Belfast Telegraph

Adams has lost his mind with Stormont talks claim: Wilson

By Eamon Sweeney

DUP MP Sammy Wilson said Gerry Adams appears to have lost his mind after he accused the unionist party of refusing to "face realities" over its role in the failure of the Stormont talks.

The Sinn Fein leader also said there was no "absolute protection" for the Union from the British Government.

But East Antrim MP Mr Wilson said Mr Adams' rhetoric had not changed from last year, adding the prospects of a return of power-sharing were "bleak".

Writing in the Andersonstown News, Louth TD Mr Adams referred to the fact that next week it will be a year since the late Martin McGuinness resigned as Deputy First Minister over the DUP's response to the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal, collapsing the Executive.

The outgoing Sinn Fein president said that the British and Irish Governments now need to step in and ensure that all past agreements are honoured.

Mr Adams added: "The rationale behind the DUP stance is that it is focused on maintaining the Union, but there is no longer any absolute protection for the Union from British governments the way there used to be.

"British government involvement in our affairs will end when a majority vote for that."

The former West Belfast MP also slammed DUP leader Arlene Foster's call for a return to direct rule should talks fail.

"The big question in any new negotiation is: can the political parties in the North and the two governments resolve outstanding differences? That is more of a question for the DUP than for Sinn Fein.

"Michelle O'Neill and our negotiating team stand ready to engage positively in any talks.

"Sinn Fein wants the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement to be a positive point in the history of our island.

"The call by the DUP leader for a return to British direct rule flies in the face of her party's devolutionist position. But it also reflects a refusal to face realities."

However, Mr Wilson laid the blame for the failure to restore power-sharing with Sinn Fein.

"The latest comments from the outgoing Sinn Fein president lead me to paraphrase Donald Trump: 'Gerry Adams is about to lose his job, but appears to have already lost his mind'," he said. "There is no doubt that he's already lost his memory because the current impasse is entirely a result of Sinn Fein's actions in collapsing the Executive and blocking its restoration."

Mr Wilson said that if republicans refused to participate in negotiations, then London should ensure that "other parties can get on with the job of providing government for Northern Ireland".

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