Irish Republican News · July 30, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Kerry campaign disappoints Irish activists

Irish Americans have expressed dismay at the failure to give weight to the Ireland issue in the Democratic Party 2004 Platform for the US Presidential election.

Andrew Somers, National President of the Irish American Unity Conference, said Irish-America deserves and demands more than polite and meaningless words on the peace process.

“We demand clear and straight forward answers from the American political parties and candidates as to how they are going to move the peace process in Northern Ireland”, Somers declared.

Somers, a retired American Judge mentioned three pressing issues that Irish Americans were seeking: the enforcement of the troubled 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the arrest and deportation of Irish nationals from the US over their role in the conflict, and the new extradition treaty between the U.S. and Britain.

“It’s not too much to ask the parties to address and answer these issues”, Judge Somers said. “No more Joe Doherty’s and no more false promises”, Somers concluded.

In contrast, the DUP’s Peter Weir has called on Senator John Kerry to “get real” on Ireland after the Democratic nominee made the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement part of his presidential platform.

“Senator Kerry has committed himself to working for the full implementation of an agreement that has been overwhelmingly rejected by the unionist electorate,” Mr Weir said.

“Unionists have told the world that the Belfast Agreement does not form the basis for a better way forward for Northern Ireland and the DUP is dedicated to drive forward unionism’s dem- and for a new, fair agreement.”

Meanwhile, the nationalist SDLP has reported that senior US Democrats at the Boston selection convention were impatient for progress in the North.

The SDLP leader Mark Durkan, who attended the convention, said that the US Democrats wanted to see the parties in the North “get on with it” at the talks in September. He said they could not understand the DUP’s cojntinuiong refusal to talk to Sinn Féin, or Sinn Féin’s need for “a private army”.

The SDLP has claimed there is good backing among senior US Democrats for its proposals to get the agreement moving pending a full return to an agreed executive.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News