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McGuinness - Sinn Féin will not be bullied by DUP

11 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness addressed the Vol. Peadar McElvanna commemoration in Keady South Armagh over the weekend. Mr McGuinness told those assembled that Ian Paisley would not intimidate or bully Sinn Féin in the way in which he has sought to do with the Irish and British governments.

Mr McGuinness said:

"When Peter Hain announced the introduction of his Assembly at the start of May, Sinn Féin made it clear that we would use this period to try and form an Executive and also to test the DUP to see if they were finally going to step up to the democratic mark demanded by the Good Friday Agreement.

"So far Ian Paisley‚s party has failed to come on board. This week they deliberately set out to block progress being made on the Preparation for Government committee. They seem to be of the opinion that if they bully and intimidate the other parties in the same way as they have with the two governments over recent years then they will be once again pandered to.

"The other parties can answer for themselves, but let me be clear, Sinn Féin will not be bullied or intimidated by the DUP. We will not allow the rights and entitlements of citizens to be bartered away or diminished at the behest of Ian Paisley.

"The two governments cannot allow this process to drift on much longer. They have a responsibility to stand by the Good Friday Agreement and the vast majority of people and parties who support it.

"If it becomes clear in the coming weeks that the DUP are not coming on board then the two governments have the obligation to move ahead regardless and let the DUP catch up later." ENDS

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