Sinn Féin - On Your Side

SDLP seek to dismiss nationalist and republican concerns

5 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Assembly member for South Down Caitriona Ruane has dismissed attempts made by SDLP leader Mark Durkan on Talkback today to dismiss the very real concerns nationalists and republicans have about the DUP intentions to share power.

Ms Ruane said:

"Throughout the past number of months Sinn Féin has been involved in a detailed negotiation with the British government on a number of crucial issues, particularly the policing issue.

"The SDLP played no part in this negotiation. Instead they sat on the sidelines. As we sought to move the British government on key issues including the transfer of powers, plastic bullets and MI5 the SDLP engaged in petty party politicking.

"It seems that is continuing today on the BBC Talkback programme as Mark Durkan set out to minimise the very real concerns nationalists and republicans have about DUP intentions in relation to sharing power and agreeing a timeframe for the transfer of power on policing and justice.

"Unlike the SDLP, Sinn Féin will not settle short, give up, give in or jump too soon. We will continue to represent nationalists and republicans and address genuine concerns, not seek to ignore them or minimise them.

"Contrast this to the approach adopted by the SDLP. They told us that there was no point in trying to get rid of the RUC, they accepted MI5, they sat on a policing board which purchased plastic bullets, they accepted British Army involvement in crowd control situations, the very circumstances that led to the Bloody Sunday massacre.

"While Sinn Fein spent Christmas and since negotiating for change the SDLP it seems have spent their time seeking to reduce issues of key importance to nationalists to the level of petty politicking." ENDS

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