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Ballymoney
Sunday, September 27, 2020

JUST IN: Sinn Fein back deal to restore power sharing
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The Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has announced that the party will back the draft agreement to re-enter the Assembly.

Speaking about re-entering power sharing, the Sinn Fein president said:

“Sinn Fein has met today and has taken the decision to re-enter the power sharing institutions and to nominate ministers to the power sharing executive. We believe that the changes that have been achieved in the negotiations in the last year build on what was agreed in February 2018. We now have ‘Acht Gaeilge’ with official legal recognition of the Irish language for the first time. AN Irish language commissioner and increased Irish language funding.

“The first action of incoming executive must be to deliver pay parity to health workers. There are also a range of proposals to support our teachers. Improved education provision, welfare mitigation to be extended beyond March 2020, proposals on workers rights and climate change, investment in stadia including Casement Park and ending regional imbalance.

“We now have legislation to deal with legacy cases, which is to be delivered within 100 days, we have reform of the Petition of Concern to try and end its misuse as a veto by one political party,” she said. 

“We have key measures to ensure transparency and accountability to prevent corruption and bad practice and to implement the recommendations from the RHI Inquiry.

“We have strategies to tackle poverty and sectarianism and a plan to put objective need at the heart of a programme for government.”

“I want to reject in the strongest possible terms the British governments commitments to the DUP on flags and other issues. These are not part of this agreement. In our view they fly in the face of the Good Friday Agreement and they represent bad faith. It is disappointing that the Irish government acquiesced to these measures.”

“I believe that power sharing can work. It requires everyone to step up. Sinn Fein’s commitment is to do all in our power to make this happen. We need to have an inclusive executive. At these historic times we will also continue to work for Irish reunification and we want to ensure that the criteria for the triggering of an Irish unity poll are set out and that planning for Irish Unity is stepped up. Including the convening of the national forum to discuss and plan for the future.”Three years ago, Martin McGuinness set down a challenge to all of us to get it right and deliver for all, for every single citizen. And now we need to go to work.”

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