Gerry Adams insists Sinn Féin fully committed to policing

Adams addresses packed Dublin meeting in wake of release after McConville questioning

Wed, May 7, 2014, 09:38

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has insisted his party is fully committed to new policing arrangements in Northern Ireland and to measures to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

Addressing a packed meeting in Dublin, his first since his release from custody by the PSNI in Antrim on Sunday, he was sharply critical of the Taoiseach and the British government.

“When Martin McGuinness spoke about the danger to the process coming from the ‘dark side’ within the PSNI, the Taoiseach’s response was to suggest he should make a complaint to the Ombudsman. What about his responsibility?” he asked.

“The Taoiseach cannot pass the buck on this issue, nor can he trot out trite responses that have more to do with electoral concerns. The Irish people, North and South, endorsed the Good Friday agreement. It is the people’s agreement.

Enda Kenny and David Cameron and their governments are the joint guarantors of the agreement. That means standing up to those who threaten it,” Mr Adams told supporters.

“The Taoiseach cannot pass his responsibility on this issue,” he said.


Junior partners
All taoisigh, he claimed, have been treated as junior partners [by the British]. “They behave as junior partners,” he said. “That doesn’t mean they have to be dogmatic, but it does mean they have to stand up for the Good Friday agreement.”

On the issue of addressing the legacy of the Troubles, Mr Adams said Sinn Féin accepted compromise proposals put forward by US envoys Richard Haass and Meghan O’Sullivan earlier this year, which unionist parties rejected.

Unionists, he said, were “bred on a diet of no surrender”, and would not negotiate unless they had to. He urged a renewed effort to agree a strategy to address the past.

Referring to his arrest last week, Mr Adams said: “If there was a charge against me, I would have been charged. Be in no doubt.”

But he added: “Sinn Féin is for policing. Let no one raise any ripples around this.

“What is clear: we need accountable, civic, public service policing. It is also clear we have work to do yet to achieve it. That is what we are up for doing.


Injustices
He said what had happened to Jean McConville was “dreadful and unjust”, and this was made worse because republicans were responsible.

“We cannot rail against British injustice unless we face up to injustices like this.”

Children today, he said, should be guaranteed the future that the McConville children and others did not have.