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Sinn Féin leadership to meet to discuss government proposals

6 April, 2006


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP was today joined by Martin McGuinness MP, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Caitriona Ruane MLA and Wexford Councillor John Dywer as he responded to the joint statement issued by the two governments earlier in Armagh. Mr. Adams said: "Over the coming days the Sinn Fein leadership will meet to discuss these proposals and our response to them. The Ard Chomhairle will meet on Saturday and we will be consulting with our Assembly team."

Mr. Adams said:

"Over the last number of months Sinn Féin has expressed reservations about the approach taken the British and Irish governments. It is our view that there would have been significant concessions but for

Sinn Féin's defence of the Good Friday Agreement.

"We welcome the convening of the Assembly and the clear statement that its primary role is to elect a power sharing government. Over the coming days the Sinn Fein leadership will meet to discuss these proposals and our response to them. The Ard Chomhairle will meet on Saturday and we will be consulting with our Assembly team.

"It appears that the two governments are saying to the unionists and especially the DUP, that they have to decide if they are prepared to join the rest of us in moving forward in partnership through a power sharing government.

"And if they do not do that the two governments are committed to moving ahead to implement all other elements of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Nationalists and republicans will be sceptical about this commitment and it will be tested in the period ahead.

"Sinn Fein will also be seeking assurances from the two governments about the new joint government arrangements and the accelerated all-Ireland co-operation and action, that will replace the Assembly if the DUP is not prepared to share power.

"Whatever the two governments do, there is no going back to the days of unionist domination because Sinn Féin will not allow it. I say that as a gentle reminder to the DUP that the only way they will be part of institutions is on the basis of equality and the Good Friday Agreement.

"I would appeal to unionism to see this up coming period as a positive opportunity. There are many problems - water charges, cutbacks in health and education which local politicians can straighten out better than any British Direct Rule Minister." ENDS

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