[Sinn Fein]

10th January 2003

Governments lack of urgency a deep concern for Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA speaking following a day long meeting of the party's Ard Comhairle in Dundalk - the first of the new year - said there was deep concern expressed at todays meeting at the lack of urgency being placed by the two governments on the resolution of the current political crisis.

During the day long meeting Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness updated the Ard Comhairle on yesterdays meeting with Tony Blair at Downing Street and ongoing contact with the Irish Government. There was also a detailed discussion on the ongoing talks and the democratic imperative that the Assembly Elections go ahead in May. Mr McLaughlin said:

``Today republicans gathered in Dundalk from right across the country. There was deep concern expressed that given the narrow window of opportunity which exists to resolve the current political crisis that such little urgency was being placed on it by the two governments.

``It is now three months since the British government collapsed the political institutions at the behest of the UUP.

``It is not good enough for Tony Blair to merely acknowledge that the British Government have failed to implement the Agreement. What is urgently required is a plan to implement the Agreement and resolve all the outstanding issues.

``Sinn Fein believe that these issues can be resolved and that the Good Friday Agreement represents the best way forward.''

The Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle also passed a motion of support for the IFA mobilisation in Dublin today.

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