[Sinn Fein]

17th May 2003

Ógra Sinn Fein occupies British Tourist Board office to protest at cancelling of Assembly elections

Dublin Ógra Shinn Fein members this morning occupied the offices of the British Tourist Board on Dublin's Dame Street. The party activists were protesting the British government's decision to cancel the Assembly elections scheduled for 29 May and were highlighting Britain's dirty war in Ireland.

The Dublin republicans made their protest on the 29th anniversary of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.   Ciaran Doherty, one of the Ógra members inside the building, said:

``We are here today to highlight Britain's ongoing denial of democracy in Ireland. For 30 years they have engaged in a dirty war that has resulted in the deaths of many people. Even as these covert and murderous dealings in Ireland are being exposed, the British are subverting democracy by cancelling elections in the North.  These elections should go ahead in June.''   Sinn Fein Councillor Larry O'Toole took part in a picket outside the Tourist Board. He said:

``There has been much speculation this past week about an alleged agent called `Stakeknife', but what the most recent revelations of collusion reveal, confirmed by even the limited publication of the Stevens' Report into collusion, is a campaign of murder carried out at the behest of the British state.  This is something that the families of the 33 Dublin and Monaghan victims, who are still awaiting full disclosure, can testify.

``Loyalists carried out those bomb attacks, but all the evidence, like in so many other killings over the past 30 years, points to the guiding hand of British Military Intelligence.

``The truth behind Britain's dirty war in Ireland is slowly coming to light. There should be full disclosure of the strategies and activities of Britain's secret agencies in the north over the last 30 years.''

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