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Sinn Féin committed to making institutions work on principle and values of Good Friday Agreement - O'Neill

28 November, 2017 - by Michelle O'Neill

Speaking at tonight’s Co-operation Ireland annual dinner in London, Sinn Féin leader in the North Michelle O’Neill MLA said she wants to see the values of Co-operation Ireland of respect for people and their rights and equality translated into the every day lives of citizens in the north.

Michelle O’Neill said:

“I share the stated values of Co-operation Ireland which include, respect for people and their rights, of inclusion, equality and fairness and of accountability, integrity and transparency.

“These are the values which guide the work of Co-operation Ireland and they are values which I too wish to see translated into the everyday lives of all our citizens in order to help our society and people prosper.”

Michelle O’Neill said political leaders have a special responsibility to build the process of reconciliation and establish a genuine partnership government which delivers for all.

“I want to build bridges and heal the wounds of the past,” she said.

“I want a unionist partner so we can lead this crucial effort together.

“I have been working to have the political institutions restored on the basis of genuine power sharing.

“There is a special responsibility on political leadership to bridge the divide between the people we represent, and establish a genuine partnership government which delivers for all.

“Irish nationalism and unionism must reach a political agreement through respectful dialogue that will move us beyond the impasse of the present into a brighter future.

“To achieve that, we must explore how we can accommodate each other’s rights - available to citizens elsewhere in Britain and the South of Ireland - in a manner that does not demand the surrender of the cultural or traditional identity of the other.

“We need to transcend the difficulties of the past and give all our people an opportunity to look again at a future beyond sectarianism, division and suspicion.”

And Michelle O’Neill said Sinn Féin is a party of dialogue committed to making the political institutions work.

“Sinn Féin remains committed to making the institutions work, so we can take on the challenges of the future, most obviously Brexit – which poses the biggest challenge and uncertainty for the people of both these islands, our economy and progress over the next decade.

“I want the institutions to enjoy the confidence and support of the people they were established to serve.

“I want them to deliver fairly for all our people based on the principles of equality and mutual respect on which they were founded.

“Is this achievable in the time ahead? Yes, I believe it is.

“Sinn Féin is a party of dialogue.

“We believe and know the value of talking. We know the value of listening.

“I am in no doubt that it is in the people’s interest to have a strong, stable and effective Government in the North of Ireland working in conjunction with all of the institutions created by the Good Friday Agreement to maximise their potential.

“That remains our priority.”

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