Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams - Taoiseach should stop making these malicious and untrue allegations

11 February, 2005


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking in Belfast this afternoon said "I am prepared to sit down with the Taoiseach today, tomorrow at any time to try and sort these matters out. It is important that when we get to that point that genuine dialogue should be conducted in an atmosphere which makes success possible. That is one of the reasons why we are so vigorous in defending ourselves from these accusations."

Mr. Adams said:

"Yesterday I asked the Irish government to act on foot of its allegations that Martin McGuinness and I had prior knowledge of the Northern Bank robbery. They have failed to do this. This morning the Taoiseach studiously avoided answering the question I put to him yesterday. The fact is that he has made a claim which he cannot corroborate or substantiate. In an Irish News interview this morning the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde was asked if the Sinn Féin leadership know about the Northern Bank robbery? His reply was that he had 'no idea.'

So, the Taoiseach should stop making these malicious and untrue allegations.

However, I fear his intention is to continue with this because the concentrated assault on Sinn Féin, the spurious and untrue accusation that this party sanctioned robberies, is about criminalising our party and our electorate.

It's about electoralism.

It is about preventing the development of Sinn Féin's radical political alternative to establishment politics on this island. But it seems to me that this torrent of abuse is likely to continue for a considerable time. I regret that. Not because Sinn Féin is not able to defend ourselves. We can. And we will.

But there is ongoing damage being done to the peace process and the reality is that when we come to deal with all of these matters in a constructive and genuine way all of the outstanding issues will have to be resolved. These relate to the responsibilities and obligations of the two governments, all of the equality and other elements of the Good Friday Agreement, and the issue of armed groups.

I am prepared to sit down with the Taoiseach today, tomorrow at any time to try and sort these matters out.

It is important that when we get to that point that genuine dialogue should be conducted in an atmosphere which makes success possible. That is one of the reasons why we are so vigorous in defending ourselves from these accusations.

The process cannot be suspended indefinitely, as it now is. Neither can it be advanced by the methods currently employed by the governments. The priority and focus of Sinn Fein in the time ahead is clear; to prevent any further damage to the peace process and to oppose any possibility of a return to violence."ENDS

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