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Opportunity opened up by IRA decision can still be grasped by British and Irish governments

28 July, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was this morning joined by Donegal County Councillor Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and South Down Assembly member Caitriona Ruane at a press conference in Belfast to mark the first anniversary of the decision of the IRA to formally end their armed campaign. Mr Adams said that the ‘opportunity opened up by IRA decision can still be grasped by British and Irish governments’.

Mr Adams said:

“The IRA decision has had an enormous impact over the last twelve months. The IRA definitively dealt with issues which had been presented as unionist concerns and its initiative opened up huge opportunities.

“But twelve months on people are growing impatient for change. Given the delays and stalling it is absolutely understandable that nationalists and republicans will have reservations about the commitment of the British and Irish governments to implementing an agreement which should have been implemented years ago.

“Consequently, the real focus now is on Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern and what they are going to do in the next three months. They are under no illusions about what republicans expect as we approach the make-your-mind-up time in the political process. They know that Republicans will continue to press hard for progress.

“In our ongoing discussions with the two governments we have made it clear that if the process doesn’t move forward decisively, after this present effort to bring the DUP on board, then two governments need to map out clearly how their partnership approach will continue the process of change and of moving forward with the Good Friday Agreement.

“It certainly must include detail and real progress on the all-Ireland agenda and of moving ahead with issues like northern representation and developing and enhancing the all-Ireland implementation bodies. They must also press on with the agendas of equality and human rights for all.” ENDS

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