Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ó Caoláin says Get your own house in order" to those blaming Republicans for current impasse

20 April, 2003

Speaking at this year's annual Easter 1916 Commemoration in Dublin on Sunday April 20th Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that "the IRA have taken courageous decisions" that too often had been taken for granted. He said that those who point the finger of blame at republicans should "get their own house in order".

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Republicans have always said that if a viable path of struggle for Irish freedom, not involving armed action, became available then they were obliged to employ that route. They have been true to their word. The IRA demonstrated initiative and innovation and ever since their first cessation in 1994 they have taken courageous decisions that have caused real and

soul-searching difficulties for many republicans. Too often these efforts have been taken for granted by some who were themselves hostile to the peace process at its inception. So to those who would point the finger at the IRA for the current difficulties in the peace process I say: "Get your own house in order."

"We must recognize that a major factor in the political equation of the peace process now is the concern of the Fianna Fáil/PD government at the growth of Sinn Féin, particularly here in Dublin and throughout the 26 Counties. That is understandable and as political parties they have every right to fight their corner. But we say to them that they must act firstly as an Irish government elected to represents all citizens on this island. They must not let their party political role cloud their thinking in the peace process.

"It would suit many of our political opponents in this State to see a situation where republicans were held responsible for any delay or deadlock in the peace process. We will not accept such a situation and we will continue to assert the rights of those who vote for Sinn Féin throughout the 32 Counties, and the rights of everyone who voted for the Good Friday

Agreement, rights that are not subject to preconditions by governments, political parties or armed groups. The days of demonisation and discrimination on either side of the Border are over and they are not coming back. All parties in Leinster House please note.

"In the local government and EU elections next year Sinn Féin will be presenting its largest ever number of candidates. We are resolved to send strong teams of Sinn Féin councillors onto all four local authorities in the greater Dublin area. And we are also determined to elect the first ever Sinn Féin MEP when we secure the seat for our Dublin candidate Marylou McDonald. " ENDS

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