[Sinn Fein]

17 December 1997

Sinn Fein welcomes prisoner releases

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty has welcomed the announcement that a further nine Republican prisoners are to be released by a Dublin government.

Mr Doherty said:

``This is good news for the families of the nine prisoners to be released on Friday. I wish the prisoners and their families the happiest of Christmases.

``The announcement of these releases is another positive step by the Dublin government in building confidence in the peace process. What is needed now is for the British government to announce its intention to begin the release of prisoners in the North and in Britain.

``While not wishing to diminish the importance of these releases we must continue to work for the release of all those imprisoned in any jurisdiction because of the conflict. In the meantime I would ask all Republicans to remember the prisoners this Christmas.''

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