Sinn Féin - On Your Side

McLaughlin challenges Taoiseach to face up to his responsibilities

7 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin speaking from Derry this evening said that the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern would be better off facing up to his responsibilities instead of constantly hectoring Irish republicans. He said that it was no coincidence that his attacks on Sinn Féin were becoming more frequent in the run up to European Union and Local Government elections.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

"This evening, Bertie Ahern, instead of explaining to the Irish public how he intends to implement an Agreement, to which he admitted being in default last October, choose to attack Irish republicans.

"Sinn Féin is up to any challenge from Fianna Fáil and the other establishment parties, north and south, in the run up to the elections but we are certainly not going to accept lectures from a government that has walked away from its responsibilities in relation to the peace process.

"The Good Friday Agreement is not some sacred piece of paper to be supported in theory. It is an international Agreement, which was massively endorsed not just by nationalist Ireland, but the vast majority of people in Ireland six years ago and which the two governments are committed to implementing in full.

"But instead of doing this, they have walked away from their commitments, suspended the political institutions, failed to move on equality, human rights, demilitarization, policing, northern representation, Irish language and many other issues.

"We all want the Good Friday Agreement to work, but it will only work if all of those responsible for implementing it face up to their responsibilities and that includes the Irish government." ENDS

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