[Sinn Fein]

20 March 1998

Sinn Fein approach will be `positive and constructive'

Statement from Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP commenting on his trip to the US at the opening of new offices belonging to the Foundry Regeneration Trust.

Mr. Adams said:

``My trip to the US confirmed for me once again the huge interest and goodwill that exists there for a democratic peace settlement in Ireland. I was heartened by the detailed understanding President Clinton and his administration have about the current state of the talks process and of the difficulties we face. It is also clear that the US government knows who is responsible for those difficulties.

``Many people, politicians, journalists, business people and others pointed out to me that if it was good enough for the Taoiseach, the British Prime Minister and the US President to meet Sinn Fein then there is no justification for David Trimble to refuse to meet and talk to Sinn Fein.

``There is unprecedented interest in securing peace in Ireland. We now have a trinity of national leaders, in Ireland, Britain and the US focussed at a critical stage in the talks process.

``Sinn Fein will approach the next leg of the talks in a positive and constructive way. Tomorrow Sinn Fein's Ard Chomhairle will decide whether our party will return to the talks on Monday. I want to see Sinn Fein back at the talks sooner rather than later.''

Commenting on the Foundry Regeneration Trust project Mr. Adams said:

``Since the Trust was set up in 1993 it has been involved in a wide range of activities such as the demolition and clearance of the old Mackies site and development of the Business Park, housing and environmental issues. Over the past three years it has also been centrally involved in the proposed campus for Springvale.

``A lot more work needs to be undertaken and further financial support from statutory sources for the Trust is urgently required. This is particularly true of the Inis Fail project. There is a stark contrast between the aid given to the Trust and that given to the Laganside development.

``I hope that the next office move which will be made by the Foundry Regeneration Trust will be to new accommodation at Inis Fail.''

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