Republican News · Thursday 13 February 1997

[An Phoblacht]

Peace strategy ``still strong and viable''

While the peace process has been destroyed by the British government Sinn Féin's peace strategy is still strong and viable. So said the party's Vice-President Pat Doherty when he delivered the annual Kevin Coen/Joe MacManus memorial lecture in Sligo last weekend.

Doherty said that Sinn Féin sought ``revolutionary change'' but this can only come about ``through a strategy that has a tactical application''. The British government wrecked the peace process but Sinn Féin's peace strategy had reaped enormous benefits:

``It opened up the whole question of partition and of the real nature of the Six-County state - a debate that had been all but silenced in the 26 Counties. And I saw how nationalists throughout Ireland regained the hope and vision of a united Ireland.''

Pat Doherty who will himself be a Sinn Féin candidate in both the Donegal North East Leinster House constituency and the West Tyrone Westminster constituency, stressed the vital importance of the upcoming elections which are ``an absolute priority for republicans''. He also paid tribute to Sean, Helen and Chris MacManus who were present on the platform, the family of Volunteer Joe MacManus who was killed on active service five years ago. Earlier that Sunday 9 February, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Volunteer MacManus's grave.

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