[Sinn Fein]

9 December 1997

Delegation for Downing Street meeting announced

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams today announced the party's delegation which will be meeting British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street on Thursday afternoon at 2pm. The delegation is as follows:

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP
Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP
General Secretary Lucilita Bhreatnach
Ard Chomhairle member Martin Ferris
Ard Comhairle member Siobhan O Hanlon
Head of Sinn Fein's British Desk, Michelle Gildernew
Press Officer, Richard McAuley

Mr. Adams said:

``We look forward to outlining to the British Prime Minister why it is essential for Britain to end its constitutional claim to a part of our country and why he must take a leadership role in helping create the conditions for a United Ireland.

``We will also discuss with Mr. Blair the need for the British government to begin the necessarily speedy process of tackling the symptoms of conflict. This means moving quickly on the issue of prisoners, demilitarisation and an equality agenda.

``It is 75 years since a previous generation of Irish republicans spoke to a British Prime Minister in London. The subsequent imposition of partition failed to resolve the causes of conflict and resulted in almost 8 decades of instability, injustice, an absence of democracy, oppression and intermittent conflict.

``This generation of Irish republicans has played a pivotal role in building this current opportunity for peace. Sinn Fein is determined to conclude the unfinished business of that period. We are committed to moving the peace process forward and to securing a democratic peace settlement based on the right of the Irish people to determine the future of this island. This meeting is an important part of that process.'' 

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