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Irish government failing to engage British effectively – Adams

29 April, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams is in New York to take part in a two-day conference organised by Friends of Sinn Féin to discuss and celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The event is in Cooper Union Hall a venue in which James Connolly spoke in 1902 and which has hosted significant debates and speakers in the past on civil rights, trade union, and international issues.

The Sinn Féin leader set out the next steps in the peace process and the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement for the Irish and British governments.

Speaking last night, Mr. Adams said:

“Our objective in the immediate future is to ensure that the British and Irish governments fully implement the Good Friday and subsequent agreements.

“The British government must also be made to honour its commitments on legacy issues including disclosure, legacy inquests and the resourcing of investigations.

“The Irish government has a particular responsibility to fulfil its constitutional responsibility and work to secure a united Ireland.

This is a constitutional imperative for every Irish government.

“It is a duty that all have failed to honour. If, as seems likely, a government is elected soon, this has to be rectified.

“The Irish government has to engage with the British government in a strategic way; to ensure the full implementation of the Good Friday; and to promote all-Ireland co-operation.

“It hasn’t done this thus far.

“It also needs to reach out to unionists as part of a process of building relationships between our people, while seeking to persuade them of the common sense and benefits of unity.

“The Irish government has significant diplomatic and other resources at its disposal and these should be used to win international support for all these objectives.

“The fact is that partition is more than just a line on a map.

“It has served no one well on the island of Ireland, including our unionist neighbours.

“It divides and separates citizens. It fosters sectarianism and inequality. It is expensive and economically inefficient. It is undemocratic.

“So, there is an onus on the Irish government to promote, popularise and seek support for Irish reunification, sovereignty and national reconciliation and to engage with unionists at all levels of society to achieve this end.”

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