[Sinn Fein]

24 September 2001

Unless unionists lift threats institutions will collapse

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP:

``John Reid's remarks at the weekend, in which he concentrated entirely on IRA weapons and ignored the escalating gun and bomb attacks by the UDA - including 12 pipe bomb attacks at the weekend - were a disgrace and compounded by his decision to suspend the institutions.

``Between them, Dr. Reid and David Trimble have made a bad situation worse.

``So if you ask me what is our response to David Trimble's efforts to exclude Sinn Fein ? It is to repudiate entirely and absolutely what he says and what he is seeking to accomplish - that is the renegotiation of the Good Friday Agreement.

``It is to state without equivocation that the programme for change, for equality has to be implemented and Sinn Fein which has been the engine, along with others for that change, will continue with our efforts to ensure that the rights and entitlements of citizens are protected.

``If those who are against the Good Friday Agreement think they are going to break or bend the will of Irish republicans, then they are mistaken.

``If you ask me what are the possibilities of getting the IRA to put weapons beyond use ? I can only say that this task has been made much more difficult.

``If you ask me is Sinn Fein going to continue to try and sort this issue out? My answer is yes.

``But in my view if progress is achieved on IRA weapons the institutions will still face collapse because the unionists are not prepared to commit wholeheartedly to them and because the British government is not really committed to delivering on the issues that underpin the Good Friday Agreement.

``So at a time when republicans and nationalists are disillusioned with the pace of progress and frustrated by the hypocrisy and cynicism of anti-republican elements I am making it clear that Sinn Fein will not and cannot be excluded from this process. That we will not walk away from it and that while others play party politics with the issues involved we will persist with the task of transforming society.''

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