RTE News

Sinn Féin Ard Fheis passes emergency motion

04 March 2005 23:42

The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis has passed an emergency motion, put forward by the party's Ard Comhairle, urging those involved in the murder of Robert McCartney to admit their role and to make themselves accountable in court.

Justice spokesman Gerry Kelly, said the party had a duty to support the McCartney family in its search for justice.

He described the murder as wrong, a brutal and criminal act, and said it had also been wrong to intimidate witnesses to the murder.

Opening the conference, the party's chief negotiator Martin McGuinness admitted the involvement of what he says were a small number of IRA members in the killing of Robert McCartney.

Mr McGuinness said that he was outraged and saddened by the involvement of the IRA in the murder, which he said was a grievous crime and was wrong.

He urged all those involved in any way to admit their role and to make themselves accountable in court.

Ahead of the Ard Fheis, the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said it would not be the end of the world if Sinn Féin does not use the opportunity to address the crucial issues facing it.

Speaking in Naas where he was campaigning in the Kildare North by-election, Mr Ahern said it would be wrong of him to dictate what should be addressed at the Sinn Féin conference.

Opinion poll shows move against Sinn Féin in Government

An opinion poll to be published in tomorrow's Irish Times shows that there has been a major shift in public opinion on the republican movement and criminality.

The moves sees a huge shift against Sinn Féin involvement in Government in the Republic.

However, the poll shows a majority still believes that the two governments should continue negotiations with Sinn Féin.

McDowell calls for seachange

Earlier, the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, said this weekend's Sinn Féin Ard Fheis would be a moment of truth for the Provisional Movement to indicate there would be a sea change in how it does business.

Mr McDowell welcomed last night's move to suspend the seven Sinn Féin members but he said the action was very little and very late.

Mr McDowell said the Ard Fheis is an opportunity for the party to end paramilitary activity and criminality as requested by the Government.

He said a lot of people would be watching this weekend to see if it would be the end for the IRA.

Mr McDowell added that if a move is not taken this weekend, Sinn Féin is only postponing a decision which will have to be made if any degree of normalisation can reassert itself in the North, or if other parties will do business with it.

The minister added the gardaí are operating on the basis that money discovered recently in Cork was the proceeds of the Northern Bank robbery, and the gardaí are not pursuing any other theory.

Asked about this morning's opinion poll which shows only a slight dent in Sinn Féin support, Mr McDowell said polls tend to overstate the party's support.

He agreed with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern that a deal on Northern Ireland can still be done, but only when the Provisional Movement faces up to essential issues.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?