[Sinn Fein]

18th April 1999

Unionists cannot backslide on Good Friday Agreement

The only 26-County member of the Sinn Fein talks team at tomorrow's (Monday's) peace process talks in Downing Street has said that republicans throughout Ireland are becoming increasingly exasperated by unionist attempts to backslide on the Good Friday Agreement.

Seán Crowe, Sinn Fein's candidate for Dublin in the European elections, said: ``The Good Friday Agreement is being run into the ground by the unionists. Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern must stand up to the unionist veto.''

Mr Crowe was speaking before leaving Dublin (10am, Monday morning) with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Barbara de Brúin and Mitchel McLaughlin. Mr McLaughlin is the party's Euro candidate in the Six Counties.

``Sinn Fein has honoured its obligations in the Agreement and it will continue to do so. It's long past the time that the Ulster Unionist Party started living up to its obligations,'' Mr Crowe said.

``There can be no backsliding by unionists just because they wish they had put something into the Agreement that wasn't there when we all signed up to it and certainly isn't there now.

``Both the Irish and British governments must stand up to threats of the unionist veto if they don't get their own way.

``David Trimble and his colleagues are suffering from the unionist hangover of domination and having things all their own way. This is not 1969. It's 1999 and nationalists signed the same document as the unionists. Now the unionists want to change it or else they will continue to veto any progress. Nationalists should be forgiven for thinking that little has changed in the unionist leadership - they want everything on their terms.

``If the Good Friday Agreement is worth anything - and I believe it is - it must be implemented in full, without any more prevarication, and with no further delay.''

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