[Sinn Fein]

9 July 1997

Government should give lead on Northern crisis

Sinn Fein TD calls for early recall of Leinster House

Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caoláin has called on the government to give a lead to create progress out of the current crisis situation in the Six Counties. Speaking at Leinster House today he said:

``The government carries a heavy responsibility to give a lead on two fronts.Firstly they must strongly represent the Irish national interest, and the rights of nationalists in the Six Counties, in the face of a British government which has outraged Irish opinion. In yet again conceding to the threat of violent unionism the British Labour government has carried on the shameful tradition of all its predecessors.

``Secondly the government needs in a thoughtful and intelligent way to apply itself to seeking international support for the right of people in the Six Counties to equality.

``The betrayal of nationalist communities by Mo Mowlan demonstrates most starkly the need for equality which we in Sinn Fein, in our approach to rebuilding the peace process, have clearly identified as essential to progress.How can the British government which made these decisions declare itself to have no strategic interest.? The Irish government must provide the counter balance.''

The Sinn Fein TD also made a call that Leinster House should remain in session during the present period of crisis in the Six Counties. ``In the present situation it is unacceptable that this legislature which has just been elected, should this week be adjourning for all of three months. This house should remain in session for another week and there should be an early recall well before the proposed 30th of September resumption. Both on the serious situation in the Six Counties and other pressing issues which we face. The legislatures are failing the people if they adjourn for this prolonged period.''

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