Gerry Adams: Paisleyites cannot stop change

From a speech by the Sinn Fein President at St Malachy's Grammar School in Belfast
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The Independent Online

Let me reiterate Sinn Fein's attitude to the DUP. Sinn Fein sets no preconditions whatsoever on talking to the DUP. Neither are we against sharing power with them, despite the record of some of its most senior members. Our record shows clearly that we are for the peace process, the political process and the wider process of conflict resolution. This is unchallengeable.So what does the DUP vote [in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections] mean?

It means that they succeeded in mopping up all the anti-agreement sentiment in the last Assembly. And with the transfer of Jeffrey Donaldson and his colleagues from the UUP, there is now a quantifiable and significant unionist majority in the Assembly against the Good Friday agreement. They now can count on 34 anti-agreement votes in the Assembly. On the other hand the pro-agreement parties can marshal 74 votes.

Indeed those who promote the second Assembly election results as a "victory for the extremes" are seeking to serve some other agenda by camouflaging the realities behind the vote. The majority of people want the agreement to work and they are represented by two thirds of the MLAs. One third, the DUP, have a desire to destroy the agreement, ignore the wishes of the Irish and British people, and turn the clock back to the bad old days of domination and supremacy of one section of people over another.

But they know, if they reflect at all, that this cannot happen. The process of change can be frustrated or delayed, but it cannot be stopped.