Irish Republican News · December 8, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Adams urges DUP to oppose unionist violence

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams yesterday said the DUP needed to consider the implications of its new-found prominence on violent unionism.


The West Belfast MP was speaking at the dedication of a new republican memorial in Milltown Cemetery.

The afternoon ceremony was attended by over a thousand republicans.

Addressing the crowd in Milltown, Mr Adams also said that the Irish government needed to use the prospect of future talks with the DUP to make it clear that the Good Friday Agreement would remain in place.

``Much has been said since the election about the rise in support for the DUP, and rightly so, for they were successful in increasing their mandate and swallowing up the smaller rejectionist parties,'' he said.

``However, as republicans know with an increased mandate comes an increased responsibility to use it wisely.''

Mr Adams referred to attacks on republican homes in Belfast last Friday and signalled the need for unionists to oppose this.

``The DUP, who are now in the political leadership of unionism, and who are refusing to engage with our party have to reflect upon the message they are sending to the violent wing of unionism,'' he said.

``If unionist political leaders constantly send out a message that they will not engage with Sinn Féin or respect the mandate of that party, then they have to expect that those within the paramilitary section of unionism will respond in the manner we witnessed on Friday night.''

Mr Adams also called on the Irish government to emphasise the effect the DUP's position may have on loyalist paramilitaries.

``This message also needs to be made clear to them when they meet with the Irish government in the time ahead - and they will meet with the Irish government,'' he said.

``The fact that the Good Friday Agreement is not up for barter, nor for renegotiation.

``The agreement has the support of the overwhelming mass of people on this island.''

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© 2003 Irish Republican News