01 April 2005

IMPARTIAL REPORTER

**Via Newshound

Republicans turn to 'important election'

31 March 2005

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The coming election is the most important one ever, said Fermanagh/south Tyrone MP Ms. Michelle Gildernew said as she addressed the gathering of republicans at Tempo marking Easter Sunday.

We must turn our energy to the elections, she said. “Since I was a child I have always heard Sinn Fein leaders saying this is the most important election ever. Well make no mistake about it ladies and gentlemen, this is the most important election ever. At a time when the direct rule minister is imposing swingeing cuts on education and everything else, we need to be in a position to call for the immediate restoration of the assembly.

“At a time when the British are teasing themselves with the notion of trying to do a deal without Republicans we need to be a voice for the nationalists of Fermanagh and South Tyrone. And at a time when the major parties in the south are trying to write off Sinn Fein’s political growth in the south, we need to be in a position to show them that their predictions are as wrong now as they were when Bobby Sands was elected M.P. for this constituency in 1981.

“We expect to hold onto this seat but we will need every Republican to play his or her part in order to do so. We are just six weeks away from the local government and Westminster elections,” she added.

On Easter Sunday republicans were commemorating not just Pearse and Connolly and Markievicz but also the men and women of Fermanagh who fought and struggled and hungered and died over the last 30 years, she said.

“Because fellow Republicans, Easter 1916 is not some distant event 89 years ago. It defines our struggle today, it will define our struggle tomorrow and the next day and the day after that until we have a united, fair and free Ireland.

“And what of the British? Tony Blair refuses to move on policing. He refuses to re-constitute the assembly. He writes to Bertie Ahern refusing to give the Irish government any information about the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. He refuses to implement the recommendations of Judge Peter Cory,” she said.

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