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Sinn Féin representatives targeted by Unionist paramilitaries

24 July, 2003

Sinn Féin Newry Armagh representative Conor Murphy has said that the three devices abandoned in the Camlough/Bessbrook area by Unionist paramilitaries were apparently intended to target Sinn Féin representatives.

Mr Murphy said:

"This is the reality of being a Sinn Féin representative. Unionists of all shades in their attitude to republicans legitimise the targeting of elected representatives. While some politicians are indulging in shallow opportunism around tee shirts there still remains the vital task of building on the foundations of the peace process and serving the needs of constituents.

"These unionist paramilitaries are opposed to the political process and opposed to the peace process. They have nothing positive to contribute to the challenges we face as a society in dealing with the inevitable process of change and transformation the Good Friday Agreement stands for.

"The failure of unionist leadership, particularly in areas like South Armagh in rising to meet these challenges and their inability to respond positively to change has helped to create the political vacuum. This is being filled by the widespread increase in unionist paramilitary violence that has spread throughout the six counties." ENDS

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