One week on from the election and one week closer to the triggering of Article 50, the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle met in Dublin to discuss the impact of the Northern Assembly election, the ongoing implementation talks, and the impending triggering of Article 50 and Brexit.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD and Michelle O’Neill MLA spoke with the media.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said:
“The British Government are continuing with their plan to impose Brexit, regardless of the views of people of Ireland north and south.
“The Taoiseach has expressed impatience over the lack of clarify from Britain on Brexit. I welcome his remarks, but, as usual, the Taoiseach is too slow and too mesmerised about what the British Government is doing.
“The Taoiseach needs to stop waiting for the British Government. I know he is engaging with EU partners, but he must act in our national interest, at European level, to secure special designated status for the north within the EU. That is the consensus of the majority of parties north and south.”
Responding to questions on the threat by James Brokenshire to call another election, Gerry Adams said:
“It is a sign of change that a British Government is threatening us with an election. Back in the day, the threat was martial law, internment, censorship, and lead and plastic bullets. So, Mr Brokenshire’s threat is progress.”
Sinn Féin’s northern leader, Michelle O’Neill MLA, said,
“The clock is ticking on talks to secure the full implementation the agreements and to rebuild public confidence in the institutions.
“I welcome the comments of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD, at the recent Pat Finucane Lecture where he called on the British Government to honour the agreement to release the funding to allow for around 50 conflict related inquests to proceed.
“Behind each of these inquests are families that have not been afforded the basic right to an inquest for their loved ones. Some having been waiting for 45 years.
“The funding for these legacy inquests is agreed. Mr Brokenshire should release this money as the Lord Chief Justice has requested.
“This British Government continue to refuse to honour their obligations and refuse to implement other outstanding issues from the agreements.
“This approach by the British Government is the biggest impediment in the talks.
“The Irish Government must live up to their role as co-equal guarantor of the agreements to ensure that the British Government act. That is key to progress being made in the talks. The Irish Government step up to the plate.”