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2 July 1998 Edition

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Furthering the revolutionary project

When Gerry Adams made Sinn Féin's opening address at the Assembly on Wednesday, he said: ``Our task is to build an inclusive process and work for the construction of a democratic settlement which celebrates the diversity of all the Irish people.''

That, in one sentence, sums up the revolutionary project in which Sinn Féin is engaged. The need for an inclusive process has been a hard-won argument and, with some, it is an argument which has still to be won. Unionists still talk the language of exclusion and they have pledged to keep Sinn Féin out of the Assembly's Executive. They won't succeed and so another step towards a lasting peace will have been taken.

The construction of a democratic settlement will be another drawn-out battle. The All-Ireland Council has to be set up and operating before the end of October. Through it will come real change throughout the island.

Democracy also depends on equality and that is an agenda which must be pursued with utmost vigour. And it will be.

The Sinn Féin task is also to create an Ireland which embraces the diversity of all the Irish people. The future must include the Unionist people, towards whom the hand of friendship must be offered. Their destiny lies on this island along with everyone else and we must be creative in working out how that is done.

Another successful election battle

You would not have known it from reading the papers or watching the television, but Sinn Féin was the most successful party in last Thursday's Assembly elections. They are now the fastest growing party with their highest-ever vote.

That success was due to the most dedicated group of political activists in the country. They set themselves targets in each constituency and either met or surpassed it.

From among those activists has come a very strong team of Assembly members. Half have seen the inside of prison cells and all have been active republicans throughout their adult lives. No group of people is more capable of taking on the difficulties which lie ahead.

They - and the activists and voters who helped put them into the Assembly - deserve our congratulations and our support in the task ahead.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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