Sinn Féin presents new Stormont Assembly team
"We will also continue to work tirelessly to deliver Irish reunification in the time ahead, to ensure that a referendum on Irish unity is delivered and that planning for Irish unity is advanced."
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD said that Sinn Féin welcome the significant steps forward that have been made to re-establish the institutions on the basis of equality.
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD was speaking from Belfast on the resumption of the north's power-sharing institutions. "I want to welcome the fact that the Assembly has met following Friday's historic decision by the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle to re-enter the north's power-sharing institutions."
McDonald added: "This has been long and oftentimes frustrating process, but we have arrived at a situation where significant progress has been made in respect of the delivery of citizens rights - including a wide-ranging Irish Language Act - legacy issues, reform of the political institutions, strategies to tackle poverty and sectarianism, wide-ranging reforms to public services, as well as major infrastructural investment. This is a historic day, but the real work starts now."
The first items on the agenda of the Executive, said Sinn Féin, is addressing issues facing the health service and to deliver pay parity for health workers, as well as to begin implementation of Irish language legislation.
Sinn Féin team of Ministers that will drive forward delivery of what has been agreed in the Executive are:
Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA
Minister for Finance Conor Murphy MLA
Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey MLA
Junior Minister in the Executive Office Declan Kearney MLA
In addition, John O'Dowd MLA has been appointed as Chief Whip and Assembly group leader and Alex Maskey MLA on his election as Ceann Comhairle (Assembly's speaker).
McDonald said: "There is no doubt there are serious challenges ahead for all of us, not least in combating the impacts of Tory austerity and the effects of Brexit, but Sinn Féin is about delivery and we are absolutely committed to making genuine power-sharing work. We will also continue to work tirelessly to deliver Irish reunification in the time ahead, to ensure that a referendum on Irish unity is delivered and that planning for Irish unity is advanced."