[Sinn Fein]

7th November 2002

Rabbite motion ``opportunistic''

Commenting on Pat Rabbite's proposed motion, Sinn Fein Dáil group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:

``I am not surprised that Pat Rabbite has tabled this motion but it is disappointing that he is going down such a negative road at the start of his leadership. I regard it as opportunistic and more to do with party politics in this State than with the current serious difficulties in the peace process.

``Deputy Rabbite has played no significant role in the ongoing development of the peace process. It is remarkable that Deputy Rabbite does not address the loyalist bomb attacks on nationalists in north Belfast and the continuing siege of Short Strand. He completely ignores the British military presence throughout the North of Ireland.

``The Labour Party leader and his colleagues know well that the IRA cessation is a cornerstone of the peace process. Even British security spokespersons agree that there is no threat to that cessation. It is unionist paramilitaries who at this time are engaging in daily violent attacks.

``Sinn Fein wants to see a future without all the armed groups - the British army, the unionist paramilitaries and the IRA. The reality is that this desirable outcome can only come about as part of a successful conflict resolution process. It is the job of all political parties, including Sinn Fein and the Labour Party, to ensure the success of that process by making politics work.

``As for the text of Deputy Rabbite's motion we are examining it at present. We will decide in due course what our approach will be.''

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