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McGuinness: Sinn Fein serious about delivering 'promise and potential of 1916'

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness spoke about delivering "the promise and potential of 1916” at the party's Ard Fheis in Dublin

Martin McGuinness last night said Sinn Fein is serious about delivering the “the promise and potential of 1916”.

The Deputy First Minister was speaking as the party’s Ard Fheis opened in Dublin.

The annual gathering of activists has been timed to coincide with the calendar anniversary of the Easter Rising on Sunday.

During his speech the party’s most senior representative in the north claimed that “other parties failed to deliver the promise and potential of 1916”.

“They were never serious,” he said.

“Well we are. We have the strategy, the commitment and most importantly of all, the people to achieve it.

“This generation, including the people in this room, will be the generation that finally realises the dream.”

Earlier, he had said the “vision of 1916 remains unfulfilled in the nation which inspired it”.

“We don’t live in an Ireland of equals,” he said.

“We don’t live in an Ireland where all of the children are cherished equally.

“We don’t live in an Ireland which is united and free from malign foreign influence.”

Mr McGuinness praised the party’s three Stormont assembly ministers.

He also said Sinn Fein remained opposed to a 'Brexit'.

“We need to ensure that we oppose any move by the little Englander mentality towards a Brexit from the European Union as that would be a hugely retrograde step,” he said.

“The prospect of border controls, the withdrawal of European subsidies and trade agreements would be disastrous for the socio-economic prospects of this island.”

Mr McGuinness also referred to recent attacks carried out by dissident republicans, including the killing of Michael McGibbon and prison officer Adrian Ismay.

“We must continue to face down the extremes within loyalism and so-called dissident republicanism who would seek to drag us back to the dark days of the past."

He said the Good Friday Agreement “provides the political framework to achieve the vision of 1916”.

“A century on from the Rising and 35 years from the Hunger Strikes, an agreed Ireland is desirable.

“An agreed Ireland is achievable.”

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