Sinn Féin could have walked out over NAMA allegation - Adams
Speaking in Drogheda, County Louth, at a Fair Recovery public meeting and responding to the Unionist refusal to be part of All Party talks today, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said that “if Sinn Féin adopted the same approach as the unionist parties then there would not be a political process or political institutions in the north.”
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“The unionist parties’ attitude to the two murders in Belfast and to the recent revelations about the sell-off of NAMAs northern loan book shows their ad hoc attitude to the political institutions.
“In July serious concerns arose around the sell-off by NAMA of its northern loan book - valued at £4.5 billion - for a third of that amount, amid allegations that a senior politician in the north was to benefit from this.
“Sinn Féin could have decided at that point to walk away from the Executive. We didn’t. We asserted the primacy of due process and the need for these very serious allegations of political corruption to be fully investigated properly by the relevant Assembly and policing agencies.
“We took the same position on the claims around the killings of Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan. These murders are the responsibility of the PSNI to investigate.
“The DUP and the UUP took a different approach. Led by the UUP they exploited these murders for narrow political self-interest.
“The sell-off of NAMAs northern loan book involves both the Minister for Finance in Dublin as well as senior Ministers in the north.
“The allegations of wrong doing are very serious.
“These allegations are currently being investigated by the NCA and the PSNI alongside the hearings of the Assembly’s Finance and Personnel Committee.
“The UUP and the DUP’s refusal to uphold the integrity of the political institutions and protocols and the imperative for the PSNI to investigate the two recent murders in Belfast and their attitude to the NAMA allegations illustrates their ad hoc attitude to these issues.
“This arises from Unionism’s historic ‘Not an inch’ and ‘No Surrender’ mentality.
“Even the most progressive Unionists have great difficulties coming to terms with the new political dispensation. They want to have political power on their own terms and not on the basis of equality, as set out in a series of agreements.
“Pandering by both governments to Unionism has reinforced this tendency.
“It is obvious from the DUP and the UUP’s refusal to engage in plenary talks today. Their antics are damaging public confidence in politics.
“In the longer term Unionism will be freed and liberated by the ending of partition and the union. These are the causes of the dysfunctionality which regularly surfaces in the political institutions and the contradictions between the rhetoric of unionist leaders and their actions.
“In the immediate short term it is obvious that the parties in the North and the two Governments need to live up to our obligations and to do the work we are well paid to do. A starting point should be to support the police in their work and to keep this out of the political processes.”