BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006, 17:20 GMT
Agreement cannot be diluted - SF
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness at the Sinn Fein conference
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has told his party's annual conference in Dublin that there can be no dilution of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Adams told delegates a two-tier or two-stage approach to restoring devolution could not be allowed.

He also said Sinn Fein's engagement with unionism must deepen.

The months ahead are crucial, he said, but added he had huge reservations over the way the governments are approaching talks aimed at restoring devolution.

Mr Adams poured cold water both on the idea of a two-stage return of local government and on British appointed commissioners running Northern Ireland.

The Sinn Fein welcomed the IRA's move to formally end its campaign and said no-one should harbour the illusion that the republican struggle can be advanced any further by an armed campaign.

The future - he said - lies solely in politics.

"Undoubtedly there are some who believe that the IRA has made a mistake.

"They are entitled to their opinion but to no more than that," he said.

But the Sinn Fein leader said Ian Paisley and the DUP also faced challenges.

Are they ready to build a shared future and "is their war over", he asked.

Mr Adams said Sinn Fein will be in government in Northern Ireland and will, depending on its mandate, consider being in coalition in the Republic.

"We will never meekly serve our time. Our objective is an all-Ireland parliament for all of the people of Ireland," he said.

More than 1,000 party delegates from the north and south of Ireland are debating almost 500 motions at the party's three-day conference in Dublin's Royal Dublin Society hall.

Policing

Speaking before the conference, Mr Adams said his party will not join a new Policing Board due to be in place by 1 April.

It comes a few days after the publication of a new bill on the devolution of policing and justice.

Speaking on BBC NI's Inside Politics Mr Adams said the bill was not sufficient for his party to drop its opposition to the PSNI, in time for the new board.

"Can we get an extraordinary ard fheis (conference) before that, can we get legislation before that, can we get the DUP on board before that - that all appears to be unlikely.

"If we do all of that of course I'm quite prepared to go before ard chomhairle (party officers) whether it's April fool's day or not," Mr Adams said.




SEE ALSO:
Powers to 'help restore assembly'
16 Feb 06 |  Northern Ireland
PSNI 'will get all-party support'
27 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland
Policing challenges ahead: Kelly
14 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific