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SDLP Assembly team should distance itself from McGrady position

17 January, 2005


Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly has urged the SDLP Assembly team meeting today in Stormont to distance themselves from weekend remarks by Eddie McGrady and Alaister McDonnell indicating that the party should accept the DUP proposal of a voluntary coalition.

Mr Kelly said:

" The DUP proposal for a voluntary coalition is about replacing the Good Friday Agreement and undermining the equality and inclusivity principles which underpin this process. That is why it was rejected out of hand in the negotiations last year and that is why Ian Paisley has given the weekend remarks by Eddie McGrady and Alaister McDonnell such a warm welcome.

" There are clearly serious leadership issues now for the SDLP. There is a lack of direction and cohesion at the top of that party. However these problems should not be allowed to damage the Good Friday Agreement project. Nationalists and republicans have stood firm with the Good Friday Agreement. They expect their political representatives to do likewise.

" It is therefore important that the SDLP Assembly team meeting today in Stormont are clearly seen to distance themselves and their party from the weekend proposal that the SDLP join with the DUP and abandon the Good Friday Agreement." ENDS

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