Sinn Féin - On Your Side

There needs to be direct dialogue between the DUP and Sinn Féin

15 December, 2004


The Sinn Féin Vice-President, Pat Doherty MP speaking in London today said:

"I believe that the major obstacle to reaching accommodation in the present impasse is the refusal of the DUP to talk directly to Sinn Féin about its concerns. There is absolutely no principle involved in this obstinacy. It is a political tactic. This is demonstrated by the fact that where it does not have the power to prevent it the DUP participates in studio debates, works with us on a daily basis in Council Chambers and even serves with us in civic roles such as in Derry where we have a Sinn Féin Mayor and a DUP Deputy Mayor. Therefore if Ian Paisley is really interested in finding a solution to the problems then he should talk directly with Gerry Adams.

"Many of the difficulties have arisen through misunderstandings of and misinterpretation of the relative positions because they are being fed through a third party, in this case the two governments. It's time for direct dialogue.

"Since the publication last week by the two governments of their proposals and the publication by the IRA of the contribution that it was prepared to make to the process work there has been repeated attempts to bring us down cul-de-sacs, none of which will make any positive contribution to seeing this deal done.

"But let us get back to the core issue. Look at the contribution that the IRA has set out. Think of the progress we have made to get to this point. This is not the time to become distracted by side issues and sideshows. This is the time for decisive political leadership. This is the time to do the deal. Sinn Féin could express all sorts of genuine grievances and reasons not to do a deal. But we are in the business of problem solving. We want to make this happen.

"There needs to be direct dialogue between the DUP and Sinn Féin." ENDS

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