[Sinn Fein]

29 July 1998

Progress Towards Prisoner Release Welcomed

Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly has welcomed the progress towards the release of prisoners.

Mr Kelly said:

We welcome this development as a further step towards the release of all prisoners of the conflict. We expect all prisoners to be released sooner rather than later and hope that people will accept this move in the spirit of what the electorate voted for in the referendum and in the Asssembly elections.

The `No'politicians and self- appointed groups should not be permitted to link prisoner releases to any other issue or event. The terms for prisoner are clearly spelt out in the `Good Friday' agreement.

Nor will Sinn Fein allow anyone to undermine the strong electoral mandate which we recieved in the recent election by their attempting to underwrite the Agreement. We also reiterate our firm intention to take up all the positions to which we are entitled to by the virtue of that mandate.

We will take our positions in the Assembly, in the Executive and on the all - Ireland Ministerial Council and implementation bodies.''ENDS

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