[Sinn Fein]

11 February 2002

``Has Spring lost the plot?'' - Ferris

Sinn Fein's Martin Ferris has described comments made by Dick Spring as an `hysterical rant' and questioned whether the former leader of the Labour Party had `lost the plot'. Responding to Dick Spring's comments Mr Ferris said:

``Dick Springs comments over the weekend about Sinn Fein were nothing more than a hysterical rant from an absentee TD who is under pressure to hold onto his seat. Coupled with Mary Harney's attacks on Sinn Fein at her party's annual conference it shows that we must be doing something right. They are frightened by the growing strength of Sinn Fein. They are frightened by the fact that people are no longer willing to passively accept decisions that are made in the interests of the tiny elite who control this country.

``We are confident that the blatant lies and falsehoods being peddled by the opposition parties in a desperate attempt to scare people off from voting for Sinn Fein will fail. People on the ground can see through this bluster. They can see that Sinn Fein is working hard on the ground for our communities. They can see that we are not into politics for personal gain and patronage.

``To admit as he does that he is fighting this election campaign to keep Sinn Fein out instead of promoting the interests of his constituents speaks volumes. His comments must be viewed in this context.

``Given the nature of his attack on Sinn Fein and the fact that he had to engage in a campaign of lying I wonder whether Dick Spring has lost the plot altogether and if he is fit to represent the people of Kerry North.''

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