[Sinn Fein]

22nd May 2003

Sinn Fein block British Ambassadors residence in Sandyford this morning

Over 25 members of Sinn Fein from Rathfarnham and Dún Laoghaire along with members of Ogra Shinn Fein this morning staged a protest at the British Ambassadors residence in Sandyford, Co. Dublin. The protest, which lasted from 7am till 8.30am, was organised to highlight the `denial of democracy' that Britain's cancellation of the May 29th elections in the Six-Counties represents. This action is one of a number of protests taking place north and south in the run up to May 29th where a major rally will be mounted at the British Embassy in Ballsbridge.

Speaking during the protest a Dún Laoghaire Sinn Fein representative Michael O'Brien said: ``We mounted today's protest and blocked the entrance to the British Ambassadors residence to bring a focus and attention to the fact that the British Government unilaterally and against the views of the vast majority of people in Ireland has cancelled the democratic process in the Six Counties. Our action today is a demonstration of the frustration and anger that exists amongst very many people.

``The disruption we caused today by preventing people driving in or out of Glencairn pales into insignificance when compared to the actions of the British Government in effectively denying democracy to the people of the Six Counties. However we believe it is important that we bring our message directly to the British Ambassador.

``Sinn Fein is determined to continue with these protests and we are calling on ordinary people to make their views known and demand action from their elected representatives to put pressure on the British Government to reverse it's anti-democratic decision.'' ENDS

For confirmation please contact Michael Nolan on 086 2477694

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