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4 March 2004 Edition

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Trimble accused over walkout

West Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Bairbre de Brún has accused UUP leader David Trimble of engaging in "posturing without substance". Her comments came on Tuesday after Trimble announced that the UUP was withdrawing from the Review process. Trimble had unsuccessfully lobbied the two governments to sanction Sinn Féin over the alleged abduction of Belfast man Bobby Tohill.

The DUP are to stay in the Review process and accused Trimble of acting foolishly and out of pique.

"David Trimble signalled last week that he intended to leave the Review," said Bairbre de Brún. "This is part of Mr Trimble's competition with the DUP. He is attempting to compete with the DUP on Ian Paisley's ground. It is the wrong approach.

"Maybe if Mr Trimble had been so exercised about the recent murder of a young Catholic in Lisburn or the attack last week by unionist paramilitaries on a 105-year-old woman in North Belfast, then people could take his action today more seriously."

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London on Tuesday. Earlier at the review, Bairbre de Brún presented the two governments with a Sinn Féin dossier of sectarian attacks which have been carried out by unionist paramilitaries in the Lagan Valley area over the past number of years.

Speaking on Wednesday's at the dossier's public launch, Gerry Kelly said "we presented this dossier to the two governments and we demanded from them answers on their response or lack of it to ongoing sectarian attacks.

"If the two governments and the other parties wish to discuss paramilitarism then they need to discuss it in the round. It cannot be confined to an anti-Sinn Féin or anti-republican agenda."

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