Sinn Féin's objective in time ahead is power-sharing government
Speaking at an event in Belfast City Hall as part of the Sinn Féin campaign to see a Green Paper on Irish unity brought forward, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said that on the eighth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement it remained the only basis for moving forward.
Mr Adams said:
"Today marks the 8th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. I said at the time that I expected it would be a battle a day to ensure its implementation. And there have been difficulties. But despite these, significant progress has taken place in that time and we should be proud of that fact.
"And more can take place. Why should unelected British Ministers, who don't know one end of the north from the other, be allowed to take decisions on education and health, and the environment, and on water rates and council rates, which will have major consequences for every citizen?
"Local politicians should be taking these decisions. The basis for doing that is the Good Friday Agreement. It remains the only show in town. There is no other way forward.
"That is accepted by the governments and all of the other parties, except the DUP. The big challenge is therefore for the DUP. If the DUP refuses to participate then the onus will be on the two governments to deliver on their commitment to jointly implement all other elements of the Good Friday Agreement. And Sinn Fein will also be meeting with the two governments to seek clarity and detail on the accelerated all-Ireland co-operation and action that will replace the Assembly if the DUP is not prepared to share power.
"However, Sinn Fein's focus is the full implementation of the Agreement. On Saturday the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle met, following detailed consultation with our Assembly team, and after careful consideration, we decided to attend the reconvened Assembly on May 15th.
"We have been in touch with all of the other parties in the Assembly seeking meetings with them to discuss how the process of forming a power sharing government can proceed. This afternoon we will be meeting with the SDLP.
"Sinn Féin's objective on May 15th is to see the reestablishment of the political institutions on the basis set out in the Good Friday Agreement." ENDS