[Sinn Fein]

13th April 1999

Rejection of Hillsborough Declaration

Sinn Fein Party Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin and party colleague Bairbre de Brún this morning arrived at Castle Buildings Stormont to take part in round table talks. Mr McLaughlin speaking to the media said:

``The Sinn Fein leadership met last week and studied the draft Hillsborough Declaration in detail. We reviewed it in the context of the Good Friday Agreement and of the peace process.

``Our view is that the Hillsborough Declaration moves away from the Good Friday Agreement and makes the transfer of power and the establishment of the institutions conditional on the delivery of IRA weapons.

``In our meetings with the governments today Sinn Fein will be proposing that the way forward lies in the triggering of the d'Hondt and the establishment of the executive and the other institutions, as agreed on Good Friday a year ago and promised many times since then by the two governments.

``I read in sections of todays press that Dublin government sources are being quoted as saying that Sinn Fein has not formally rejected the Hillsborough Declaration. So that there is no uncertainty or confusion about this, and given this propensity to negotiate through the media, - let me make it clear that Sinn Fein formally rejects the Hillsborough Declaration.

``It is rather ironic that it falls to us to remind the British and Irish governments of their responsibility to uphold and implement the Good Friday Agreement.''

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