[Sinn Fein]

4 March 1997

Political reaction to loyalist bombing criticised

Sinn Fein Monaghan County Councillor, Caoimhghin O'Caoláin has slammed the double standards exposed by the political reaction and media coverage to the attempted bombing of the Party's office in Monaghan on Monday morning.

Cllr O'Caolain said:

``The attempted bombing of our office in Monaghan by loyalists and the muted political and media reaction to it highlights once again the double standards of those most vociferous about political violence and the threat of violence. Where is the usual outpouring from all the predictable sources? The silence of Leinster House politicians is particularly worth noting. There is no clamour from any of them to condemn this attack.

``As the continually stalled `talks' in Belfast are once again adjourned it is clear that the threat and use of violence from the unionist and loyalist participants will not affect their participation in those `talks', while Sinn Fein with its significant electoral mandate remains excluded.

``The Taoiseach John Bruton has recently talked of coercion but again only in relation to republicans. This bomb was clearly aimed at coercing and intimidating Sinn Fein in Monaghan.

``It is time for the double standards to end and for Sinn Fein to be fully included in the talks process. It is only through an all inclusive dialogue that we can and with confidence face the future together in peace on these islands.'' ENDS

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