[Sinn Fein]

6th June 1999

Outrage and horror at Portadown murder

Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness expressed his ``outrage and horror'' at the murder and accused the Orange Order and unionist leadership of being culpable in Mrs O'Neill's death.

Mr. McGuinness said:

``The Orange Order has fanned the flames of sectarianism with its refusal to treat nationalists as equals and by the actions and language of its members.

``The unionist leadership cannot escape its share of blame, because by not implementing the Good Friday agreement they have created a political vacuum in which loyalist rejectionists have flourished.''

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP said the onus was on British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the British government to uphold the rights of the people on the Garvaghy Road

Mr. Adams said:

``This beleaguered community have suffered greatly at the hands of Orange fundamentalists and the nationalist people of Portadown have been targeted as part of a vicious sectarian campaign.''

``The demand of the Portadown Orangemen to march down the Garvaghy Road was ``at the core'' of the loyalist campaign of violence.

``There is no absolute right to march, but there is an obligation on both the British government and the Irish government to uphold the rights of the people of Portadown to be free from sectarian harassment.''

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