Sinn Féin determined to advance the peace process
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP today briefed the party’s Ard Chomhairle on the talks which took place at St. Andrews in Scotland last week and events since then. He said “Sinn Féin remains firmly focused on bringing about a situation where Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley would be equal partners at the head of a power sharing government in the north. And we will continue to do what we can to bring this about.'
Today the Ard Chomhairle agreed on a widespread process of consultation within the party which would begin immediately. They appointed Mary Lou McDonald, Martin Ferris and Conor Murphy to take charge of this process and to report back to the Ard Chomhairle.
Speaking after the meeting Mr. Adams said:
“Today I briefed the party leadership on last week’s talks in Scotland and on events which have taken place since then. There was widespread support at the meeting for the party’s objective of advancing the Good Friday Agreement and bringing about a situation where Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley would be equal partners at the head of a power-sharing government.
“Ard Chomhairle members raised a number of concerns in relation to the role of the two governments and the commitment of the DUP to properly participate in a power sharing government with Sinn Féin. Obviously the decision of the DUP to pull out of the Programme for Government meeting on Tuesday in Stormont highlights the challenges that lie ahead if the process is to move forward.
“There was a consensus at the meeting that work needed to continue to resolve outstanding issues which continue to block progress towards creating a policing service which is democratically accountable and free from the sort of political control which has blighted policing in the north for generations. We remain determined to reach that point and discussions with the governments will continue in the weeks ahead."
Sinn Féin Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald was appointed by the Ard Chomhairle to head up a group to role out a process of consultation across the party. Ms. McDonald said:
“Today the Ard Chomhairle formally set in place a process of consultation which will take place at every level of the party in the coming weeks. This consultation will assess the potential of the proposals set out by the two governments and ongoing work to advance the peace process. The Ard Chomhairle appointed a group, headed up by myself and including Martin Ferris TD and Conor Murphy MP to oversee this consultation process and to report back to the Ard Chomhairle.” ENDS