No surrender to DUP - Adams
The IRA is not going to respond to any "surrender" demand from
the DUP or its leader, Ian Paisley, the Sinn Fein president Mr
Gerry Adams told the party's Easter Rising commemoration in
Mr Adams said Sinn Fein would engage positively in the intensive
round of negotiations in London later this month that the British
and Irish governments have called in a renewed effort to restore
He said Sinn Fein respected the DUP mandate but that in these
negotiations the DUP must respect Sinn Fein's by dealing with
"Sinn Fein is strong enough and big enough and confident enough
in our own politics to talk to anyone. In fact we have a duty to
do so. So do the DUP," said Mr Adams.
"But like John Major at the start of this process, the DUP is
demanding that the IRA publicly surrender before the DUP will
even sit down and talk to Sinn Fein. Can anyone imagine the IRA
dashing off to obey the DUP diktat?
"Does Mr Paisley imagine that P O'Neill was just waiting for this
demand from him? Surely wiser counsel will know that a sensible
approach is about dealing with these issues collectively."
Mr Adams said blaming republicans for the current stalemate would
not create the proper atmosphere for serious negotiations. "If
the governments are serious about this peace process then they
need to convince republicans and nationalists. This requires
actions not words."
He said the two governments must honour commitments made last
October when the sequenced deal designed to restore devolution
was cut short.
"Let us be clear. Both governments entered into commitments,
covering a wide range of issues from prisoners, through policing,
demilitarisation, northern representation in southern
institutions, equality, human rights matters and more. There was
to be immediate and substantial progress on all of these. There
was none," he said.
"Instead we have the continued suspension of the institutions of
the Good Friday agreement, a totally unacceptable situation."
He said the impetus to reinstating the political institutions lay
with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie
It was Mr Blair who had set June as a timeframe for ending the
stalemate, he added.
"We will do our best to make that work but only the actions of
the governments can determine how successful we will collectively
be in the weeks ahead," Mr Adams said.
"Whatever the spin of the moment by the governments, the reality
is that the greatest challenge at this time is to the Taoiseach,
Mr Ahern, and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
"No-one should underestimate the depth of the crisis facing the
peace process at this time.
"I believe that if the political will exists even the serious and
vexed issues facing all of us at this time can be resolved.
"To that end Sinn Fein has remained in contact with the two
governments and the other parties.
"I know that Irish republicans have that strength of will to
resolve these issues.
"I am not confident that the two governments have it. I am
certainly not confident that the leaders of political unionism
have it," he added.