17 April 2017
A new, generous unionist approach will be met with generosity from Sinn Féin – Gerry Adams
‘We will also endeavour to persuade unionism of the merits of an agreed Ireland’
GERRY ADAMS has told the Easter Rising commemoration in Carrickmore, County Tyrone, that “a new, generous unionist approach will be embraced and met with generosity from Sinn Féin and other progressives”.
The Sinn Féin leader warned, however, that if what we have seen from the DUP in recent times continues that will only guarantee that there will be no DUP First Minister and “no return to the status quo” at Stormont.
“So, DUP and UUP,” the Louth TD said, “it’s over to you.
“Sinn Féin is up for the challenge. We extend the hand of friendship as we commit ourselves again to complete the work of previous generations, the work of those we remember, the work of our leader Martin McGuinness.”
He said that the current talks process has paused but he wanted to be very clear that it is the British Government’s intransigence on legacy issues – and the DUP’s rejection of the principles of equality, parity of esteem and of rights – that have made it more difficult to reach a deal.
“Sinn Féin wants a deal. But if there is no deal then there has to be an election.”
The Dáil deputy also addressed the Irish Government led by Enda Kenny and Fine Gael, supported by Fianna Fáil:
“The role and responsibility of the Irish Government must be to assert that an election is the only legal course open to the British Government if the current talks fail to elect an Executive.”
On the issue of Irish reunification, Gerry Adams said that, alongside Sinn Féin’s public campaigning and outreach activity, the party is exploring the possibility of establishing a Dáil Committee on Irish Unity.
“This could bring forward proposals for what a United Ireland might look like and how the Irish state needs to plan for reunification across all areas of the economy and society.”
He said there is also a need to discuss a referendum on Irish unity as set out in the Good Friday Agreement – a need to agree on how this can be held and how it will be won.
“Of course that will require the support of other parties and Independents in Leinster House, and Sinn Féin looks forward to discussing this with everyone there.
“We will also endeavour to persuade unionism of the merits of an agreed Ireland.”
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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures