[Sinn Fein]

22 January 1996

Trimble setting the stage for Drumcree 3

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin tonight accused David Trimble of setting the stage for Drumcree 3, after he referred to Garvaghy Road Residents spokesperson, Brendan Mac Cionnagh as an obstacle to discussions.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``David Trimble had no trouble negotiating with Loyalist, Billy Wright during the Orange siege of Garvaghy Road last July. His statement tonight is highly offensive to nationalists everywhere but particularly to those residents of the Garvaghy Road so selflessly represented by Brendan Mac Cionnagh.

``I believe Mr. Trimble is setting out his stall early, not only with the intention of sending out the message that it will be more of the same in the coming marching season, but also to lay claim to the extreme Unionist and Orange vote in the forthcoming election.

``No Nationalist would presume the right to tell Unionists who they should appoint as their spokespersons and likewise, they will not allow Unionists to dictate who they choose to speak for them.

``The obstacle to a negotiated settlement to the marching issue is the same as the obstacle to credible peace negotiations, Unionist insistence on dictating to Nationalists and Republicans who they should have representing their interests. Mr. Trimble, those days are gone forever.''

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