Step change needed by governments – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD addressed the Dáil today on the crisis in the North.
The Sinn Féin leader pointed out that “even before the emergence of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal the behaviour of the DUP had already led to a considerable lack of public confidence in the institutions.
“Neither the public nor Sinn Féin could continue to countenance the manner in which the DUP conduct business within the Executive and the Assembly. No other administration would tolerate such a scandal.
“Sinn Féin will not tolerate behaviour of this kind and we believe that all such allegations must be rigorously and independently investigated.
“However, the refusal of Arlene Foster to step aside until a preliminary report in the RHI allegations is published, and her refusal to set up such a process blocked any possibility of a robust comprehensive investigation taking place.
“As a consequence, Martin McGuinness resigned as Deputy First Minister last week.”
Gerry Adams said:
“Despite Sinn Féin’s best efforts the institutions are now gone and an election will be held. In preparation for this the DUP is trying to sectarianise these matters. This is not an orange and green issue.
“Many unionists, like the rest of us are appalled by the scandals of NAMA, Red Sky and the RHI. The actions of the DUP during the RHI scandal has the potential to cost the taxpayers of the North £500 million over 20 years. This will be paid for by Unionist and Nationalist citizens.
“Beyond the election, there will still be a need for negotiations to re-establish the institutions.
“Let me be very clear, Sinn Féin will not agree to a return to the current status quo. There must be a step change in the behaviour and attitude of the DUP to their partners in government and to the working of the institutions. We also need to see a step change in the approach of the Irish and British governments.
“The re-establishment of the political institutions will be dependent upon whether they will reflect in their entirety the principles and ethos set out in the Good Friday Agreement. That means delivering for all citizens on the basis of equality, parity of esteem and respect.
“The British government will not do this unless the Irish government holds them to account.”