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Adams - Irish Government Must Make Position Clear To DUP

7 December, 2003

Speaking today at a Republican commemoration in Belfast, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said that the Irish government needed to make it clear to the DUP in their forthcoming talks that the Good Friday Agreement was not up for re-negotiation.

Mr Adams said:

"Much has been said since the election about the rise in support for the DUP, and rightly so, for they were successful in increasing their mandate and swallowing up the smaller rejectionist parties. However as republicans well know with an increased mandate comes an increased responsibility to use it wisely.

"The DUP need to reflect upon this and indeed they need to reflect upon the wave of attacks on republicans homes in this city on Friday night.

"The DUP who are now in the political leadership of unionism, and who are refusing to engage with our party have to reflect upon the message they are sending to the violent wing of unionism. If unionist political leaders constantly send out a message that they will not engage with Sinn Féin or respect the mandate of that party, then they have to expect that those within the paramilitary section of unionism will respond in the manner we witnessed on Friday night.

"I would urge those within the DUP leadership to review their position in the wake of last nights attack and reflect seriously on the effect that the position which they have adopted is having on the unionist paramilitaries.

"This message also needs to be made clear to them when they meet with the Irish government in the time ahead, and they will meet with the Irish government, the fact that the Good Friday Agreement is not up for barter, nor for re-negotiation. The Agreement has the support of the overwhelming mass of people on this island. Our task is to see it implemented not renegotiated. That must be the task of the two governments also in the time ahead." ENDS

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