Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin ready to do business - says Adams

21 January, 2006


A special meeting of the Sinn Féin leadership is taking place in Dublin this weekend. The meeting, which began yesterday evening, will conclude in the city this evening. The meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle, along with key activists from across the island, will agree political strategy and set programmes of work for 2006. This will include electoral preparations, north and south, a national recruitment campaign and other initiatives to highlight the inadequacies of the Irish government's social and policies. The party leadership will also discuss the current state of the peace process and the party's strategy for ensuring that substantive progress is made in the next few months.

Speaking today the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams set out what republicans believe are the necessary next steps for the two governments.

'It is time to end the stalemate,' said Mr. Adams. 'That means:

  • An end to the illegal suspension of the institutions imposed by the British government in October 2002.
  • The triggering of the d'honte mechanism, for electing the Executive.
  • Agreement by the DUP to take up their seats in an Executive along with other mandated parties
  • Substantive progress on outstanding aspects of the Agreement including demilitarisation, equality and human rights issues
  • The conclusion of the debate on policing on the basis set out in December 2006
  • Northern representation to be brought forward in the Oireachtas
  • Delivery of a peace dividend for the north and border counties.

Text of Mr. Adams remarks

Last year the IRA formally ended its armed campaign and put its weapons beyond use under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

This hugely significant initiative has created the conditions for the peace process to move forward.

That was seven months ago. It is time to end the obscenity of British Direct Rule. All other issues aside, the cost of British Ministers running the north is too high in terms of jobs lost, increasing poverty, rising energy costs, incompetence and inefficiency.

Consequently, the Irish government needs to ensure that the talks in February are about the speedy restoration of the political institutions and the implementation of the outstanding aspects of the Good Friday Agreement.

The current Assembly was elected in November 2003. It has never met. This is a farcical and unacceptable situation. It cannot continue. The status quo is not an option.

Sinn Féin is ready for progress and ready for the challenge of serving in government with the DUP. In recent weeks we have been in contact with the British and Irish governments at the highest levels. This will continue in the time ahead. Sinn Féin is ready to do business.

We have told the governments that republican initiatives have created new conditions for progress and that the onus is now on them to advance the process and re-establish the political institutions.

So in the weeks ahead this requires:

  • An end to the illegal suspension of the institutions imposed by the British government in October 2002.
  • The triggering of the d'honte mechanism for electing the Executive.
  • Agreement by the DUP to take up their seats in an Executive along with other mandated parties
  • Substantive progress on outstanding aspects of the Agreement including demilitarisation, equality and human rights issues
  • The conclusion of the debate on policing on the basis set out in December 2006
  • Northern representation to be brought forward in the Oireachtas
  • Delivery of a peace dividend for the north and border counties.

The stalemate cannot continue. There needs to be a genuine effort to end it in the months ahead. 2006 will be a make or break year for the institutions and the Good Friday Agreement.

It is obvious that some of the difficulties we have witnessed in recent weeks are the desperate efforts of those who have spent the last fifteen years trying to derail the peace.

Sinn Féin is going into the February discussions determined to make progress and determined that the next few months should see the delivery of the huge expectations of the people of this island. They expect political leaders to deliver. It's time we did."ENDS

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