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Sinn Féin determined to test British Commitment to progress

17 May, 2005


Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy has travelled to London today to ensure that 'there is a clear focus on the united Ireland agenda and on the need to rebuild the peace process'. Mr Murphy made his comments at the official opening of the British Parliament today.

Speaking from London Mr Murphy said:

"Sinn Fein is an Irish republican party. We are here today to ensure that there is a clear focus on the United Ireland agenda and on the need to rebuild the peace process. Irrespective of the brief mention which this issue receives in today's Queen's speech, Tony Blair has made it clear that the issue of peace in Ireland and the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement are a priority for his government in the time ahead. Sinn Féin are prepared to test that commitment.

"We have met with representatives of the two governments in recent times and will tomorrow meet with the US Special envoy Mitchell Reiss before Gerry Adams leads a party delegation to meet with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday.

"The British government has a key role to play in implementing the Good Friday Agreement and in bringing the peace process to a successful conclusion. That is the most immediate challenge facing all of us. Sinn Fein wants to do business with the representatives of unionism but if they refuse to engage they cannot be allowed a veto over progress. Key elements of the Good Friday Agreement do not require co-operation from the DUP.

"Progress on equality, human rights, collusion, the Irish language, demilitarisation, justice and policing are all entirely the responsibility of the British government and we will push the British government for early movement on all of these important issues."ENDS

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