Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has urged the Taoiseach to end the practice of “playing junior partner to the British government …” and called on Mr. Kenny to “prioritise his engagement with the British Prime Minister with the objective of stabilising and sustaining the political institutions set up under the Good Friday Agreement”.
The Sinn Féin leader was speaking in the Dáil during ‘Statements on the North.’ Gerry Adams was scathing in his criticism of the British government and of MI5, and the old guard of the RUC, who produced the recent report on paramilitarism and their efforts to thwart effective legacy legislation being introduced for victims.
Deputy Adams said:
“The very people – in MI5 and in the old guard of the RUC – who produced the recent report, have also brought in a veto to stop the families of victims of British terrorism from getting the truth about what happened to their loved ones.
“These are the same people who directed agents and informers and paramilitary organisations that killed hundreds of citizens, including citizens in this city with the Dublin-Monaghan bombs and stirred sectarian violence and colluded in murder.
“They are prepared to put the peace and political processes at risk in an effort to stop the growth of Sinn Féin north and south. These are the people some in this Dáil choose to believe; probably for the same reason. The Fianna Fáil leader does not believe the Garda Commissioner. But he does believe MI5.
“MI5, some in the PSNI, and the British government, have also attempted to use the new legacy legislation to elevate British interests above those of the victims and their families. Victims’ groups are seriously concerned about the British government attempting to roll back from commitments on dealing with the legacy of the past.
“The British and Irish governments agreed at Stormont House on the need to provide justice and truth recovery mechanisms that would give disclosure to families of victims of the conflict.
“The British government’s legislation is in clear breach of that Agreement. This legislation is all about hiding the British state’s role as a central player in the conflict and its collusion with unionist paramilitary death squads. That is unacceptable.”
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“The responsibility of the Irish government and of the parties in this Dáil should be to support the efforts to make progress – not to place narrow self-serving party political objectives above the necessary process of change and progress…
“The Irish Government needs to play a more active and constructive role in the North. Citizens in this State expect the Government to be proactively pursuing and promoting the peace process. Citizens in the north expect the same.
“I have urged the Taoiseach many times, to prioritise his engagement with the British Prime Minister with the objective of stabilising and sustaining the political institutions set up under the Good Friday Agreement.
“A 15 minute phone call every so often with the British Prime Minister is not enough. It needs a consistent strategic involvement on an ongoing basis.”
Finally, speaking about the current negotiations, Gerry Adams said:
“For the present negotiations to succeed, the British Government must accept its role as a participant in the conflict. British political and economic policy towards the North also has to change.
“Political stability, commitment to proper power sharing, and securing a sustainable, workable budget are central to the negotiations.
“Led by Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin is engaged positively in the current talks. We are dealing with all of the difficult issues.
“The business of making peace is challenging and the business of societal change is challenging, but that is Sinn Féin’s priority.
“In the short time available, we need to see a return to the vision, energy and inspiration that was evident at time of the Good Friday Agreement negotiations. In short, we need to usher in a new phase of the peace process.”
Source: Sinn Féin Newsroom