[Sinn Fein]

20th January 2003

SF call to Trimble at Barcelona conference: back Assembly elections date

Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle member Cllr. Joe Reilly issued a call at a conference in Barcelona attended by David Trimble today, Monday 20th, for the Ulster Unionist Party leader to publicly support the Assembly elections going ahead on 1st May as planned.

The one-day conference was on the theme, `The Peace Process in Northern Ireland: Dealing with violence through dialogue.' The conference was also attended by SDLP leader Mark Durkan. Cllr. Reilly told the conference:

``Is there cause for concern in the Irish Peace Process? Yes. A lengthy suspension - a vacuum - will encourage those who want to violently tear down this process.

``Tony Blair has made a singular and exceptional contribution to this process. But he must not take his eye off the ball in Ireland because of Britain's interest in Iraq.

``He must rein in the securocrats, the secret services and military leaders, who have sought to return to the certainties of conflict. He must deliver the policing legislation needed to get back to Patten. He must insist that loyalist paramilitaries are not allowed free rein. But, most importantly, he must show the rejectionist unionists that there is no alternative to the Good Friday Agreement.

``A necessary start is the reinstatement of the political institutions and a clear commitment from the British government that the Assembly elections planned for the 1st of May will not be postponed. It would be very welcome to hear David Trimble today supporting this call in the interests of the democratic process.''

Sinn Fein Press Office, 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Tel: +353-1-8726100 and +353-1-8726839   ·   Fax +353-1-8733074
E-mail: sinnfein@irlnet.com   ·   Website: http://www.sinnfein.org

Sinn Fein   ·   Sinn Fein Documents