British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Teresa Villiers used a recent report to lay a series of unsubstantiated allegations against Sinn Féin. The purpose of the report was to act as a smokescreen providing cover for a Unionist walk-out from the Assembly. But the report itself was actually written by MI5, one of the many arms of the British state that were parties to the military conflict. In one case alone MI5 is itself under official investigation for its involvement in up to 40 murders.
In the article below Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams places the latest report and the most recent allegations in the context of Britain’s long and bloody interference in Ireland. It is republished from Léargas.
The following article, by Declan Kearney Sinn Féin’s National Chairperson, originally was published by An Phoblacht. It explains the negative intervention Britain’s Conservative government are making into the current Stormont talks, including seeking to renege on Britain’s obligation to disclose its role in the conflict as part of the agreed process of dealing with the past. Sinn Féin’s efforts to defend the Good Friday Agreement and block the imposition of austerity should be supported.
By Frances Davis
In the north of Ireland the election was dominated by two factors: the economic situation and austerity; and the political and peace process. Sinn Fein have been at the sharp end of the fight against austerity and in resisting Tory welfare `reform’ cuts from being implemented in the six counties. They have also been in an on-going struggle to defend the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement against an anti-agreement offensive of unionism and the Tory-led government, which has attempted to stall and roll back progress.
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An opinion poll in the Sunday Independent on June 8 suggested Sinn Féin support had increased to 26% since the European and council elections.
In last week’s elections Sinn Féin stood on a strong anti-austerity programme, both north and south, with a clear, left alternative economic policy coupled with a strong advocacy of the peace process and for Irish reunification. Its vote is the strongest for the party since 1918.
The recent arrest and imprisonment of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who was subsequently released without charge, was a clear political intervention, designed to undermine the peace process and to reverse the rise in support across Ireland for Sinn Fein.
The current failure to move forward on proposals which emerged from the 'Haass' talks in relation to the north of Ireland, as Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy recently pointed out, `go to the heart of the issues and difficulties involved in making political change and progress’.
The proposals which emerged from all-party talks chaired by US diplomats Richard Haass and Megan O’Sullivan, put forward reasonable and modest ways of dealing with the problematic issues of the past, contentious parades, the flying of flags and use of emblems. Resolving these issues is crucial to maintaining and progressing the Good Friday Agreement’s core principle of equality.
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