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Conor Murphy addresses Liberal Democrats event on peace process

21 September, 2005


Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy last night addressed a Liberal Democrats Conference reception on current developments in the peace process. Mr Murphy said that 'the tremendous potential created by the IRA announcement of July 28th should be immediately built upon to create real momentum in the peace process.'

Panelists included Lembit Opik, Lib Dems Spokesperson on the North and David Ford from the Alliance Party.

Speaking after the event Mr Murphy said:

"Over this past number of years there has been a real lack of leadership within political unionism. This lack of leadership has been best illustrated by events over this past fortnight, with both the DUP and UUP lining up squarely behind the loyalist paramilitaries and the Orange Order who brought mayhem to the streets of Belfast and beyond.

"It is crucial that in the coming days and weeks the tremendous potential created by the IRA announcement of July 28th should be immediately built upon to create real momentum in the peace process. The issue of the IRA was held up by unionists as the only stumbling block to political progress, it is now clear that political unionism cannot cope with the new realities presented.

"Dialogue is the only way forward and the DUP in particular are disenfranchising their electorate by their refusal to engage with republicans. Whilst the DUP prevaricates, the political institutions remain suspended and this is having a significant negative impact upon local people and essential services. Sinn Féin is ready and willing to enter discussions with the other parties, it remains to be seen if others are up to the challenge." ENDS

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