BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Adams rejects funding claims

Adams rejects funding claims

Mr Adams was outlining his party's approach to the review
Claims by the Irish justice minister that IRA racketeering is funding Sinn Fein, have been rejected by party leader Gerry Adams.
In recent weeks, Michael McDowell has strongly criticised Sinn Fein over what he suggested are the party's double standards.

Mr Adams accused him of abusing his position and "engaging in winks and nods but failing to produce evidence".

The West Belfast MP was speaking on Wednesday as he outlined his party's priorities for the review of the Good Friday Agreement, which begins next week.

He said that Sinn Fein was not funded by the IRA and claimed the forthcoming Irish Republic's local government elections had motivated the recent spate of allegations by southern politicians.

In terms of the review, Mr Adams said Sinn Fein would not allow the DUP to subvert the process.

Mr McDowell accused Sinn Fein of double standards

Questioned over whether the current deadlock would indefinitely delay Sinn Fein joining the Policing Board, Mr Adams said his party would exhaust the current review.

However, he added that Sinn Fein may have to examine other options if the review does not reach agreement.

The review will involve parties elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly last November.

Sinn Fein wants the review to be completed within a month and has warned the government not to let anti-Agreement unionists set the agenda.

Republicans argue that the review must defend and accelerate the process of change promised in the Agreement.

The Sinn Fein document is called 'Agenda for Full Implementation of the Agreement'.

It deals with political institutions; human rights; equality; the expansion of all-Ireland commitments; demilitarisation and policing and justice.

Sinn Fein is the fourth party to publish its priorities for the review - documents have previously been released by Alliance, the UK Unionists and the SDLP.

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble has said he feared Northern Ireland had reached a political deadlock and called on republicans to disarm.

The SDLP have called on the two governments to publish a detailed plan for delivering all the commitments in the Agreement and joint declaration

Speaking in Spain on Tuesday, he said: "We are in a political deadlock. There is no sign that the republican leadership think they have to complete the transition.

"They have to finish the process until armed groups no longer exist" for progress to be made, he told an international congress on victims of terrorism near Madrid.

Also on Tuesday, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the two governments needed to deliver on what they had pledged in the Agreement and in their joint declaration.

Speaking after a meeting with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowen, Mr Durkan said: "The SDLP have called on the two governments to publish a detailed plan for delivering all the commitments in the Agreement and joint declaration.

"We are disappointed that they have failed to do this following last week's meeting of the British Irish Inter-governmental Conference.

"There is a heavy onus on them to make this up when next they meet in March."

The devolved administration was suspended in October 2002 amid allegations of IRA intelligence-gathering in the Stormont government.

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