03 January 2006

Adams urges commitment to power sharing

Irish Examiner

All parties have a public duty to work together in 2006 to restore power to Northern Ireland’s political institutions, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said today.

The West Belfast MP urged politicians to maintain the momentum generated by the IRA’s historic decision to decommission its weapons arsenal.

Mr Adams said: “Now is the time for all those who are genuinely interested in seeing the power sharing government in the north restored and the peace process advanced to show leadership and make a real and genuine effort to end the political vacuum.”

The Sinn Féin President praised the Provisionals’ decision last July to abandon the armed struggle and claimed the paramilitary organisation had addressed the concerns outlined by unionist leaders.

He added: “As the months have passed it is easy to lose sight of the enormity of what took place and the opportunity that it has opened up.

“But I would ask people to look to 2006 with hope and confidence that progress can be made.

“Now is the time for those in political leadership to do our job.

“We are elected by the people in the expectation that we will work on their behalf, not to be members of a political institution that hasn’t functioned in over three years.”

Mr Adams said the time for excuses was over and, in a reference to the Stormont spying scandal, condemned those whom he claimed were working against progress.

He said: “There needs to be a collective effort made to see the political institutions up and running and the other outstanding aspects of the Agreement implemented.

“And as part of this we need to see an immediate end to the activities of those elements in Britain’s Intelligence Agencies who are working day and night to prevent progress.

“Sinn Féin is determined that the opportunities presented by the IRA initiative are not squandered.

“There still are major challenges ahead particularly for both the British government and the unionist parties.

“The process has been allowed to be stalled for too long and the time for movement has now come.”

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