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Statement by David Ford on the recalling of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (6 April 2006)

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Text: David Ford ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Statement by David Ford, then leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), on the recalling of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (6 April 2006)


"Today's statement is all about structures. The Governments have not paid attention to the wider social issues, most obviously segregated public services, which are dividing our society and creating conditions for instability and stagnation.

The Governments should be working actively to lead the way on agreeing a way forward, and tackling the very real underlying difficulties with the structures of the Agreement. It seems they are not yet willing to do so. For example, Alliance had suggested setting up an economic roundtable, but with no response.

But this must not be used as an excuse for parties using the road map as an excuse for petty posturing along sectarian lines. Now that the Governments have put forward their proposals, the public has a right to see politicians respond positively and constructively.

We dare not get this wrong again. The only way to get the institutions up and running is by constructive engagement between the parties and the Governments, leading to a locally agreed way forward. If we fail, we will have blown the chance for the next generation in Northern Ireland.

It appears that the Governments have finally accepted Alliance concerns that there is work to be done to reform the Agreement. This is more difficult after the time wasted over the last two years.

However, the option is now there to deal with the real issues on behalf of all our people. Our people will not tolerate further failure."


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