It is interesting that the statement is released in the name of Adams himself, and not the Ard Chomhairle or the party.
“Statement from Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, MLA:
The Ard Chomhairle has been meeting throughout the day and Martin McGuinness and I have been briefing colleagues on the detail of the recent discussions with the DUP.
It would have been our hope when the Ard Comhairle was originally put back two weeks ago that we would have had something positive in terms of a resolution of current difficulties to put to this meeting.
Unfortunately, we are not in that position despite my very firm view that with the necessary political will all of these matters could and should have been sorted out before now.
Within three months of the St Andrews Agreement, Sinn Féin had held an Ard Fheis on policing and had fulfilled our obligations.
That was three years ago and we are waiting on the DUP to honour theirs.
The failure thus far by the DUP to honour this St Andrews obligation is symptomatic of a much bigger problem - their refusal to work partnership government, and in particular to work the office of OFM/dFM properly.
The only agreement worth reaching is one which deals with this core issue. The political institutions can work and can deliver - but only if they function on the basis they were established. They are not sustainable otherwise.
Equality and partnership are central to all of this.
Our negotiating team has been given a very specific brief. Martin McGuinness will be seeking an urgent meeting with Peter Robinson.
This will be a critical and defining engagement.
The two Governments have been in touch with us last night.
The Governments, who are the guarantors of the St Andrews and Good Friday Agreements, are also in default in outstanding issues. Particularly equality issues like Irish language rights and North/South structures.
The governments need to set a date for transfer now.
Martin spoke to the British Prime Minister and to a senior official in the Taoiseach's Department. But let me say, the governments are not referees in this; they are guarantors with responsibilities and obligations.
We will of course meet them but it is in the context of them coming forward with a date.
Much of the commentary around this issue has been characterised by talk of Sinn Féin collapsing, or forcing an election. This is not about Sinn Féin hyping things up.
This is not a game of poker. If the institutions are not working and not delivering - then they become pointless and unsustainable.
What we are about is fixing the problems and returning to the basis upon which these institutions were established - Good Friday Agreement and St Andrews Agreement.
If that is not possible then no self respecting public representative or political party would want to be part of what would be nothing less than a charade.”
Several points stand out:
"Martin McGuinness will be seeking an urgent meeting with Peter Robinson. This will be a critical and defining engagement."
So, after all the talks, the meetings, and the hype, there will be yet another meeting. But this one, apparently really is the last one. Apparently.
"If the institutions are not working and not delivering - then they become pointless and unsustainable."
So collapse really is the threat.
"What we are about is fixing the problems and returning to the basis upon which these institutions were established - Good Friday Agreement and St Andrews Agreement."
But there is a solution – the full implementation of the GFA and St Andrews. Nothing less.
Adams statement is probably as clear an exposition of Sinn Féin’s position as the public is going to see for a while. If the other parties and the governments know more, it is unlikely to be released – and, given the clarity of Adams words, it is unlikely to be very different.
So it seems to be back to the last-chance saloon, with Sinn Féin batting the ball very clearly back to the unionists and the governments. If they chose to ignore it, the game will be over fairly soon. Whether the governments are prepared to waste yet more time and effort on trying to re-establish the institutions is as yet unknown, but it is likely that they would not, and that Northern Ireland could return to the deep-freeze of direct rule for another decade. If that happens, the next attempt to restore local democracy will be driven by quite different political and demographic realities, and will inevitably be greener than today’s attempt. The unionists may well then wish that they had taken the chances they were offered in 2010, just as in 1998 many wished they had not let Sunningdale slip away.