BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Sinn Fein 'will not be bullied'

Sinn Fein 'will not be bullied'

Mr Adams said building peace was a "collective endeavour"

Efforts to put Sinn Fein under pressure in the political process are a "waste of time", the party's president, Gerry, Adams has said.

Addressing delegates at Sinn Fein's annual conference in Dublin on Saturday, Mr Adams said his party would not be bullied or denied its rights.

Pressure continues to mount on the party over allegations that republicans are in breach of the joint declaration.

Describing this period in the political process as "our greatest crisis", Mr Adams said unionists would eventually have to work with Sinn Fein.

Paragraph 13 of the joint declaration, produced last year as an attempt by the British and Irish Governments to move the political process forward, demands an end to paramilitary activity.

However, claims that the IRA was behind an alleged false imprisonment of dissident republican Bobby Tohill last weekend, have led to calls for the party to be excluded from the review of the Agreement.

While we are not naïve, we recognise and respect their [DUP] mandate and they have to recognise and respect ours
Gerry Adams Sinn Fein president

Mr Adams told delegates efforts to put his party under pressure over alleged IRA activities would "fail".

He added that he stood by commitments he gave last October outlining the way ahead for the republican movement.

"I pointed out a peaceful direction for republicans to follow because I believe in that," he said.

"I think that is the way to go forward and despite what has happened since, and despite all of the difficulties, there is no other way forward.

He also said Sinn Fein wanted to explore proposals put forward by the DUP to restore the assembly, but added he was against time-wasting.

"While we are not naïve we recognise and respect their mandate and they have to recognise and respect ours.

"The logic of the DUP's position is that we and they should be in government together."

Earlier on Saturday, party chairman Mitchell McLaughlin accused the British Government of breaching the Good Friday Agreement and insisted Sinn Fein had delivered on its commitments to the peace process.

Mr McLaughlin accused the governments and unionists of "trite indignation and hypocrisy".

"Let me make it clear, Sinn Fein has delivered, down to the last comma, on every commitment that we have made," said Mr McLaughlin.

"Sinn Fein has carried out its obligations at all times in accordance with the terms and the conditions of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Unlike the two goverments, Sinn Fein has never stepped outside of the Agreement."


Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble has threatened to walk out of the review unless action was taken against Sinn Fein.

However, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said the government would wait until a report into the incident involving the dissident republican, Bobby Tohill, before deciding whether to take any action.

The Independent Monitoring Commission, which monitors paramilitary activity in the province, has been asked to investigate the incident and is expected to report on 1 May.

Meanwhile, Mr Adams has said his party will not co-operate with the commission's investigation.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics programme, he questioned the point of the commission examining the incident in parallel with court proceedings.

"The whole thing is an absurdity and that is why," he said.

"This commission was brought into existence, we are told, because Mr Trimble wanted it.

"This is the same Mr Trimble who is threatening to walk out of the review."

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