15 April 2005

Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams responds to request from Dr. Kieran Deeny

Published: 15 April, 2005

Sinn Féin yesterday received an e-mail communication from the Independent Assembly member Kieran Deeny requesting that the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams withdraw the West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty from the forthcoming election to allow Dr Deeny a free run in the election.

Mr Adams today responded to Dr. Deeny and the text of this letter is below.

15 April 05
Kieran Deeney
Constituency Office
51 Market Street
Omagh BT78 1EL

Kieran a chara

Thank you for your letter of 13 April 05. You ask that Sinn Fein stand aside in west Tyrone to allow you to contest the election as an independent. I see no reason why we should do that. If you want to be elected as MP for West Tyrone then you should go forward on the same basis as all other candidates.

You ask that I withdraw the Sinn Fein candidate and outgoing MP, Pat Doherty. You should be aware that, even if I wanted to do this - and I don't - Pat has been duly selected by an election convention and ratified by the Ard Chomhairle of our party. I have no authority to overturn this process.

You also know that Sinn Fein, led by Pat Doherty, has a record of solid campaigning on the issue of hospital services in Tyrone. You have been on joint delegations along with Pat and local MLA Barry McElduff to meet with the British Health Minister on this issue.

We have brought forward unified proposals on how to bridge the gap on acute service provision in Tyrone. Along with other parties and individuals Sinn Féin has set aside political differences to lobby along with the other six West Tyrone MLAs for a bridging of the 'Tyrone Gap'.

The issue of hospital services in Tyrone is a major priority for Pat Doherty. So also are efforts to rebuild the peace process, advance the all-Ireland agenda and continuing work on the wide range of other social and economic issues which Pat has campaigned on over the past number of years.

Sinn Fein provides an unrivalled constituency service for the people of West Tyrone, with two full time constituency offices in Omagh and Strabane and we offer effective political representation at all levels in the constituency.

This level of service for the people cannot be provided by an independent single candidate. Neither can you hope to take up a ministerial position on the Executive when the political institutions are put in place once again. For all these reasons you should throw your weight behind Pat Doherty's campaign.

Sinn Fein have an obligation to the people of West Tyrone who have put us into a leadership role in the constituency to once again offer them the choice of voting for our party on 5th May. If the people decide once again to put their faith in Pat Doherty then I am sure that Pat and my other colleagues in West Tyrone will look forward to continuing to work with you to address the issue of health provision and of course the other issues which matter to people in that area.

Good luck

Gerry Adams MP



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