1st November 2001
Back the peace process - Adams
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, along with colleagues Pat Doherty MP and Michelle Gildernew MP, today held a press conference in the Sheraton Hotel in New York.
The three are attending a Friends of Sinn Fein fundraising event tonight, which is already over subscribed; with almost 1100 people in attendance at $500 a ticket. The money raised will go to the relatives of almost 100 people, from the construction industry, which was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11th.
Speaking at the Press Conference Mr. Adams said:
``The New York and New Jersey construction industry has in recent years been the backbone of Sinn Fein's fundraising efforts in that area. In the wake of the September 11th atrocity we felt that it was right that we make this gesture as a measure of our sympathy with and support for the relatives of those killed.''
Asked about the vote in the Assembly on Friday and the possibility that Mr. Trimble might lose it Mr. Adams said:
``The votes should not be counted until they have been cast. Anything else is just speculation. This process of making peace will continue to present challenges to everyone involved. It is a process of change and this is always difficult.
``The challenge for unionism at this crucial time is whether they are prepared to share power with their nationalist and republican neighbours on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
``If they don't they are standing against the clear will of the majority of people in the north and on the island of Ireland who want this peace process to succeed and who accept that the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement charts the best course for achieving that.''
Asked what the British government should do if Mr. Trimble fails to be elected as First Minister the Sinn Fein President said:
``The British government should think long and hard about embarking on another suspension of the institutions. That would be surrender to the rejectionists and would grievously undermine confidence in the process.
``If the First and Deputy First Ministers are not returned then there should be an election and let the people decide who best represents their views and interests. I am confident that the No camp would be roundly rejected.''
The Sinn Fein leader praised the `patriotic act by the IRA last week on the arms issue' and called on `the Irish American constituency to unite behind this historic initiative'.
Concluding Mr. Adams thanked President Bush and Ambassador Haas for their support and help in the process and especially Irish America, which continues to provide the backbone of support for the peace process in Ireland.
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