GERRY Adams tells the Village that after the talks collapsed, the Government intended to implement those parts of the Agreement that it could without a deal being in place. He says that it was in the context of discussions about those aspects that could implemented, that the robbery of the Northern took place.Adams’ implication is that the IRA would not have had the motive for collapsing talks, while others would be happy to blame them to prevent further implementation.
And as Mitchel McLaughlin did on Questions and Answers on the issue of criminality, so Adams also holds out a carrot to keep the British interested, by implying that “there was the question of Sinn Fein reviewing our attitude to the PSNI, if a proper context was agreed.” McLaughlin’s bait implied criminality could be dealt with next time around.
The UTV website reports on the Village article:
Mr. Adams added: “At the beginning of this phase the governments spoke to us of the need to establish whether the DUP wanted to do a deal; whether they wanted ‘cover’, ‘a fig leaf’ to facilitate their involvement.
“We put it to them and we received a commitment from them, that if it became clear the DUP wasn`t up for a deal, if they didn`t want `cover` or a `fig leaf`, as the governments hoped they would, then the governments would proceed with all those aspects of the Agreement that they were capable of implementing.
“The detail of all of this cannot be revealed at this time but when it is people of goodwill will be in no doubt as to the good faith engagement by our leadership.
“I was already firmly of the view that the issue of IRA arms and alleged activities, by that organization, was being used as an excuse to prevent progress.
“So Martin McGuinness and I and others were up for creating the conditions in which these issues could be resolved. There was also a very clear need to get the DUP to accept the changed political landscape, which the Good Friday Agreement involves and there was the question of Sinn Fein reviewing our attitude to the PSNI, if a proper context was agreed.
“These were big challenges for us. We also had to make a sustained effort to keep both governments tied to the Good Friday Agreement given their past breaches of that Agreement.
“When the effort to get a comprehensive agreement failed Sinn Féin and the British government proceeded to explore how the governments could deliver on the commitment they made to us. This continued in the week leading up to Christmas. The Irish government was less than enthusiastic. No one should be in any doubt of the depth of the difficulties in the process at that time.
“It was in the course of this work that the Northern Bank was robbed. Then came the accusation, subsequently denied by the IRA, that it was involved.
“This triggered a relentless campaign of vilification against Sinn Fein.”