[Sinn Fein]

15 July 1996

Response to Patrick Mayhew

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin, responding to Sir Patrick Mayhew's comments in the British House of Commons today said:

``Sir Patrick Mayhew's response to the traumatic events of the last week was pathetic and inadequate and fell far short of what is required to deal with the crisis provoked by Unionist intimidation and deepened by the terror of the RUC and British Army on the streets of Nationalist districts.''

He went on to say:

``The Unionists are able to withdraw from talks, engage in an orchestrated campaign of mass intimidation and terror and presumably they will now be welcomed back into talks. In contrast Sinn Fein remains locked out.

``The primary responsibility for rebuilding a peace process lies with the British government.

``Sinn Fein's mandate must be recognised. Nationalist rights must be protected. Equality of treatment must become a reality. That is the challenge facing the British government.''

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