10 October 1996
Adams responds to Taoiseach
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, responding to remarks by the Taoiseach, has urged Mr Bruton to ``take the lead in creating a viable political alternative to conflict. This must include defending the rights of nationalists in the north. But it also means standing up to the British government and promoting the Irish national interest. The Irish government has to guarantee that commitments which have been made are honoured.''
Mr. Adams said:
``When myself, John Hume and Albert Reynolds were working to create the cessation of August 1994, and the opportunity for a lasting peace which then existed, there were those who were very vocal in their criticism and who sought to undermine our efforts. Regrettably, these same people have now been the first to fall back to the old language.
``Mr. Bruton asks was there ever a commitment by republicans to peace. Our record of positive engagement and good faith throughout the Irish peace initiative and the peace process speaks for itself. Indeed it is also a matter of record that every commitment which I and Sinn Fein made we kept. Mr. Bruton knows this.
``Many will also resent the Taoiseach's use of the term Nazis and fascists. Of course, it would be easy for me to slip into similar name calling but such an approach would be deeply unhelpful at this dangerous time.
``A review of the last 25 years, and in particular the role of the two governments, will show that it was an inclusive approach which created the best opportunity for peace. Those in government since August 94 will have to account their own stewardship. I will resist the temptation to kneejerk to Mr. Bruton's remarks.
``Clearly however, if we are to overcome the difficulties which we currently face we need to avoid the politics of the easy soundbite.
``The Taoiseach has a responsibility above and beyond his own party political needs and analysis.
``He has a responsibility to take the lead in creating a viable political alternative to conflict. This must include defending the rights of nationalists in the north. But it also means standing up to the British government and promoting the Irish national interest. The Irish government has to guarantee that commitments which have been made are honoured.'' ENDS
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