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Ferris attacks the coalition of parties for their cynical attitude towards the peace process

6 April, 2004

Sinn Féin TD for Kerry North, Martin Ferris, has attacked the coalition of parties who have proven their negative and cynical attitude towards the peace process. Deputy Ferris was responding to a private members motion tabled by three of the opposition parties with the broad support of the Government. The motion seeks to place the blame for the political impasse in the Six Counties solely on republicans.

Deputy Ferris said, "It is particularly ironic that the main movers in this opportunistic and politically motivated assault on republicans, are those who

were opposed to the peace process from its very inception, and that in so doing they have aligned themselves with the PDs. During a debate in the Dáil in October 1993, at a crucial juncture in the process, PD leader Mary Harney stated that "We are quite cynical about all this". It is quite clear that she has not shifted one iota since then, nor have those elements in Fine Gael and Labour who also made their opposition to the process clear at the time.

"While the then Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, and Tánaiste Dick Spring were fully engaged in delicate peace negotiations, those who have now taken over the Labour Party were joined in an unholy alliance with the PDs in constantly seeking to derail that process. To read the record of the debates of late 1993 and early 1994 is to submerge oneself in a constant onslaught by De Rossa, Rabbitte, Harney and elements in Fine Gael on the process and the role of the then Fianna Fail Labour Government. None of the progress made since that time would have been possible had any of those people been in power at the time, and it is clear that no future progress will be possible if the mindset reflected in this motion prevails." ENDS

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