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Kelly - NIO undermining of process must end

16 July, 2004


Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly, speaking to the media during a meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin today, said "There are serious concerns at this time that the NIO is actively undermining the Good Friday Agreement and is having a hugely negative influence on the parades issue. If the British want an agreement in September then they will have to convince republicans that the negative influence of the NIO over this process will end."

Mr. Kelly said:

"This morning the Ard Chomhairle was updated on the situation in Ardoyne and Lurgan and on ongoing efforts to see the impasse in the peace process resolved including a report on Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness meetings in London yesterday.

"There are serious concerns at this time that the NIO is actively undermining the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. It is not clear if the British Government, at the highest level, is simply appeasing unionism or if Downing Street does not have control over its own system in relation to the peace process.

"Sinn Féin wants to see progress made in September, but for this to happen Mr Blair has to get his system in order ˆ they need to be on board the Good Friday Agreement project and work for its implementation.

"The NIO continue to undermine and minimise Good Friday Agreement commitments on policing, human rights, equality and demilitarisation. And their fingerprints are all over the decisions taken in Ardoyne and Lurgan this week and previously on the Springfield Road.

"Mr. Blair cannot allow the NIO to play an insidious role in this process. If the British want an agreement in September then they will have to convince republicans that the negative influence of the NIO over this process is at an end."ENDS

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