Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Reckless attitude of governments must end

24 April, 2004

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking to party activists in Belfast this morning said that nationalists and republicans are justifiably angry and frustrated at the behaviour of the Irish and British governments this week. He said their reckless attitude towards the Peace Process needed to end and he called on nationalists and republicans to rally behind the Process and make their voices heard.

Mr. Adams said:

"Nationalists and republicans are justifiably incensed this week. It has been almost ten years since the first IRA cessation. In that time, republicans have taken enormous risks for peace, often entailing great sacrifice. At times, even our harshest critics have acknowledged the work we have undertaken. But sometimes, like now, our contribution is completely ignored. This week's report from the British government's so-called IMC is a partisan, short-sighted, unjust attack against Sinn Féin and is evidence of both governments growing recklessness.

"Sinn Féin are leading participants in this Peace Process. We have fulfilled the promises we made in the Good Friday Agreement. But we have had to deal with the many unfulfilled promises of the two governments, with regard to policing, demilitarisation, human rights, equality and many other areas. Sinn Féin didn't bring down the Assembly and the Executive. It wasn't our actions that postponed the elections last May. We didn't walk away from the sequence of events aimed at restoring the political institutions last October. And yet our electorate are victims of the two governments' cynical attempts to blame Sinn Féin for everything that is wrong with the Peace Process. What is at stake here is a very valuable prize - a Peace Process that has brought, and can continue to bring, much needed change to this island. The two governments seem to be willing to risk that prize for the sake of short-term political gain. They must be made understand that the Peace Process is too important for that to happen.

"I firmly believe that these events do not reflect the public's attitude towards Sinn Féin. I firmly believe that, just as the public made their position clear in the Assembly elections last November, they will use the European elections to make their views clear once again. It is obvious that our support is not diminishing, it's growing. It is growing because people value our contribution to the Peace Process and our work to bring about real change across all of Ireland. And we have to build on this work in June. I believe that these elections - North and South - have the potential to be our best elections so far. We have never elected a representative to Europe. This year, will be the year this can be achieved. It's essential that we encourage our voters to show the same support for us that they did in the Assembly elections. That will remind the two governments, and all our opponents, once again, that the Peace Process cannot be held to ransom. That will be the loudest answer we can give to them, and to every obstacle they choose to put in the path of the Peace Process. "ENDS

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