In a dramatic development, Sinn Féin cancelled its launch of the
party's ``Programme for Government'', scheduled to be held at Stormont
on Wednesday. Instead, the gathered media were shown video footage of
the vehicle with the device exposed but still attached and still
photographs taken to show the position of each component part within
the vehicle. The actual device was displayed on a table in front of
the Sinn Fein team.
Visibly angry, Gerry Adams said the vehicle had been used by both
himself and Martin McGuinness at times of crucial developments during
the recent Mitchell Review of the peace process. As part of the review
process, Adams said he and Sinn Féin's chief negotiator, Martin
McGuinness, had been asked to meet the IRA to persuade them to go
beyond the requirements of the Good Friday Agreement. The success of
Sinn Féin's intercession, said Adams, had led to the positive outcome
in which we find ourselves today.
The bugging of the vehicle used by the two republican leaders during
this highly sensitive part of the process was ``an outrageous breach of
faith'', said Gerry Adams, ``which must be addressed at the highest
levels.'' Adams said that he had been in contact with both the British
and Irish governments. ``There are two questions which need answering,''
said Adams, ``who sanctioned this and, if no one sanctioned this, are
there those securocrats who are working to their own agenda?''
Addressing the news conference, Martin McGuinness said that there was
no doubt that this was the work of British Military Intelligence. ``We
have all lived through the consequences of the dirty tricks of these
spooks and spies and their agents and informers,'' said McGuinness.
``The Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the murders of Pat Finucane and
Rosemary Nelson. This element within the British military
establishment is intent on resisting the changes necessary to bring
about the establishment of a normal society on this island.''
Adams said the surveillance equipment had been discovered during
routine security checks carried out by Sinn Féin. The vehicle was
owned by someone who had no political background beyond being a
committed supporter of the peace process. ``Tony Blair, who has been
well disposed towards the peace process, needs to address this matter
urgently,'' said Adams. ``There can be no return to the old failed
agenda of the securocrats and their dirty war.'' A spokesperson for the
NIO claimed there was no question of the security services pursuing
their own agenda.