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Doherty - Preconditions On Dialogue Don't Work

18 March, 2005

Responding to comments made by the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy claiming that there can be no political dialogue in advance of the issue of the IRA being resolved Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP said:

"Nationalists and republicans could just as easily demand that Paul Murphy end the British cover-up of collusion as a precondition to forward movement but preconditions and ultimatums are not the way to make progress. There is no doubting that the political process is in crisis. The only way that this crisis can be resolved and the process put back on track is through a process of real and meaningful dialogue.

"Sinn Fein are committed to such a process. Indeed Gerry Adams yesterday held talks with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and we will build upon this engagement in the coming weeks.

"For a comprehensive package to be agreed all of the outstanding issues need to be addressed. This includes of course the issue of all of the armed groups. However history tells us that if we are to succeed then no one issue can be elevated to the status of a precondition. Paul Murphy knows this only to well.‰ ENDS

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