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20 March 2017

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Time to deliver on unfinished business, says Michelle O’Neill as Stormont talks resume

‘There is a rightful expectation that the Irish Government will assert itself as a co-equal guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement and ensure that full implementation is now delivered’


THE Sinn Féin leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill, said ahead of post-election talks resuming at Stormont on Monday to achieve a new power-sharing Executive: “It’s time to deliver on the unfinished business and chart a course for the future.”

She said that, over the past two weeks, Sinn Féin has met daily with the other Assembly parties and the British and Irish governments as part of the implementation talks at Stormont Castle.

“The recent election and strengthened mandate which Sinn Féin has been given makes clear that the people made the extra effort to come out and vote and stand up against corruption, arrogance and bigotry,” she continued.

“This election has ended the perpetual unionist majority at Stormont; however, Sinn Féin does not want minorities or majorities – we want equality and integrity in Government which must deliver for everyone and treat citizens decently, fairly and with respect.

“Nothing less is acceptable.”

She said that the DUP has demonstrated a “negative and cynical” approach towards the Good Friday Agreement and the power-sharing institutions, including the all-Ireland bodies, which must operate on the basis of equal partnership.

“Responsibility within the Good Friday Agreement for delivering on equality and rights protections lies ultimately with the British Government. They must now step up and deliver on their commitments otherwise political progress on restoring the institutions is in serious doubt.

“We face into a week where it is crucial we make a difference, which means full implementation of political commitments and firm actions which can restore public confidence in the Assembly, Executive and all-Ireland dimensions of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Sinn Féin has entered these implementation talks in good faith and will continue to honour our responsibilities and agreements. We will continue to represent all within the community based on respect and equality.

“There is a rightful expectation that the Irish Government will assert itself as a co-equal guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement and ensure that full implementation is now delivered.

“I want to make clear that now is the time to deliver on the unfinished business and chart a course for the future based on equality, respect and integrity.”

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