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Sinn Féin challenges Murphy over spy operation

9 September, 2004

Speaking today in Stormont before Sinn Féin met with both Brian Cowen and Paul Murphy, Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP said that 'if the DUP are to be part of an agreement they must abandon their anti-agreement agenda'. Mr McGuinness also said that the meeting would be used to challenge Paul Murphy on the spy operation against Sinn Féin which he is believed to have sanctioned.

Mr McGuinness said:

" We will meet with Paul Murphy and Brian Cowen this afternoon. It will be the first meeting between Sinn Féin and Mr Murphy since the spying operation was uncovered earlier this week at the home of a member of Gerry Adams staff.

" As I said previously I am presuming that it was Mr Murphy who personally sanctioned this spying operation. So far the NIO have refused to comment. Today's meeting will provide Sinn Féin with the opportunity to seek answers from Paul Murphy directly, and indeed provide an opportunity for the media to challenge him on this very serious matter.

" This sort of bad faith from the British government obviously does not help as we face into talks aimed at securing a deal. The position of the DUP at this time is also a cause for concern. They clearly have to move a considerable distance from their anti-Agreement position to be up for doing a deal within the context of the Good Friday Agreement.

" Sinn Féin is approaching these discussions in a positive mode. A deal can be done if the political will exists. We are continuing to work today and on through the weekend to see that progress is made. But critically progress has to be based on the principles and fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement. There is no alternative to that agenda of change. So if the DUP are to be part of an agreement they must abandon their anti-agreement agenda." ENDS

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