Martin McGuinness accuses London and Dublin of complacency in NI peace process
Deputy First Minister says politicians could destroy achievements
Martin McGuinness: “the only people who can undermine the institutions, who can destroy the peace process are we the politicians – unionist, republican and nationalist”. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh
Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has accused the Irish and British governments of becoming complacent about the peace process and not honouring commitments in the St Andrew’s Agreement.
He said his meeting last week with British prime minister David Cameron was “one of the least satisfactory engagements” he had had with a British premier in the course of the peace process.
Mr McGuinness rejected suggestions that calls for a Border poll on a united Ireland were provocative and said people within the DUP supported a dialogue on a poll.
And he said that while republican and loyalist extremists posed a threat to the peace process “the only people who can undermine the institutions, who can destroy the peace process are we the politicians – unionist, republican and nationalist”.
Mr McGuinness was speaking to reporters before he addressed the Sinn Féin Easter commemoration at the GPO in Dublin. He had earlier attended the Government commemoration at the GPO, speaking with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
The Sinn Féin Minister said the Irish Government was part of and a signatory to the St Andrew’s Agreement where a financial package was agreed as part of a peace dividend.
This had been undermined he said by the failure of the London administration to stand by its commitments. He said the British Government had reduced the North’s capital budget of £18 billion by 40 per cent even though then British prime minister Gordon Brown said it was a ring-fenced guarantee and it damaged their ability to get the economy going
“The Irish Government was part of that deal,” Mr McGuinness said and that “makes it incumbent on the Irish Government to put pressure on the British Government to recognise that they should be fulfilling their commitments”.