[Sinn Fein]

24 November 2000

Adams responds to Trimble's comments

Responding to claims by David Trimble that republicans have broken promises they made at Hillsborough, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has accused the Ulster Unionist Party leader of ``dishonestly trying to shift public blame for the current crisis away from the British Government and the UUP leadership, and on to republicans''.

Speaking in Dublin today, Mr Adams said:

``This is one of David Trimble's stated objectives in his October 27th letter to the Ulster Unionist Council delegates.  It is about unionism trying to exercise a veto over the Good Friday Agreement and over political progress.

``The challenge for Mr Trimble is to spell out the promises which republicans are supposed to have broken.

``The reality is that the British Government made public commitments on May 5th which were spelt out in the joint letter and joint statement issued with the Irish Government.

``The IRA's commitments, both in terms of its confidence-building measures and its discussions with the IICD, were made in that context.

``A deal was struck and the IRA has honoured its commitments on the confidence-building measures and has made it clear that it has not broken off discussions with the IICD.

``On the other hand, the British Government has clearly and indisputably reneged on its commitments on policing and demilitarisation and other matters. This is most obvious on the policing issue, where the British Government committed itself to implementing the Patten Report and the legislation fails that test miserably.

``The British Government has broken the contract it made with republicans in May.  Unless Mr Blair addresses this issue seriously, urgently, and comprehensively, there is little prospect of a positive outcome to this rolling crisis.''

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