[Sinn Fein]

9th May 2003


Louth TD accuses Minister of giving support to anti-agreement Unionists

Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan has accused Dermot Ahern of continuing to play "silly word games" and of "encouraging the anti-agreement elements within the Ulster Unionist's" who he said, "were now being allowed to dictate the pace of progress in the peace process".

"Speaking in the Seanad yesterday Dermot Ahern again questioned the clarity of the IRA statement in contradiction to the comments of his party leader, An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern who has described it as significant, a huge advance and that it provided clarity. Dermot specifically posed a question about the IRA's future intentions and what was needed to bring about an end to conflict. I don't think the IRA statement of April 13 could have been any clearer. It states in two short paragraphs firstly that the IRA 'are resolved to see the complete and final closure of this conflict' and that 'the IRA leadership is determined to ensure that our activities, disciplines and strategies will be consistent with this.' It goes on to say 'the full and irreversible implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and other commitments will provide the context in which the IRA can proceed to definitively set aside arms to further our political objectives'.

"How can anybody fail to understand that clear and unambiguous Statement. Surely Dermot Ahern would like to see the full and irreversible implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the other commitments thus resulting in the IRA 'definitively' setting aside arms. I would call on Dermot Ahern and others within the Irish Government parties to end the silly word games and to join with the rest of nationalist Ireland, north and south in demanding the elections go ahead next month. Comments such as those made by Deputy Ahern in the Seanad yesterday will do nothing but give succour to the anti-Agreement elements within the Ulster Unionists who are now being allowed to dictate the pace of progress of the peace process."


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