North’s political institutions in very precarious position – Adams
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said the future of political structures in the North are in a very precarious position because of the determination of the British Government and unionist parties, to implement hugely destructive cuts.
Speaking in the Dáil during statements on the North, Gerry Adams said:
“The political structures are currently in a very precarious position.
“In the 17 years since the Agreement was achieved, it has faced many challenges. Many commitments in the Good Friday Agreement have not been implemented.
“However, the current determination of the British Government and unionist parties, to implement hugely destructive cuts to the fabric of society in the North, represents one of the gravest threats yet to the institutions.
“The British Budget is a clear assault on working families and those on low pay. Instead of austerity, the Northern Executive needs a sustainable and workable budget, investment and powers to grow the economy and deliver public services.
“Sinn Féin will not be agents of cuts imposed on citizens in the North at the behest of the Tories. Others who may be prepared to perform this role should be mindful that these cuts will affect unionist and loyalist citizens as well as everyone else.
“Sinn Féin wants the political institutions to work and to deliver for citizens.
“Despite all difficulties, the Executive, Assembly and all-Ireland institutions have worked much better for citizens than the years of direct rule by unaccountable British Ministers and decades of one-party rule by the Ulster Unionist Party.
“So, our preference is for the current institutions to stay in place, but this cannot be at any price.
“Sinn Féin does not expect conservative governments in Dublin or London to change their political or ideological positions. They are both wedded to the austerity agenda. However, we do expect them to accept the special circumstances of the North, as a society coming out of conflict.
“We expect both Governments to accept the need for an economic dividend to the necessary process of peace-building and change. We demand that they fully implement the Good Friday and subsequent agreements.”
The Sinn Féin Leader said both Governments needed to implement those elements of the Stormont House Agreement that deal with the past and legacy issues and that the Irish Government needed to play a more active and constructive role in the North.
“This Government has been detached in its approach, but you are not unique. This was also a feature of Governments of which Micheál Martin was a member. Citizens in this State expect the Oireachtas to be proactively involved in the peace process. Citizens in the North expect the same. The Dáil needs to break out of a Partitionist mind-set.”