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New northern Sinn Féin leader tells both governments to step up to the plate

23 January, 2017 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin leader in the North Michelle O'Neill MLA has tonight spoken to the Irish Government Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and British Secretary of State James Brokenshire.

Michelle O’Neill MLA told the Irish and British Governments they must honour their responsibilities if there is to be any prospect of restoring the political institutions.

The Mid-Ulster MLA was commenting after telephone conversations last night with the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

She said: "I told both governments that if there is to be any return to the institutions following the election, will only be based on embracing and implementing principles and values of the Good Friday Agreement.

"The two governments are co-guarantors of the Agreement so it is time for them to step up to the plate and fulfil their commitments. That is the only way public trust and confidence can be restored in the institutions.

"We also cannot allow the British government's withdrawal from the European Union to undermine the Good Friday Agreement, the protections and safeguards within it, or the principle of consent either.

"The democratic mandate of the people in the North to remain within the EU must be respected through designated special status, which can secure the position of the entire island of Ireland within the European Union together.

"There is an onus on the Irish Government who will be at the negotiating table to act in the national interests." 

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