DUP must honour policing commitments, says Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein has fulfilled its obligations in government and now wants unionists to do the same to avoid a political crisis, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said today.

With the region's power-sharing government on the verge of possible collapse, his comments came as he prepared to enter a crunch meeting with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Peter Robinson.



The British and Irish Premiers are holding talks in London today on the growing crisis as the DUP and Sinn Fein seem unable to agree a deal on devolving policing and justice powers from Westminster to the Assembly.



Mr McGuinness claimed that, while his party had backed new policing structures after the 2006 St Andrews agreement which paved the way for power-sharing, the DUP had yet to fulfil its commitments.



"Within three months of the St Andrews agreement we in Sinn Fein moved forward decisively on the issue of policing, took what was considered to be an historic and monumental decision," he said.



"And we did that within three months of St Andrews... to ensure that these institutions would work.



"Three years on, three years on, we are waiting for the DUP to deliver and honour their commitments, that all of us were supposed to have signed up to under the terms of an agreement that was presided over by the Irish Government and the British Government."









The Sinn Fein representative, who hit the headlines when he branded dissident republicans traitors after they murdered two soldiers and a police officer last March, said he had worked hard to form an effective political partnership, first with the former DUP leader Ian Paisley, and then Peter Robinson.

"From the very beginning of this process... I have been at pains to make this place work," he said.



"It's been my life's work over the course of recent times because I passionately believe in power-sharing, passionately believe in all-Ireland institutions and passionately believe in working in a positive and constructive mood with all of the people that I come in contact with."



He added: "Unfortunately, we have learned that there are people within these institutions who only see the future through the prism of one section of the community - that is not a sustainable way to move forward and I am not going to be part of that."



Mr McGuinness, flanked by Sinn Fein colleagues including party president Gerry Adams, said: "I respect the mandate of Peter Robinson. I respected Ian Paisley's mandate. It is now time for them to respect ours."







Sinn Fein warned recently that if agreement cannot be reached on devolving policing and justice powers from London to Belfast, the institutions can no longer continue.

Despite a measure of agreement among both power-sharing partners in Northern Ireland that policing has to be devolved at some stage, they have sparred over when that will take place.



There is also a dispute over the handling of controversial loyal order parades.



The DUP wants to scrap the Parades Commission, which adjudicates over and places conditions on some of the most contentious marches, but Sinn Fein accused the unionist party of giving the Orange Order a talks veto.



Three years ago Sinn Fein backed the new policing arrangements in Northern Ireland, where the reformed Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) replaced the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).



Republicans made the move on condition that the Assembly eventually took over political responsibility for law and order from Westminster.



But with unionists insisting that the conditions must be right before completing the transfer of the powers, and with Sinn Fein demanding they close a deal, the long-running dispute has now reached crisis point.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Recruitment Genius: Partner Manager - EMEA

£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Partner Manager is required ...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific