focus of Sinn Féin remains on getting the DUP on board and on ensuring that the two governments do not agree to anything that will undermine the Good Friday Agreement."
Speaking from Dublin this morning Councillor Reilly said:
"Yesterday we met the Chief Constable of the PSNI in London on the issue of demilitarisation. This is one of the many outstanding issues of the Good Friday Agreement and is a crucial one for republicans. You only have to drive a few miles up the road to see the hideous spy posts that are imposed on Republican communities in the Six Counties. It is incredible that the British Army currently have 12,000 troops in the north, that is more than they have in Iraq. What does that tell you, ten years into the peace process, about British government commitments to demilitarisation.
"Sinn Féin is campaigning for an accelerated programme of demilitarisation and that it should take place in the shortest timeframe possible. Furthermore the programme must be meaningful and significant.
"Today we will meet the Taoiseach in Government Buildings in our ongoing efforts to reach a comprehensive political deal. We have always believed that a deal was inevitable if we keep pushing it and we are going to keep pushing it.
"We have two objectives in these talks. One is to get the DUP to agree in clear terms to power-sharing, to working the agreement and treating people on the basis of equality. We are stretching and challenging our supporters in a bid to secure a deal. Other parties need to do this in their own constituencies too. It is a collective responsibility.
"Our second objective is to make sure that any package that emerges is founded in the agreement and its implementation. Our focus is on ensuring that the two governments do not agree to anything that will undermine the Good Friday Agreement.
"Finally I would like to comment on Ian Paisley‚s latest comments about humiliating the IRA. These comments are intemperate and highly insulting and do not make the job of making a deal any easier." ENDS