[Sinn Fein]

6th November 2001

DUP instigate unseemly melee

Sinn Fein Chief Whip Alex Maskey has said that the unseemly melee that greeted the election of David Trimble and Mark Durkan was instigated by the DUP.

Mr Maskey said:

``The DUP failed to disrupt the election of David Trimble and Mark Durkan. This is an important step forward for the pro-Agreement parties. We now need to see this new consensus come together to drive the process forward and the full and faithful implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

``The DUP having failed to block the pro-Agreement consensus then instigated an unseemly melee in the Stormont foyer. Elected members of the DUP and their supporters hurled sectarian abuse and physically attacked members from my own party and others from within the pro-Agreement consensus.

``These disgraceful scenes typify the wreckers approach of the DUP to the Agreement. It will not succeed in deflecting the majority of us who wish to see an end to conflict and the needs of people living in communities throughout the north addressed by local politicians.''

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