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De Brún and McDonald to brief MEPs on Peace Process

11 January, 2005

Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún (6 Counties)and Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin) will brief fellow MEPs in the GUE/NGL group on the current state of the peace process this evening. Members of the European Parliament have shown a keen interest in the peace process in Ireland and in the prospects for further forward movement in the time ahead.

The briefing to the GUE/NGL group also provided an opportunity to address the particular difficulties that have arisen in the wake of the unsubstantiated allegations being made against Republicans in recent days.

In a joint statement both Sinn Féin MEPs said:

" This evening's briefing provided an opportunity to explain in some detail the story behind the spin of recent days. The reality is that there are those within the British system hostile to the peace process and the Sinn Féin role in driving it forward.

" It is very clear that these elements have seized upon the raid on the Northern Bank in order to try and advance the failed unionist agenda of exclusion. This is the sort of politics that failed for decades.

" Sinn Féin have put unequalled effort into the Irish peace process. We are not going to be deflected from the business of making peace by the securocrats or by those within unionism who are still unable to accept basic principles of equality and democracy.

" The current crisis in the process comes after a massive effort by the Sinn Féin leadership late last year to see the process put back on track. The IRA outlined very clearly the sort of historic contribution that it was prepared to make. Unionism failed to rise to the challenge once again and walked away from an agreement.

" Sinn Féin will stand over our record in this process. We represent the majority of nationalist political opinion in the north. We will not allow our voice to be sidelined or excluded in the time ahead." ENDS

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