Gerry Adams: British Govt 'part of the problem'

Gerry Adams: British Govt 'part of the problem'

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire are "part of the problem" at Stormont, Gerry Adams has said.

As Northern Ireland's main political parties prepare to enter discussions in a bid to restore powersharing, the Sinn Féin leader accused the UK Government of breaking past agreements aimed at stabilising the Stormont institutions.

He also said Sinn Féin has no confidence in Mr Brokenshire to chair post-election negotiations between the parties.

Mr Brokenshire is due to meet Stormont party leaders in an attempt to persuade them to form a new powersharing executive.

It follows Thursday's election which ended a unionist majority at Stormont.

Mr Brokenshire has said the primary responsibility lies with the DUP and Sinn Féin to use the "limited window" now open.

But Mr Adams said: "The approach of this Secretary of State, like his predecessors, and of the British Government's general approach, illustrates perfectly that they are part of the problem.

"Without fundamental change on their part there cannot be the type of progress that people want.

"We are very clear about our view that if recent statements by James Brokenshire and Theresa May are to be taken at face value then the British Government is going to make all the mistakes that it made in the past."

Mr Adams accused the British Government of breaking previous agreements to do with issues such as legacy and an Irish language act and said it has "sought special deals for their own Armed Forces".

Michelle O'Neill, who has replaced Martin McGuinness as leader of Sinn Féin in the North, said it is "not groundhog day" or "business as usual".

She added: "People want equality for all, they want respect in the institutions, for republicanism."

She also said the party will not be dissuaded from its position that DUP leader Arlene Foster cannot be first minister until clarity is provided around her involvement in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal that led to Stormont's collapse in January.

The SDLP has also said it will not support Mrs Foster in the top post until a report is received from the inquiry team set up to probe the scandal.

Mrs Foster set up the botched energy scheme, which could cost the Northern Ireland tax payer £490m.

Her refusal to stand aside during the inquiry was the catalyst for Mr McGuinness's resignation as deputy first minister in January, triggering the collapse of the DUP and Sinn Féin-led coalition government and forcing a snap election.

Mr McGuinness has been suffering from ill health and Mr Adams said he wants to send his best wishes to the former deputy first minister, his wife and family.

He added that the McGuinness family had requested privacy and that should be respected.


More in this Section

Fine Gael sees popularity boost in latest pollFine Gael sees popularity boost in latest poll

Dooley apologises as footage emerges of him with Collins in Dáil ahead of voteDooley apologises as footage emerges of him with Collins in Dáil ahead of vote

President Higgins and Defence Minister evacuated from hotel in Lebanese capitalPresident Higgins and Defence Minister evacuated from hotel in Lebanese capital

Gardaí appeal for help in search for missing man in GalwayGardaí appeal for help in search for missing man in Galway


Lifestyle

'When a role became available in The River Lee following the refurbishment, I jumped at the chance!'You've Been Served: Sinead McDonald of The River Lee on life as a Brand Manager

It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

More From The Irish Examiner