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Doolan- Britain must stand up to loyalist violence

3 September, 2005

Sinn Féin’s Dublin South East Representative, Councillor Daithí Doolan, today called on the British government “to stand up to loyalist violence and ensure that unionism fully engages with the peace process in Ireland."

Speaking in London today, Cllr. Doolan, said:

"Political conflict has been an everyday reality on this island for over 30 years leading to the loss of over 3000 lives. But the peace process, which started 10 years ago, has given hope for the future. The recent IRA statement gave a peace process in crisis renewed hope. This historic initiative can not and should not be squandered by the British government. But unfortunately the reality for nationalists in the north has been an increase in loyalist attacks on their communities. Over 100 attacks in 2 months including petrol bombs, pipe bombs, paint bombs and physical assault.

“These attacks have been at best tolerated by the British government at worst encouraged by unionist politicians. This is totally unacceptable. If we are to maintain the momentum created by the recent IRA statement, the British government must no longer tolerate loyalist violence. The British government must stand up to unionist intransigence and the paramilitary violence that goes with it. It is time to let unionism  know in very clear terms that there is no alternative to the peace process.”

Addressing a conference in the London School of Economics, Cllr. Doolan outlined, “the corner stone of the peace process is the Good Friday Agreement, yet 7 years on we still await its implementation. The assembly and it’s executive must be re-established as a matter of urgency, democracy has been suspended for too long.”

In conclusion Cllr. Doolan, called on, “the British government must stop tolerating loyalist violence and must engage with the peace process with renewed energy and build on the momentum generated by the recent IRA statement.”ENDS

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