[Sinn Fein]

4th October 2002

Sinn Fein responds to Trimble comments

Sinn Fein MLA for North Belfast Gerry Kelly speaking this evening following today's comments made by David Trimble has said:

``The UUP is an anti-Agreement party. David Trimble outlined his strategy at the UUP AGM in March. He wanted to collapse the political institutions and point the finger of blame at republicans. At last months UUC meeting Mr. Trimble unveiled his wreckers charter to achieve this.

``Dove tailing with this anti-Agreement strategy is the campaign being waged by the securocrats. They have sought to demonise republicans through a series of very public interventions.

``Assistant Chief Constable Alan McQuillan was central to this. He used off-the-record briefings and leaks. Others in the British securocrat system planted bogus stories in will elements of the media.

``The challenge for the two governments continues, with more urgency now, to be the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. They have to minimise the effects of the UUP and presumably the DUP withdrawal from the institutions. The inclination of  Dr. Reid may be to play this process as slowly as he can. He may continue to be mesmerised by the need to keep Mr. Trimble in a leadership position. That is a matter for him. But he cannot use or abuse people's rights or entitlements as part of this. He cannot continue to pander to unionism's inability to deliver on its commitments or to use this as an excuse for his government not fulfilling its responsibilities.

``There is an onus on the Irish government in respect of this. They have a joint and co-equal responsibility with the British government, for the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. The Good Friday Agreement requires urgent and committed political focus from Dublin as well as London.''

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