Adams says phone calls to Taoiseach are unanswered

14 Jan 2005

The Sinn Féin president, Mr Gerry Adams, has complained that his
telephone calls to the Taoiseach to discuss the political
consequences of the Northern Bank robbery have gone unanswered for
the last week, writes Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Mr Adams said he had phoned every day since Monday, first "more in
disappointment than anger" last Friday.

"After 10 years the least I thought, if we are into this serious
juncture, is that Bertie Ahern would have lifted the phone, as he has
done numerous times, and said, 'Gerry, A, B and C'."

Mr Adams said he was not saying that Mr Ahern refused to take his
calls. "I am also told he is on a break at the moment. I am told he
hasn't been available for any media whatsoever and I have to believe
that. But, as I said to the official, if the Taoiseach wanted to meet
me he would meet me. If the Taoiseach wanted to make a call to me, he
would make a call to me."

The Taoiseach's spokeswoman said Mr Ahern was on a short holiday
break at the moment as he had had a busy working Christmas. He would
be flying to China this weekend and would be available to meet Mr
Adams on his return.

Mr Adams said he wanted to repudiate the Taoiseach's belief that the
Sinn Féin leadership knew during the recent political negotiations
with the British and Irish governments of the plan to rob the
Northern Bank.

The PSNI Chief Constable, Mr Hugh Orde, believes the £26.5 million
robbery was carried out by the Provisional IRA.

Mr Adams said he respected the Taoiseach but he had urged him,
through an official, not to make his allegations of the Sinn Féin
leadership knowing about the planned robbery until he first spoke to

Meanwhile, the Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell, has fired a fierce
broadside against Sinn Féin and the IRA. He spoke of a republican
project to "rewrite history and to baptise the most brutal, cowardly,
blood- soaked, divisive, anti-republican, sectarian, hate-driven and
destructive terror campaign as a heroic struggle for peace and human

"The massive untruth at the heart of Sinn Féin is that it claims to
operate as an organisation wholly separate from the IRA. In fact, as
the Taoiseach has said repeatedly, Sinn Féin and the IRA are two
sides of one coin," added Mr McDowell.

He said the Provisional leadership "betrayed the Tricolour and the
reconciliation that it symbolises. They have hijacked history. They
have put a gun to the head of hope."

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