Adams appeals to Leo Varadkar to behave like a Taoiseach in his dealings on the North
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has challenged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to explain the purpose behind government briefings to the media last week regarding the ongoing talks to restore the Executive in the North.
Teachta Adams also accused the government of trying to undermine Sinn Féin leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill MLA.
Speaking during directly to the Taoiseach at Leaders Questions this afternoon, Teachta Adams said;
“Last week, press reports attributed to briefings from the Irish government said Sinn Féin’s leader in the North Michelle O’Neill did a deal with the DUP to restore the Executive but that she was blocked by senior members of the party.
“These briefings, on the part of your government, were untruthful, malicious and shameful.
“These claimed that there was a basis for a deal, that this was rejected by our leadership, and that Michelle O’Neill and Conor Murphy had been hung-out to dry. None of this is true.
“Let me say it again for the record, Sinn Féin’s endeavour is to have the institutions re-established and functioning properly, as quickly as possible.
“The talks are essentially about implementing existing agreements which have been broken. Issues of equality, identity and rights are central to this.
“These are rights which citizens are entitled to everywhere else on these islands. These are rights which are contained in the Good Friday and subsequent agreements.
“Perhaps, you would advise me on which of these rights citizens in the North should give up?”
Addressing the accusation that Sinn Féin is more focussed on preparing for direct rule, Mr Adams added;
“I am particularly concerned about this accusation because I wrote to you almost a fortnight ago about your government’s responsibility to prevent British direct rule in keeping with a longstanding agreement with the British. I have yet to get a reply to that letter. But the briefing followed on from it.”
Concluding, Teachta Adams stated;
“You must fulfil your responsibilities, your obligations, and your duty to the people of the entire island, and in particular you must deal with the British Prime Minister as an equal, and ensure that both governments honour their obligations.”