[Sinn Fein]

30th April 2002

Adams cautions Trimble as sense of uncertainty is being fed into the political process

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP was in Dundalk today with Louth Candidate Arthur Morgan for the handing in of his nomination papers. Speaking in Dundalk Mr. Adams cautioned David Trimble and said:

``Sinn Fein will not be scapegoated. Many republicans are bewildered, perplexed and perturbed at the recent controversies and the sense of uncertainty, which is being fed into the political process.

``Recently there have been a number of unsubstantiated allegations levelled against the IRA. The IRA has denied these allegations. There have been other stories pebbled by sections of the media. All of these reports, whether allegations or myth have a common route out of British intelligence agencies.

``Like most people, after the most recent IRA initiative to put arms beyond use I had hoped that the political institutions and the Good Friday Agreement process could be stabilised and the focus would be on delivering and fulfilling their potential.

``I am not naïve. I know that the process of change is in many ways a process of crisis management. But the IRA's initiative seems to have sparked off an almost hysterical diet of daily spins from elements within the British system.

``These have been seized upon by Mr. Trimble and brought into the political institutions by him in the battle within unionism, against both the DUP and other anti-agreement elements in his own party. The effects of all of this, as is clearly the intention of those behind the whirlwind of spin, has been to destabilise unionism.

``I know there are genuine concerns about all of these matters but no-one should imagine that any of this pleases republicans. On the contrary the veiled treats from UUP spokespersons that the British government must take sanctions against the Sinn Fein electorate, coupled with hints that the UUP will return to its agenda of illegal sanctions are subverting republican good will. That and Mr. Trimble's frenzied round of meetings in Dublin, London and Belfast are all evidence of him moving onto the anti-agreement ground in a response to anti-agreement unionists.

``Instead as First Minister he should be consolidating the pro-agreement agenda by building on the progress achieved so far. He should be working the institutions and leading the pro-agreement parties, not threatening the institutions and attacking Sinn Fein, one of the main pro-agreement parties.''

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