[Sinn Fein]

14 July 1997

Sinn Fein TD rejects former Taoiseach's comments

Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin has rejected attempts by former Taoiseach John Bruton to undermine the right of Sinn Fein voters to representation.

Mr O Caolain said:

`` John Bruton talks as if patience , diligence and determination in securing a credible Peace Process are faults. Mr Bruton as Taoiseach inherited an historic opportunity for peace which had been painstakingly created by others. Sinn Fein was a key element in securing that opportunity. When it was squandered and the peace process and the hopes it carried were dashed, we in Sinn Fein set about trying to rebuild it. We have not been deflected in spite of the huge difficulties created by British government bad faith, unionist intransigence and Mr Bruton's mishandling of it. It is not only legitimate but vital to ask for clarity at this time.

``We want to see real and inclusive talks which will lead to a peace settlement. We will not walk away from the search for peace. Sinn Fein is a political party with a considerable mandate. Our voters have the same right of representation as those who vote for other parties and I reject Mr Bruton's attempts to dismiss that right and undermine those who are trying to rebuild the peace process.''

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