Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein and DUP in fresh war of words: Peter Robinson slams Adams' comments over power-sharing concerns

By John Mulgrew

A fresh war of words has broken out between Sinn Fein and the DUP as Peter Robinson blasted comments made by Gerry Adams over the future of the power-sharing.

On Friday morning, Adams said the political process was facing its greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement negotiations.

He claimed his party's power-sharing partners at Stormont, the DUP, had served those opposed to the landmark peace process deal.

He said there was no likelihood of talks resuming next month on ongoing contentious issues including flags, parades and dealing witht he past.

Mr Adams said "the political process is in trouble".

But responding to the Sinn Fein leader's comments, First Minister Peter Robinson said it was a "self-serving attempt by Sinn Fein to distract public attention from real problems by blaming everyone, except itself".

"This tired tactic does nothing to solve the problem most likely to bring down the political institutions," he said.

"By far the most damaging issue that has the potential to end devolution is the shameless denial by Sinn Fein of economic realities resulting from Welfare Reform."

Gerry Adams also accused the British government of failing to engage positively in key political negotiations.

He said there had been an absence of consistent positive leadership from unionists.

"I believe that the political process faces its greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement negotiations in 1998," he said.

"The anti-Good Friday Agreement axis within unionism, the pro-unionist stance of the British Secretary of State (Theresa Villiers), the refusal of Downing Street to honour its own obligations are combining to create the most serious threat to the political institutions in the north in recent years.

"The result of all this is directly undermining power-sharing and partnership government."

The back-and-forth between the party leaders is the latest war of words in recent months.

Sinn Fein and the DUP have been at loggerheads over welfare reform and plans for a peace centre at the former Maze prison site.

Earlier this month, the ongoing dysfunctional nature of Stormont hit a new low, after an aviation charity fundraiser became the casualty of the bitter relations.

The Ulster Aviation Society (UAS) was forced to cancel its event after repeated attempts to get an answer to its application were ignored.

Further reading

Shot down... Charity forced to cancel airshow event after being caught up in ongoing political dogfight between Sinn Fein and DUP

Gerry Adams: Northern Ireland political process facing greatest challenge since Good Friday Agreement

Peace process in trouble - Adams

Stormont rudderless and weak

Time to end Stormont chicanery  

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