Adams predicts ``a battle a day'' as Executive is restored
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has outlined Sinn Féin's view of the restoration of power to the Six-County Assembly, the Executive, the all-Ireland bodies and the other institutions.
Speaking at Stormont on Tuesday morning, 30 May at Stormont, Adams said the people of the island had a realistic view to the difficulties facing the effort to build a new democratic dispensation.
The Good Friday Agreement is the contract for the changes that have been agreed at this time. It is of the utmost importance that all of the parties and the two governments, particularly the British government, honour that contract
``This has been shaped by the experience of the last number of years, by the refusal of some elements to embrace change, and by the British government's action in suspending the institutions unilaterally and illegally at the beginning of February,'' he said.
``There is also a hope that all of this is now behind us and that today will see a real beginning. Sinn Féin shares that hope.
``The institutions would not have been restored if we had not taken the initiative to work with the British government on the one hand, and the IRA leadership on the other hand, so that a context could be created to bring this about.
``In my view, all of this is about creating and implementing change. Sinn Féin wants to see more change than anyone else because we work on the basis that politics is about empowering people.
``The Good Friday Agreement is the contract for the changes that have been agreed at this time. It is of the utmost importance that all of the parties and the two governments, particularly the British government, honour that contract.
``It would also be far better if pro-Agreement unionism fully embraced this Agreement. In that way the problems could be resolved in a shared and inclusive way. I'm thinking here of the rejection by the First Minister of the Patten Report and the emasculation of that report by the British government.
``The issue of policing is a touchstone one. It is not the responsibility of the Assembly but is one which must be resolved nonetheless if progress is to be made.
``There also has been a focus on the issue of flags. Again the Good Friday Agreement has to be the guide for sorting out that matter in a way which recognises and accords equality to all.
``Mr. Trimble has made some entirely inappropriate and provocative remarks about Sinn Féin. He should have withdrawn these remarks and apologised but that is not Mr. Trimble's way, so I hope that he will refrain from comments like these in the future.
``Those who are justifiably angered by offensive and racist comments like this should perhaps see also that this is an admission from Mr. Trimble that Sinn Féin does not roll over at the behest of unionism.
``The DUP are well aware of this also. It is the main reason for their indecision about their future role. They have a choice. It is to play a real part fulfilling their responsibilities as Ministers, or to have the courage to resign those positions so that others can get on with the job.
``The Sinn Féin aim is to create space for all these opposite political positions so that we can come to know each other better. To build a shared future.
``So the difficulties haven't gone away and there will be a challenge a day, a battle a day, to bring about a genuinely democratic future for the people of this island.
``In and out of these institutions, Sinn Féin has never faltered. Our two ministers, Martin McGuinness and Bairbre de Brún, our committee chairs and our Assembly representatives will work with all of the parties here to see the promise of the Good Friday Agreement become a reality. ``