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Sinn Féin MP holds London talks

26 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy is today in London for a number of engagements. As part of a series of meetings Mr Murphy will hold talks with the Conservative party spokesperson on the north David Liddington.

Speaking from Lonodn Mr Murphy said:

" Since the recent IRA initiatives Sinn Féin have been lobbying for cross party support to see a significant effort being made in the time ahead to grasp the opportunities which now exist and see the political institutions re-established and today's engagements are part of that continuing work.

" However there is an obvious focus at Westminster today on the contents of the budget unveiled yesterday by the British Secretary of State Peter Hain and this will provide another opportunity for Sinn Féin to make the case for the British government to bring forward a significant Peace Dividend to undo much of the damage caused by decades of under investment and neglect by successive British Direct Rule Administrations.

" The issue of a significant Peace Dividend is crucial if any future Executive will have the necessary tools to bed down the political process and build confidence amongst ordinary people in re-established political institutions.

" Significant challenges however remain in place. Central to this is the attitude of the DUP to engaging with Sinn Féin and their attitude to making political progress and building upon the opportunities presented by the IRA initiatives. In a sense the DUP need to start making decisions. Are they prepared to continue to stand back and watch the process of change proceed from the sidelines or are they going to take their place along with the rest of us in building a better future.

" If the DUP are content to stand by and allow the rest of us to continue to pick up the strain then the two governments have a clear obligation to start moving to implement all of the other outstanding matters contained in the Good Friday Agreement. The excuses have all gone the time for progress is now." ENDS

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