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Sinn Féin issue Policing Newssheets in morning papers

25 January, 2007

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald was joined for the launch of a party newsletter on policing in Belfast today by the party spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly and Lagan Valley representative Cllr. Paul Butler. The newsletter which will be distributed in editions of the Irish News, Belfast Telegraph and Andersonstown News is the latest stage in the Sinn Féin consultation on the Policing issue in the run up to Sundays Ard Fheis.

Ms McDonald said:

"This has been an intensive period for the Sinn Féin leadership with negotiations throughout the Christmas period and the consultation launched in the wake of the Ard Chomhairle decision to press ahead with an Ard Fheis this Sunday.

"A number of public and party meetings throughout Ireland have taken place over the past two weeks. There has been an intensive dialogue with party members, the wider republican support base, broad nationalism and in some instances members of the unionist community. A particular effort has been made to consult fully with the families of the Patriot dead and victims of state violence.

"The meetings have all been well attended. The debate has been good and a wide range of opinions have been expressed. In advance of Sunday we do not take anything of granted. We believe that this is the right thing to do. We are going into Sunday‚s Ard Fheis to win.

"In tomorrows editions of the Irish News and Belfast Telegraph and throughout the Andersonstown News Group we have inserted a party newsletter detailing our approach to the Policing issue. This is designed to touch those sections which have not yet been touched by the ongoing consultation.

"Throughout this process republicans have taken initiatives to advance the peace process. This is part of all of that. We have a deliberate strategy which we want to further advance. I accept that some republicans hold a different view and I respect that absolutely. But I fully believe that we will emerge from Sunday‚s Ard Fheis stronger and united and ready to move forward to the challenges which will lie ahead." ENDS

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