Irish Republican News · February 23, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Britain robs Sinn Féin
Britain robs Sinn Féin

The British government has extended political discrimination against Sinn Féin, with the party set to be penalised by up to a million Euros in political funding.

British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy ordered a further halt on the party’s grant from the Belfast Assembly, and revealed plans to strip its four Westminster MPs of all allowances and expenses.

British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy ordered a further halt on the party’s grant from the Northern Ireland Assembly, and revealed plans to strip its four MPs of all Westminster allowances.

But Mr Murphy resisted calls for Sinn Féin to be excluded out of any new devolved government, amid fears that it would only fuel support for the party.

“The measures we are proposing are designed to express the disapproval of all those who are committed to purely democratic politics at the actions of the Provisional IRA,” he said.

Sinn Féin was given until next Tuesday to lodge an appeal against the actions. A legal appeal by the party against last year’s sanctions was recently rejected.

Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey said that “Paul Murphy has no right to discriminate against democratically elected Irish politicians”. He also questioned the claims of the Irish government to be opposed to sanctions.

“Paul Murphy does not have one vote in Ireland,” said Mr Maskey.

“He has no right to discriminate against democratically elected Irish politicians. These actions are a distortion of democracy. The people of Ireland elect us and we are accountable to them. We reject these anti-democratic actions by a British government against an Irish political party.

“We will continue to fight this discrimination politically, legally and through an ongoing campaign of democratic resistance. We will go to the nationalist and republican people in elections in May.

“The IMC upon whose report this action is based is not independent. It has no credibility. It is the tool of the securocrats whose stated aim is to prevent the further growth of Sinn Féin and the further development of the peace process. Sinn Féin predicted exactly the scenario we see being played out now when this body was first established at the behest of the UUP.

“The Irish government claim to be opposed to sanctions. What are they going to do about it? If they are co-equal partners with the British in the management of this process are they prepared to block these sanctions?

“The British government has no right to act unilaterally if this is a partnership arrangement. More importantly, the Irish government has a duty to defend the rights of Irish people and their political representatives. Will they do so? Will they stand up to the British government? Either the Irish government are co-equal partners or they are not.”

© 2005 Irish Republican News