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Adams - Where Was Dermot Ahern When Short Strand and Ardoyne Were Under Siege?

17 April, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has rejected Irish Minister Dermot Ahern's defence of his electioneering in South Down last week and has criticised the Justice Minister Michael McDowell's intervention on behalf of the SDLP in South Belfast tomorrow.

Mr. Adams said:

"Contrary to Minister Ahern‚s lame protestations I have no objection to government Ministers coming north.In fact as he knows I have lobbied for Ministers to be involved in all aspects of life in the six counties. It is good to remind them that the nation does not stop at the border. For example, Minister Ahern could usefully spend an afternoon in the militarised zone of South Armagh. And when Ardoyne, Short Strand and Garvaghy Rd were under siege the presence of Ministers would have been very welcome.

"I merely raise the fact that until now while all the southern parties have electioneered against Sinn Féin, government Ministers avoided such blatant interference. Perhaps I touched a soft spot." ENDS

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