12 November 2009 Edition
Sinn Féin President in US and Canada
United Ireland a realistic and realisable objective – Gerry Adams
SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams left Canada on Sunday after a busy six days in the USA and Toronto.
During his many speaking engagements the Sinn Féin leader focused on two broad themes. The first was an update on the current situation in the Peace Process and specifically the difficulties around the transfer of powers on policing and justice, and the second was to address the issue of Irish reunification.
Saturday saw 300 people attend a very successful conference in Toronto, organised by the Canadian Friends of Sinn Féin organisation, on the issue of Irish reunification and the role of the Irish diaspora in helping to achieve that.
Speaking in Toronto Gerry Adams said:
“There is a particular onus on the British and Irish governments to ensure that the agreement on the transfer of powers on policing and justice, agreed at St. Andrews three years ago, is implemented now.
“The approach of the British Government at this time has been very unhelpful. It would do well to remember that the British Government has a responsibility to fully implement the Good Friday Agreement, including the transfer of policing and justice powers from London.
“The efforts of the DUP to tie other matters to the policing and justice issue is unacceptable. This is a stand alone issue. There is no linkage between it and any other issue.
“The DUP is in breach of the commitments it entered into at St. Andrews. It is also in breach of the commitment given by the DUP leader two months ago that if the financial package was secured he would go out and sell it to the community.
“The DUP’s obstructive approach to making the institutions work efficiently is eroding public confidence. The priority at this time should be to defend public services, provide jobs, and plan for the future.
“The democratic imperative is for a speedy conclusion and progress on the policing and justice issue. Anything less by the DUP leadership is a derogation of their responsibility to the people of the north and of the entire island.
“It is also providing encouragement to those rejectionist elements who are against partnership and who think they can turn the clock back .”
Speaking on the issue of Irish reunification Adams said:
“Whatever the outcome of the current impasse around policing and justice the Sinn Féin project to advance Irish reunification is moving steadily ahead.
“I believe that the help of the Irish diaspora will be very important in building that momentum.
“The two conferences in the USA in June and this weekends conference in Toronto are a part of this. In the few short months since June activism around this goal has increased.
“The Good Friday Agreement is an International Treaty. It commits the British government to legislating for Irish reunification in the event that this is what people want.
“I believe that the economic and political dynamics in Ireland today make a united Ireland a realistic and realisable objective in a reasonable period of time.
“This is a daunting challenge. Not least in persuading unionism or a section of unionism that their best interests lie in this outcome.
“Such an Ireland must guarantee liberty and justice for all; ensure religious and civil liberty and equal rights and opportunities for all; and it must reconcile all sections of our people and heal the hurts between us.
“It will require thoughtful strategies – huge outreach to our unionist brothers and sisters and a patient process of nation building to unite orange and green.
“The achievement of these universal values will fulfil the dream of centuries of Irish patriots, and will create a more prosperous, just and equal society on the island of Ireland.”