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McGuinness - Irish government must defend democratic rights

5 June, 2003


Speaking before a meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen in Derry today, Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP said: The Irish government have a duty to ensure that democratic rights and entitlements are delivered and upheld. This includes ensuring that a date for the postponed elections is set.' Mr. McGuinness said:

"I welcome Brian Cowen's visit to Derry. It is important that Irish government Ministers interact directly with northern opinion at community, as well as political level. I am sure that Mr. Cowen will be made aware of the deep sense of frustration that exists following the cancellation of the elections by the British government and the ongoing pandering to negative unionism.

"The Irish government is a co-equal partner with the British in the Good Friday Agreement. They have a duty to ensure that democratic rights and entitlements are delivered and upheld. This includes ensuring that a date for the postponed elections is set. It means ensuring that the nationalist community no longer has to live under threat from a unionist militia like the RIR."ENDS

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