Gerry Adams urges resolution of difficulties
Responding to questions in respect of Mr. Blair's article in this mornings Irish Times and the political current situation Mr. Adams said:
"I cautiously welcome what Tony Blair has said. He is giving the DUP yet another chance. I think they need the little bit of space required to respond in a positive way to what has been outlined. There big issues to be faced here. Sinn Féin comes at this positively. All these matters have to be sorted out and resolved."
Asked what was needed from the DUP Mr. Adams said:
"Martin McGuinness put it well yesterday. The DUP leader Ian Paisley welcomed the remarks by the British Prime Minister last week. He needs to welcome and agree with what Mr. Blair said.
There are so many discordant voices coming out of the DUP at this time and republicans are listening to the very loud and negative and some times quite hysterical voices from that party.
So the Party Leader has to speak. This isn't about putting it up to Ian Paisley or to any of the DUP. There is a collective process involved here and let's all try to do our best to resolve all of these matters.
This means also that the Sinn Fein leadership has to make a judgement about whether what we do is sustainable and capable of getting the support of other republicans. That's the judgement we have to make. There's no doubt about the republican position. It's very clear. I set out our position after the Ard Chomhiarle meeting 10 days ago. The difficulties since then have not been caused by any inconsistency or ambiguity on the part of Sinn Féin.
There are clearly difficulties on the unionist side. We need to look at that in a benign way even though many republicans are very angry at the behaviour and the noises coming out of the DUP.
Let's do our best and let's look ahead as we try to plot out the next few days."
Responding to questions about the Taoiseach's statement yesterday in which he said he would accept SF support for a minority government MR Adams said:
"Mr. Ahern will have to change his policies before he would get our support.
"We would only support a Taoiseach to be on the basis that the policies outlined dealt with the crisis in the health service and dealt with the crisis in the public services. It is a farce that we have the wealthiest economy in the EU and yet a crisis right across all the public sectors, but in particular the health service.
The government needs to abandon its strategy of privatising the health service and embrace a policy to build a first class public health service for all our citizens."