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McGuinness - DUP will not be allowed to wreck the Agreement

10 January, 2004


For immediate release: 10th January 2004

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness speaking in Dublin after the party's first Ard Chomhairle meeting of the new year said "it is vital that the Agreement is supported and not undermined, in the course of the upcoming review." He said "Sinn Fein is prepared to listen to what the DUP have to say but if it emerges that the DUP`s position is still to wreck the Good Friday Agreement then there will be an absolutely massive responsibility on the British and Irish Governments and the pro-Agreement parties to move ahead and implement the Agreement.

Mr. McGuinness said:

"There is obviously going to be an exploration of the DUP`s position in the coming weeks and we will listen very carefully to what Ian Paisley is saying. We have made it absolutely clear that we want to talk to the DUP just as we have spoken to all unionist representatives in the past. But if it emerges that the DUP`s position is still to wreck the Good Friday Agreement and that they remain dedicated to the destruction of the institutions, action will have to be taken.

"There will be an absolutely massive responsibility on the British and Irish Governments and the pro-Agreement parties to move ahead of those who are bent on the destruction of all of the work that we have been engaged in over the course of the last ten years.

"We have to remember that there are only 34 members of the Assembly opposed to the Agreement and that the 74 in favour of it represent a very strong and powerful hand. We cannot and will not, under any circumstances, allow the Reverend Ian Paisley and those that he leads to overturn an Agreement that has been endorsed overwhelmingly by all of the citizens of this island?

"Sinn Féin wants to see the restoration of the Assembly and Executive and the all-Ireland institutions. We also want to see human rights and equality commissions supported, demilitarization and a representative, accountable policing service under the control of a local administration in the north"ENDS

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