End stalling on institutions - SF
End stalling on institutions - SF

The British and Irish governments must produce an action plan for reviving power-sharing in the North and the all-Ireland cross-border institutions, British MPs were told today.

As he held a series of meetings in London with MPs and interest groups, Sinn Féin vice president Pat Doherty said the political process could not be allowed to drift while Ian Paisley`s Democratic Unionists refused to move swiftly back into devolved government or even hold talks with his party.

The West Tyrone MP said: “We are now four months on from the historic announcement by the IRA in July formally ending the armed campaign. Unionism has had ample space and time to come to terms with the new political realities created by that initiative. We cannot allow the political process to simply drift along hoping that the DUP will finally display the necessary political courage or will.”

“The two Governments have an obligation to inject momentum into this process. We need to see an action plan for the Governments leading us back into the all-Ireland power-sharing institutions.”

In July the IRA declared an end to its armed campaign and ordered all its units to dump arms.

That was followed in September by the completion of IRA weapons decommissioning in the presence of General John de Chastelain`s international disarmament body and two church witnesses, Catholic priest Father Alec Reid and Methodist minister the Rev Harold Good.

The British and Irish governments are expected to push for fresh talks to revive devolution early next year if an IMC report in January indicates the IRA are continuing to honor their peace process pledges.

Mr Doherty said the DUP had in the past stated the only obstacle to power-sharing was the issue of IRA weapons.

“That issue has been decisively dealt with,” the Sinn Féin MP said.

“It now remains to be seen if the DUP can live up to their slogan of a new confident unionism. So far they have turned away from the difficult business of taking up ministerial responsibility and delivering for the people who elect them, preferring instead to stand back and watch from the sidelines as the direct rule administration continue to make bad decisions for all of the people who live here.”

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