[Sinn Fein]

15 March 1997

Condolences extended to family of John Slane

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was in the Dublin South Central constituency this morning where he met with local community groups on Aughavanagh Road and in St. Teresa's Gardens to discuss the ongoing drugs problem in the area.

Among the groups he met were the Lower Crumlin Combined Communities Group, St. Teresa's Gardens Development Committee and Community Reponse. Mr. Adams re-iterated Sinn Fein's ongoing commitment to working with communities to tackle the drugs crisis in Dublin and invited the groups to West Belfast to meet with local groups there. He was accompanied on the visit by the Sinn Fein representative for the area, Martina Kenna.

Commenting on the killing of John Slane last night Mr. Adams said:

``I would like to extend my condolences to the family of John Slane who was killed last night. I have no doubt that it was loyalists who were responsible for his murder. His death very tragically underpins the British government's refusal to build a real peace process.

``It is obvious that the threat and use of violence from the unionist and loyalist groups will not affect their participation in `talks', while Sinn Fein with its significant electoral mandate remains excluded. The application of double standards is clear for all to see.

``The re-building of the peace process is Sinn Fein's political priority and we won't be deflected from this task. But this is a responsibility which must be shared by the people of the entire island.

``While the British government is responsible for the collapse of the peace process the Irish government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the actions of the loyalists and British.

``There is a need at this time for discipline and vigilance especially in those areas which are vulnerable to attack. I once again appeal for calm in the face of increasing provocation, intimidation and murder.''

Sinn Fein representative for Dublin South Central, Martina Kenna said:

``This mornings visit to Dublin South Central by Gerry Adams was an important expression of solidarity with a community who are working daily, with little support, to combat wholesale drug addiction and drug pushing in their area. Mr. Adams invitation to visit West Belfast is a welcome one which we hope the groups can avail of in the coming months.

``It was also clear on the visit that there is widespread support within this community for an inclusive talks process as the only means of achieving a lasting settlement on the island.''

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