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9 December 1999 Edition

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Breach of faith

Sinn Féin had intended this week to launch its radical and ambitious programme for government for the Six Counties. This plan to set out the party's stall as a positive contribution to the early days of the new administration was frustrated, however, by an all too familiar example of British duplicity.

The people of Ireland voted last year for a new political dispensation. The political parties have finally managed to strike a deal to allow the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement to finally begin in earnest. The IRA has continued to show good faith and give tangible support to the peace process.

All these are signs of hope, but the bugging device found in a car used by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness serves notice that for some, the war is far from over. The British intelligence services have been singled out as the most obvious culprits, given the level of sophistication of the device found.

The discovery highlights the fact that, amid the furore over IRA decommissioning that has bedevilled this process, the British have failed to keep their Good Friday pledge to demilitarise.

If progress is to be made, and there is good reason for hope in that regard, then Tony Blair must act speedily to call off his dirty tricks brigade and keep them under a tight rein in the future.

The best way he can achieve this and show good faith is to start the process of military withdrawal.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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