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DUP must not be allowed to set the pace of political progress

19 September, 2005

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator, Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness has said that the two governments must not allow the DUP to set the pace of political progress.

Mr McGuinness said:

"The leaders of unionism and the Orange Order are harking back to the old days of unionist domination that are gone forever. There will be no going back. The future must be built on equality for all and respect for all. Collectively we need to challenge the cancer of sectarianism that is eating away at our society.

"The two governments must not allow the DUP to set the pace of political progress.

"After the Westminster election the DUP told us there was a new confident unionism. Yet when we look at the events of recent days and weeks and the summer of sectarian violence we see the opposite. Continuing negative leadership form unionist leaders serves only to further demoralise their own community. Unionist communities deserve better.

"Poverty and deprivation must of course be tackled right across society. We can best do this by working together. But this must be on the basis of delivering equality. This means genuinely targeting social need rather than perpetuating myths and misleading analysis about where and why deprivation exists.

"Sinn Féin want to see immediate political progress. We want to see the momentum maintained and increased.

"However, if the DUP is unwilling to break out of its negative cycle and begin to show the positive leadership which the political process and also their own community require and deserve, then the two government need to push ahead with the full implementation of the Agreement. In particular they must deliver on the equality agenda and begin at last to make a difference to deprived and disadvantaged communities." ENDS

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