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McGuinness - Time to end British Direct Rule

6 January, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness speaking in advance of a meeting of the party Ard Chomhairle in Dublin tomorrow, said that the time to replace the British Direct Rule Administration had long since past.

Mr McGuinness said:

" I get a real sense from people throughout the six counties that they have had enough of unaccountable British Direct Rule Ministers taking decisions on big issues affecting our heath service, our education provision and our taxation.

" The reality is that the British Direct Rule Ministers could have been replaced by democratically elected politicians long ago. They remain in position because the DUP still continue to refuse to share power with the rest of us in the basis of equality and respect.

" However an opportunity to make rapid progress in the time ahead now exists. The IRA have dealt decisively with any unionist concerns about their intentions. The issue of IRA arms has been resolved.

" What we now need to see is the two governments pushing the process forward and the DUP accepting their political responsibilities to deliver for the people who elect them. The opportunities created by the IRA initiatives of last year cannot be squandered. We must now all make a collective effort in the coming weeks to see the political institutions re-established and the other outstanding matters resolved." ENDS

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