[Sinn Fein]

7 April 2001

Governments cannot turn a blind eye to Trimble's actions

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA said that the British and Irish governments cannot afford to adopt a ``blind eye policy'' to those who are trying to destroy the Good Friday Agreement, and particularly First Minister David Trimble's continuing unlawful refusal to nominate Sinn Fein ministers to all-Ireland bodies.

The Assembly member for Foyle was speaking at today's meeting of the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle in Dublin where Gerry Adams briefed colleagues on last week's meeting with the British Secretary of State, Dr John Reid, ahead of next week's meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.  Mr McLaughlin said:

``We met Dr Reid last week and we put our case to him that the British Government has allowed David Trimble to collapse the North-South dimension of the Good Friday Agreement.  We shall be meeting Taoiseach Bertie Ahern next week and we shall be impressing upon him our very serious concern and anger at this situation because the Irish Government also has a responsibility as guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.''

He suggested that one way in which the governments could effectively demonstrate their disavowal of Mr Trimble's policy could be the convening of a North-South Ministerial meeting involving all ministers in the Executive and the Irish Government.  ``This is one way of drawing a line under that process and ensuring that David Trimble's dismantling of the Good Friday Agreement discontinues immediately.'' ENDS

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