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9 May 2002 Edition

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Unionists urged to work Agreement

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams briefly pulled out of the general election campaign on Monday to meet with David Ervine, following the PUP leader's expressions of concern about recent allegations levelled at republicans.

Addressing the issue, Adams said:

"Recently, there have been a number of unsubstantiated allegations levelled against the IRA. The IRA has denied these allegations. There have been other stories peddled by sections of the media. All of these stories, whether allegations or myth have a common source in British intelligence.

"Regrettably, these stories have been seized upon by unionists and have become part of the battle between pro-Agreement and anti-Agreement unionism.

"The effect of all of this, as is clearly the intention behind those who have exploited situations, planted stories, and engaged in a frenzy of spin, has been to destabilise unionism and through it the whole peace process.

"There are genuine concerns about all of these matters but pro-Agreement unionists have to realise that Sinn Féin can only do so much on our own. We cannot reassure unionists about republican intentions if unionists do not want to be reassured.

"Indeed the demands from some UUP spokespersons that the British government take sanctions against the Sinn Féin electorate, coupled with hints that the UUP will re-embark on its own illegal sanctions, are all subverting republican and nationalist goodwill.

"Pro-Agreement unionists will have to avoid playing the game by the rules set by the faceless securocrats whose only agenda is to undo all the good work of the last decade. It is time David Trimble and his colleagues calmed down and got on with the job of working with the rest of us to implement the Good Friday Agreement."
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