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Statement by Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin, at the Talks in St Andrews, Scotland, 13 October 2006

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Text: Gerry Adams ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Statement by Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin, at the Talks in St Andrews, Scotland, 13 October 2006


"At the start of this we in Sinn Féin said our objectives were to defend the Good Friday Agreement and to create the conditions to get the political institutions up and running in the timeframe set out by the Irish and British governments.

Today’s paper by the two governments requires the thoughtful consideration of Sinn Féin and the other parties. The restoration of the political institutions, the removal of unaccountable British Ministers and the restoration of all of the other political bodies, including the all-Ireland bodies is an enormous prize. The common sense and insight of all sections of society will be required as we are all challenged by this.

This is not just about the people of the north of Ireland or about unionists, it is about all the people of Ireland.

Sinn Féin had also argued for a peace dividend, equality and human rights measures, legislative rights for Irish language speakers, a fully accountable, civic policing service and practical measures and assistance for all victims of the conflict. And there can be no hierarchy of victims.

We are Irish republicans. We believe in Irish unity and the coming together of orange and green. We believe in peace.

All of us are going to be challenged and that includes the two governments. They cannot absolve themselves of responsibility in all of this.

I want to thank the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister for their endeavours. We will remain in close contact with them in the time ahead. We need to find ways to put divisions behind us.

We will now consult with the rest of our party and with the wider republican family. I want to appeal to republicans to get this document, to study it, debate it and be part of the efforts to resolve all of these matters.

I want to appeal to unionists to do the same thing.

There has been a lot of talk about delivery. Republicans have delivered big time in recent years. But this is a collective responsibility. Others must acknowledge their responsibilities and be part of the solution.

I want to appeal to unionists to come at this in a way which looks at the differences which we have been able to put aside and the potential which we now have to build a new Ireland where all of the children are treated equally."


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