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Sinn Fein should face up to reality of Stormont deal

Published 20/07/2015

Once again, the erstwhile leader of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, calls on the Irish and British governments to implement that part of the Stormont House Agreement dealing with the past.

There is no doubt that many of us - unionists and nationalists - would like to see some way of dealing with the past and would like to see the many historical investigations brought to a conclusion.

A pathway has been established within the agreement, but Mr Adams knows that the Stormont House Agreement is a jigsaw and you can't take pieces out of it to suit your requirements without the jigsaw falling apart.

If Mr Adams is suggesting that the two governments can proceed, then one should assume that, as the two governments have appealed to politicians in the north to proceed with welfare reform, he would be happy for them to do so if I, for example, as a unionist politician, called for them to do so?

Unfortunately for Mr Adams and his cohorts, this jigsaw is complete and was put together by the five parties in the Executive.

Agreement was reached and the Welfare Bill should have progressed through Stormont, a Bill which gives far better support for those in need here in Northern Ireland than their counterparts in the remainder of the United Kingdom. This agreement was blocked by the Sinn Fein leadership in the south, supported by Mr Adams.

For too long, Sinn Fein has been able to make demands of the two governments and has managed to squeeze concessions, letters of comfort and whatever it desired at will. That time has hopefully stopped.

Reality must kick in. If Sinn Fein wants the historical investigations work started, it should sign up to and enact the agreement. There can be no other way forward. It was clear to Sinn Fein from day one that this is a case of "all or nothing".

ROSS M HUSSEY (UUP)

MLA for West Tyrone

Belfast Telegraph

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