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A new opportunity for progress – Adams

19 November, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has described the Stormont House Agreement reached this week as “a new opportunity to build a better future and to make progress”.

The Sinn Féin leader slammed the British government’s ‘national security’ veto and criticised the Irish government’s failure to assert its role as co-equal guarantor of the process.

Writing in his weekly column in the Andersonstown News, the Sinn Féin leader said:

“While not all issues were resolved, this is an important development which seeks to stabilise the political institutions, tackle some of the outstanding matters, and allow for progress. Sinn Féin has successfully negotiated a package of measures, including a fund of £585 million over four years to support the vulnerable and working families.

“A panel headed by the renowned advocate Dr. Eileen Evason is to report on how best to use this money. These measures will mitigate some aspects of Britain’s austerity policies but will not cover in their entirety the cuts being imposed by the Tories. The British approach is unfair, fundamentally undemocratic, and economically counter-productive. Sinn Féin will continue to oppose this policy and to work for the implementation of Acht na Gaeilge and a Bill of Rights.”

Slamming the ‘national security’ veto Mr. Adams said:

“Using the pretext of ‘national security’ a British secretary of state can close down an investigation and push aside the genuine needs of victims. These proposals are unacceptable.

“What conceivable ‘national security’ concerns can exist for events, many of which occurred 30 and 40 years ago? What ‘national security’ interests are now served by a British government refusing to unlock the files to the Dublin Monaghan bombings or the actions of the Force Reconnaissance Unit or the role of Brian Nelson and other agents?”

In concluding, the Sinn Féin leader said:

“Finally, the Irish government has not asserted its role as co-equal guarantor of the Good Friday and other agreements. It has played the part of junior partner and has acquiesced to British demands, especially around the issue of legacy. Their role should have been to hold the British government to account. They failed to do this.

“Sinn Féin believes that the new agreement offers the best hope for a new start.

“It is also an opportunity to show that the union with Britain is not in the interests of citizens in the north. The price of the union is that a London government, unelected by citizens, is imposing policies that will attack the vulnerable, the elderly and the young. Uniting Ireland and building an all-island economy, rooted in equality makes perfect sense.” 

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