4th September 1999
Sinn Fein to participate in Review
Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty speaking following today's meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin said:
``There was a detailed discussion with many of those present expressing deep concern, reservations and cynicism at the proposed review. However despite these strongly held views the Ard Chomhairle agreed to accept the recommendations of the party President Gerry Adams that in the wider interests of the peace process Sinn Fein will participate positively in the review. Sinn Fein is absolutely committed to our peace strategy, to the peace process and to securing the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. That is the context in which our decision was reached.''
Mr. Doherty added:
``When it last met on July 24th the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle decided to postpone its decision regarding participation in the Mitchell review as there was much scepticism that it would be another exercise in providing unionists with an opportunity to try and renegotiate the Good Friday Agreement.
``There was also deep concern at the breaching of the absolute deadline for the establishment of the institutions and the subsequent introduction of legislation by the British government which would have moved outside the Good Friday Agreement. Events on the ground over the summer, particularly on the Ormeau Road, added to these concerns.
``Over the summer months we examined all of these issues and remained in dialogue with all of the parties, including the UUP, and the two governments. Sinn Fein believe that it is essential that we work together to find a way forward through our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement. It is in this context that we have taken our decision.
``Throughout this process the Sinn Fein leadership has shown a willingness to take risks in the wider interests of peace. Despite the difficulties for our party the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle has taken the decision to enter the Review on Monday. We are going there positively to do business and to ensure the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.''
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