Gerry Adams: ‘No North talks preconditions’

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has left the door open to a new northern body to monitor paramilitary activity.

Gerry Adams: ‘No North talks preconditions’

But the TD insisted he would not agree to any pre-conditions for unionists entering talks to end the crisis threatening to collapse the Stormont Assembly.

“If the unionists want a fig leaf to be involved in talks then we will provide them with that fig leaf. We will not accept preconditions for talks. I don’t think anything should be agreed outside of the talks process, and you would not expect me to agree to anything I do not know the details of. If other parties want to put up that proposition, we will look at it, we are not ruling anything in or anything out,” Adams told RTÉ.

The Sinn Féin leader urged Dublin and London to become more closely involved in what is happening in the North as he accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of not taking enough interest in the situation: “Part of the problem is that the governments have not been involved — they have not made the North a priority.”

Stormont Assembly

Mr Adams also said republicans may need to alter their interpretation of what a united Ireland would look like.

“We need to be able to consider transitional arrangements which could mean continued devolution to Belfast within an all- island structure,” Mr Adams said at the launch of a Sinn Féin book called Uncomfortable Conversations: An Initiative or Dialogue towards Reconciliation which was also attended by the British ambassador, Dominick Chilcott.

The Sinn Féin leader said Orange Order parades would continue in a united Ireland as orange was one of the colours of the flag.

Mr Adams said the road to a better future in the North did not involve “trying to convert unionists into republicans or vice versa”. The Louth TD also said he was regularly beaten while being interrogated in the past.

The Sinn Féin leader said that years later a man spoke to him at Stormont and said: “I used to be a British soldier and I battered you when you were arrested, and I’m sorry.”

“Prince Charles’ words and actions are not, I’m confident, the end of the efforts by the Royal family and the British establishment more widely to secure the peace process and promote reconciliation in these islands,” he said.

Mr Adams admitted the pain caused by the IRA in the past, including the killing of a British ambassador to Ireland.

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