Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams Demands that violent actions stop

5 April, 2011 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in the Dáil today in the debate on the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr called on those involved to stop. Mr. Adams urged citizens and political representatives but especially government, to ‘be in the leadership of opposition to these groups.’

The Sinn Fein leader took the opportunity to speak directly to those “responsible for violent actions and those who might tolerate them.”

Mr. Adams said: “Sinn Féin offered some time ago to meet with you and to outline our strategy, it’s ability for advancing republican objectives and our belief in the futility of armed actions.

So far you have refused to speak to Sinn Féin. But I make the same offer again. I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with Sinn Féin. That is your right. But you have no right to attack anyone.

That is clear from the overwhelming public rejection of the attack which killed Ronan Kerr.

The people of this island demand that you stop.”

Text of Mr. Adams remarks:

“I want to thank the government for providing the time Sinn Féin requested for Teachtaí Dála to comment today on the murder on Saturday of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr.

On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to state our unequivocal condemnation of Ronan Kerr’s murder.

And I would appeal to any citizen with any information relating to what happened to bring that information to the PSNI.

Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a thabhairt uaim féin agus poblachtánaithe i ngach áit to Nuala Kerr agus dá clan ar fad.

I want to extend on my own behalf and that of republicans everywhere, our solidarity and sincerest condolences to Nuala Kerr and her children, Cathair, Dairine and Aaron.

Like many others I watched Nuala Kerr on television on Sunday, standing with her children beside her, and speaking with love and affection about Ronan.

Is am iontach brónach atá ann do Nuala Kerr agus dá clann.

It was a desperately sad moment, made all the more poignant because it was mother’s day - a day Nuala should have been celebrating with her family but was instead grieving for the loss of a son.

Ronan’s late father Brian was from Andersonstown in west Belfast.

Tá a lán meas ag daoine ar chlann Kerr. The Kerr’s are a well known and respected family.

His grandparents and other family members live there and Ronan was a regular visitor.

This week’s Andersonstown News has photographs on its front page of Ronan’s late father and his mother Nuala at a family reunion in the Andersonstown Social Club – formerly known as the Prisoners Dependents Fund (PDF) Social Club, which used to raise money for republican prisoners and their families, and provide transport for families to visit loved ones in Long Kesh, Armagh and Portlaoise.

Ronan was a keen GAA member.

He played for Beragh Red Knights at under 12, under 14, under 16 and at minor level. He was also an enthusiastic Tyrone fan.

He is one of many young nationalists and republicans who, following fundamental changes to policing, decided to join the PSNI.

Ronan wanted to serve his community and had just completed his training a few weeks ago.

He was 25. That means he was only 8 when the first IRA cessation was called.

For most of his life and all of his short adult life, he had like all of his generation no experience of conflict.

Don cuid is mó dá saol agus dá ghlúin ní fhaca sé mórán den choimhlint

Speaking on Sunday Nuala Kerr, whose late husband was from Andersonstown in west Belfast, spoke for all of us when she said:

“It’s a sad day for our community. Ronan was a valued member and he had much to offer.

This is at a time when we are striving for a neutral police force for the good of our country and I urge all Catholic members not to be deterred. We all need to stand up and be counted and to strive for equality. We don’t want to go back to the dark days again of fear and terror.”

And she is right.

We all have to stand up for our community.

We have to stand up for equality and a non partisan, civic policing service in the north.

We have to encourage young nationalists and republicans to join the PSNI.

And we have to confront and challenge those responsible for Ronan Kerr’s murder.

Thus far no one has said they murdered Ronan Kerr.

Those actions and others since are attacks on the peace process.

They are attempts to turn the clock back.

They have failed and will continue to fail.

I believe the shock and outrage and anger surrounding the murder of Ronan Kerr will unite and bind together more strongly than ever before all of those who want the peace process to succeed.

There has been evidence of that across this island, within community’s, from the GAA, and among political representatives and parties.

But we have to go beyond condemnation.

It is imperative that everyone make clear their opposition to the murder of Constable Kerr.

It is imperative that every citizen across this island defends the peace process.

That especially means political representatives.

Caithfear cinnireacht a thabhairt in éadan na grúpaí seo.

We must be in the leadership of opposition to these groups.

That means all of us in this chamber and especially in government.

We must demonstrate to those who want to tear down the Good Friday Agreement process and institutions that we are resolute and determined to defend and build on them.

Practically this means that there is an onus on all of us, but especially the government, to implement all of those aspects of the Good Friday Agreement that are still outstanding, and to strengthen the all-Ireland institutional structures.

I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to those responsible for violent actions and others who might tolerate them.

Sinn Féin offered some time ago to meet with you and to outline our strategy, it’s ability for advancing republican objectives and our belief in the futility of armed actions.

So far you have refused to speak to Sinn Féin.

But I make the same offer again.

I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with Sinn Féin.

That is your right. But you have no right to attack anyone.

That is clear from the overwhelming public rejection of the attack which killed Ronan Kerr.

The people of this island demand that you stop.

Bualfaidh mé leat aon uair, ag aon am.

I will meet you anywhere, at any time to listen to what you have to say and to tell you that there is now a democratic peaceful way to unite our people and our country on the basis of equality.

Your achievement has been to unite us all in opposition to your actions.

It is time to end these futile attacks on the peace process.

They will not succeed.

Tá an cogadh thart. The war is over.

The IRA is gone.

These other groups have no coherent strategy and their actions do not advance any political agenda.

They are unrepresentative of the community and have no support.

They claim to be republican but by their actions they undermine and damage the potential for Irish reunification.

They are anti-republican and anti-peace.

Almost 20 years ago, through hard work and effort Sinn Féin developed a peace strategy and with others created a peace process that has brought about fundamental and positive change.

Tá athraithe cuimsitheacha taréis tarlúint.

Significant progress has been made.

One example of this is the fact that in four weeks there will be an election to the power sharing Assembly and Executive at the end of a successful four year term.

The Good Friday Agreement provides a peaceful and democratic means to achieve republican goals.

In referenda and in every subsequent election the people of this island have voted for this.

There is no excuse, justification or explanation which can validate the murder of Ronan Kerr or any of the other actions of these groups.

Our goal in the time ahead must be to defend the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement institutions.

Nuala Kerr is right.

This is a time to stand up and be counted; against those who would seek to drag us back to the dark days and against those who are wedded to senseless and futile militarism.

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