[Sinn Fein]

1 September 1998

Keynote statement from Gerry Adams MP

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP in a keynote statement today outlined his view of the current state of the peace process. Mr. Adams said:

``My position on what happened in Omagh on 15 August is quite categoric. I have condemned it without equivocation.

``This appalling act was carried out by those opposed to the peace process. It is designed to wreck the process and everyone should work to ensure the peace process continues as is the clear wish of the people of the island. Sinn Fein has called for a complete halt to such actions and has urged armed groups to stop immediately.

``Those responsible are aligning themselves with the forces opposed to a democratic settlement in the conflict here. Sinn Fein is committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic means to achieve a way forward.

``We have to work politically to make the Omagh bombing the last violent incident in our country, the last incident of this kind. We are committed to making conflict a thing of the past.

``There is a shared responsibility to removing the causes and to achieving an end to all conflict. Sinn Fein believe the violence we have seen must be for all of us now a thing of the past, over, done with and gone. In particular, the two Governments have the principal responsibility, as do the party leaders.

``I am committed to play my part, as is Sinn Fein. Our role in the peace process provides a substantial body of irrefutable evidence to support this. The Good Friday Agreement has the powerful potential to take us forward and we must urgently press on with its implementation.

``Inclusive and honest dialogue is the only way forward in this country. We need to map a path out of the dark tunnel that people feel themselves to be in. There is much despair around and the vacuum that has been created must be filled.''

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