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Sinn Féin back NUS-USI Assembly restoration campaign

5 January, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator and former Education Minister Martin McGuinness MP has backed the NUS-USI campaign for the restoration of the Assembly and urged all political parties to listen to an organisation that represents over 300,000 students.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Sinn Féin launched the Cost of Direct Rule campaign last year to highlight the damage that is being done by unaccountable British direct rule ministers. It is part of our wider campaign to get the political institutions back up and running so that locally accountable politicians can take decisions that are in the interest of local people and not mandarins based in Whitehall or Downing Street.

"The Irish and British governments and all of the political parties, particularly the DUP, should be listening when the NUS-USI, that represents over 300,000 students, demand that we work together to restore the Assembly.

"Failure to build on the opportunities created in 2005 is unacceptable. Unionism claims to have a new confidence. Yet unionism will have failed our young people unless it engages in the job of getting the Assembly back. It is not good enough to allow British Direct Rule Ministers to take bad decisions. Unionism needs to show that it has the confidence to work with Sinn Féin to build a better future for everyone who lives on this island." ENDS

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