the transfer of policing and justice powers from London to the North of
Ireland Sinn Féin MP and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said:
“Cuirim fáilte roimh an Taoiseach, Príomh Aire na Breataine agus na
“I am very pleased that we have concluded this agreement with the DUP.
As everyone knows this has been a difficult negotiation. This is hardly
a surprise given the reality that I am an Irish Republican and others
here have a completely different view. I believe in a united Ireland.
They want to maintain the union with England.
“This should not mean that we are incapable of respecting each other, of
treating one another as equals and proceeding on the basis of
partnership, respect, fairness and equality. I am utterly determined to
continue to work in good faith and with a good heart with my unionist
colleagues. I want to work in harmony with Peter Robinson for the good
of the entire community.
“That is what Sinn Féin is about. We signed up for agreements on Good
Friday and at St. Andrews and here today. We proceed on the basis of
implementing these commitments.
“We have agreed that the transfer of policing and justice powers to our
power sharing government will happen on April 12th. We have agreed and
put in place a process which will see the powers which oversee parades
transfer to our administration before the end of this year.
“We have agreed a process to progress the rights of Irish Language
speakers and North/South aspects of the St. Andrews Agreement. Sinn
Féin are in these political institutions to deliver for everyone. That’s
what Sinn Féin Ministers and MLAs are here to do. I am a Minister for
“We are also agreed on the need to deliver for our community, it is what
they expect. There are families and children living in poverty; elderly
people feeling vulnerable and in fear. There are young families
burdened by massive mortgages and in fear of losing their homes; people
“Our government needs to reach out to these people. It needs to deliver.
We need to confront and defeat all kinds of hatred. With determined and
courageous leadership we must continue to lead that shrinking minority
out of the trenches of the past. In this I am confident we can be
assured of the support of the vast majority of our people. We need to
make life better for all our children and grandchildren.
“That is what this agreement must mean in practice. Fully functioning
political institutions operated for the people in true partnership and
equality. Let us now all face into the future with confidence in
ourselves and in the people who elect us.” ENDS