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McGuinness – All-Ireland Ministerial Council will see SF and DUP Ministers working side by side with incoming government in south

4 May, 2007


Deputy First Minister designate Martin McGuinness is in Dublin today to accompany the party's Dublin City candidates as they hand in their nomination papers. Mr. McGuinness said that in the coming weeks Sinn Féin and DUP ministers in the north will be sitting down with Ministers in the new government in the south taking government decisions on the All-Ireland Ministerial Council. This is a hugely important development which will fundamentally change politics on this island.'

Mr. McGuinness said:

"We are living in historic times. Next Tuesday, myself and Ian Paisley will sit down together at the head of the power-sharing government in the north. And weeks later Sinn Féin and DUP Ministers in the north will sit down with Ministers in the new government in the south taking governmental decisions on the All-Ireland Ministerial Council. This is a hugely important development which will fundamentally change politics on this island.

"All political parties say that they support peace and unity but it is Sinn Féin that is delivering. Over the past decade, we have proven our ability to negotiate successfully. We have shown leadership by taking major and sometimes difficult decisions in the national interest. Sinn Féin has brought a new energy and a new dynamic to Irish politics and there is a lot more we want to deliver.

"Sinn Féin is seeking a mandate to be in government in the south. The implementation of the all-Ireland agenda would be hugely strengthened with Sinn Féin Ministers working in government, north and south at the same time.

"Among our priorities in government will be the completion of a Green Paper on Irish Unity within one year, identifying steps and measures to promote and assist a successful transition to a United Ireland. We will also appoint a Minister of State with the specific responsibility to oversee this work and to direct and co-ordinate the Government's all-Ireland policies across Departments."ENDS

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