Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams - Future of political institutions now hangs in the balance

30 March, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP, speaking in advance of a crucial meeting with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Government Buildings this afternoon (Thursday 30th), said "the future of the political institutions now hangs in the balance". He expressed his "deep concern at the approach of the Irish government to efforts to restore the political institutions."

Mr. Adams said:

"At this time the DUP is doing all in its power to prevent the restoration of the Assembly and the Executive and is attempting to re-negotiate key sections of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Rather than tackling this situation, the Irish government is playing a very dangerous game. There is a constitutional imperative on the Irish government to uphold the Good Friday Agreement. This is not happening.

"In recent days senior Irish government representatives have promoted the possibility of a shadow Assembly, with committees, or some form of scrutiny role, which will extend beyond the six weeks allowed for in the Agreement for the establishment of the Executive. These proposals are naïve in the extreme. They will not work and are not supported by anyone other than the DUP.

"The role of the Irish government, first and foremost, is to implement the Good Friday Agreement not to water it down to make it acceptable to the DUP. If the DUP knows that the Irish government can be bullied into changing the Good Friday Agreement, why on earth would they change their current approach?

"Sinn Féin wants to see the political institutions restored. We want to work on the Executive with the DUP and the other parties on the basis of the Good Friday Agreement.

"We have made it clear in our discussions with the Irish government that we are opposed to any dilution of the Agreement, or to the establishment of any shadow Assembly with scrutiny committees or scrutiny powers. This is not the Agreement. Any proposals by the governments must be to give effect to the Agreement and to the election of an Executive. Changing or altering the institutional structures of the Good Friday Agreement to facilitate the DUP is not acceptable.

"The future of the political institutions now hangs in the balance. Today‚s talks and the decisions which will be taken by the Irish government in the coming weeks are therefore critical. This is the context for today‚s meeting."ENDS

Note to editor: Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will lead a party delegation to meet the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at 4pm today, Thursday 30th, in Government Buildings. The Sinn Féin delegation also includes Martin McGuinness MP, Caitríona Ruane MLA, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD and representative for Dublin Mid West Joanne Spain.

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