Speaking from Letterkenny, County Donegal where he is attending Oireachtas na Samhna, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has commented on the shooting of prison officer David Black on the M1 motorway between Lurgan and Portadown yesterday.
Gerry Adams said:
“The killing of a prison officer yesterday is wrong. There is no future in such actions which are rejected by the entire community, North and South.
“Whatever position individuals may hold on the efficacy or otherwise of armed struggle in the past, there is no rationale for it in the present circumstances. There is no rationale now for the existence of armed groups or for carrying out armed actions in any part of this country. Those involved have no popular support or political strategy.
“There may be a small number of people who tolerate the existence of militarist groups or their violent actions or who provide shelter, resources or facilities to them. They need to reflect on what they are doing. These groups are not the IRA and nobody should be under any illusion about that.
“Those organisations that are politically associated with armed groups have failed to outline how these actions advance republican objectives. On the contrary they play into the hands of those in the British system who are opposed to the peace process and to its potential for achieving a united Ireland.
“These groups must be challenged. The media has a responsibility to ask these organizations where they stand on actions such as Thursday’s murder.
“There is no room for ambiguity on this issue. Ireland and the Irish people have chosen the path of peace and conflict resolution.
“Those of us who believe passionately in a united Ireland are now engaged in pursuing the political and democratic path opened up following the historic political negotiations that have occurred in recent years. Actions such as the murder of David Black serve merely to damage that just and noble cause.”