[Sinn Fein]

4 July 2001

Doherty calls for vigilance

Speaking in the wake of the loyalist killing of a young man in Antrim this morning, Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty MP has called for nationalists to be vigilant and said that `the current political focus on IRA weapons is wholly inappropriate.''

Mr. Doherty said:

``Sinn Fein has been warning for some time that increasing levels of orchestrated loyalist violence would result in further loss of life.  It is with great regret that our worst fears have come to pass this morning in Antrim. I want to express my deepest sympathy to the young man's family and friends.

``In the last number of months loyalist attacks on nationalists have increased dramatically.  Almost 100 pipe and blast bomb attacks have taken place.  There have been numerous gun and petrol bomb attacks.  Catholic schools and churches have been burned and Catholic children have been prevented from going to school by loyalist gangs.

``David Trimble cannot walk away from his responsibility.  His resignation has deepened the political crisis and increased tensions.

``It has always been Sinn Fein's view that the issue of arms must be fully resolved.  We want to see the gun taken out of Irish politics permanently.  Not only have republicans lived up to our commitments as outlined in the Good Friday Agreement, but we have done more than any other party in trying to resolve this issue. It is time for others to meet their own responsibilities, including the Ulster Unionist Party and the British government.''

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