[Sinn Fein]

4 July 1998

Adams welcomes Garvaghy residents gesture

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams MP, has today welcomed as ``a very important gesture,'' the statement by Breandan Mac Cionnaith of the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition that they are prepared to ``explore the possibility of an Orange presence on the Garvaghy Road in the future.''

Mr. Adams concluded: ``I will use my influence to try to ensure that this matter is properly addressed with due regard to the rights of the residents of Garvaghy Road and that there is not another crisis situation in future years.''

Mr. Adams said:

``I welcome last night s important gesture by the Garvaghy Residents Association. It is another example of their flexibility and desire to avert any crisis arising from the failure by the Orange Order to speak with them.

I have been in constant contact with the British Prim Minister, the Taoiseach, the White House and the Garvaghy Road Residents over the last twenty-four hours, in an effort to find a voluntary and inclusive accommodation.

Whatever happens on Sunday I am calling for a totally disciplined, peaceful and calm response from nationalists, republicans and all democrats to the situation which is developing in Portadown.''

Mr. Adams added:

``The people of Garvaghy Road have a reasonable and just case. They should have the unqualified support of all democrats. The refusal of the Orangemen to talk to them or anyone else for that matter has thwarted all efforts to find an accommodation. It is worth noting once again that some of those who are against such an accommodation are exploiting this issue as part of the battle within unionism. They believe if they can get an Orange march forced down Garvaghy Road that they will win a victory. If they fail they will claim this is another concession to nationalism and a failure of the Trimble leadership.''

The nationalist and republican response to all of this must be totally disciplined, peaceful and calm, in solidarity and support of the people of the Garvaghy Road and conscious that nothing should be done which will divert or provide any distraction from what is essentially a test of the British government's willingness to face down the extremes of Orangeism.''

Mr. Adams concluded:

``The burning of Protestant owned property over the last few nights is totally and absolutely wrong in exactly the same way and for the same reason as attacks on Catholic chapels are wrong. Those involved should stop.

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