6 March 1997 Edition

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Scrap Forum, says McGuinness

By Mick Naughton

Sinn Féin's Mid-Ulster candidate Martin McGuinness challenged the British government to close down the Forum and called for the motionless `some party' talks process to be ``reconstituted'' .

``Sinn Féin's view of the Forum is correct and the SDLP's withdrawal from it vindicates Sinn Féin's initial assessment of the body,'' stated McGuinness during a party press conference in Belfast on Monday 3 March.

``The Forum has made no contribution to the search for peace and is now little more than a platform for Unionist bigotry and intransigence as was so graphically on display by its `parades' committee''.

Responding to journalists asking if Sinn Fein would go the extra mile for real peace process McGuinness said, ``David Trimble has been acting as Deputy Prime Minister for some months now as he secures deal after deal. In effect we are witnessing a coalition government in Britain''.

McGuinness also struck out at the continuing mistreatment of Roisin McAliskey by the British government. Likening her conditions to those endured towards the end of the last century by O'Donovan Rossa, he said that her continued mistreatment was another example of British vindictiveness and mean spiritness.

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