[Sinn Fein]

27 July 2000

Sinn Fein meets Dublin Government over crisis issues

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP and a high-level Sinn Fein delegation met An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowen at Government Buildings in Dublin today to discuss concerns over the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Sinn Fein leaders said they are very worried that if a range of ``very important issues, including demilitarisation by the British Army and policing'', are not acted upon with commitment, sincerity and speed by the British Government then they could escalate into crisis issues in the autumn.

The lack of momentum on demilitarisation and policing is already undermining people's faith in commitments given by the British Government under the Good Friday Agreement. As a consequence, relations between Sinn Fein and the British Government are particularly bad, a spokesperson said.

Mr Adams said that the Taoiseach and Minister Cowen were ``very, very focussed'' on the issues the Sinn Fein delegation raised. Speaking to reporters at Government Buildings afterwards, Mr Adams said:

``There will be no new police service unless republicans and nationalists are part of it. A rejigged RUC by another name will not be acceptable and will not work.

``The Good Friday Agreement was about creating equality. If we do not have a police service that can secure the support of republicans and nationalists in the Six Counties and throughout the island then the Good Friday Agreement will be holed below the water-line. This is not an issue for fudging on.''

Mr Adams added:

``All this is essentially a matter for the British Prime Minister, Mr Blair, on which to assert himself on and honour the commitments he gave.''

The full Sinn Fein delegation consisted of Party President Gerry Adams MP, Gerry Kelly MLA, Michelle Gildernew MLA, Councillor Martin Ferris, Councillor Joe Reilly, Conor Murphy MLA, Councillor Seán Crowe, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, and Rita O'Hare.

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