11 June 2005


Unionists 'shouldn't be allowed veto cross border links'

11/06/2005 - 14:32:51

Unionists should not be allowed to veto political progress by failing to respond positively to any moves the IRA may make to embrace democracy, it was claimed today.

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin MP, said the British and Irish governments had a responsibility to make it clear to the Democratic Unionist Party that they could not put a block on developing cross border links.

“If the DUP disappoint us I think then others have huge decisions to make particularly the British and the Irish governments and I think it has to be made very clear to the DUP that they are not going to have a veto on progress,” he said.

“There are many things, if the DUP indicate that they are not prepared to share power, that the two governments can do to move the situation forward in an all Ireland way.”

The Sinn Féin chief negotiator said officials on either side of the Irish Sea should look at building on the north-south institutions in areas such as health, education, energy and transport.

“There are a huge amount of things that can be done,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams made a call on April 6 for the terror group to abandon its armed struggle and achieve its aims through democratic means.

Speculation has mounted that the British and Irish governments have set the start of the Orange marching season on July 10 as an unofficial deadline for the IRA to respond.

But Mr McGuinness would not be drawn on when the IRA would answer.

“Obviously I am hoping for a positive outcome. I am hoping that the IRA will take huge decisions which will recognise the importance of what Gerry Adams has said vis-a-vis the need for all of us to go forward by purely political and democratic means,” he said.

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