01 December 2005

PM accused of 'breach of faith'

BBC

Granting amnesties to British soldiers and security agents will cause deep hurt to victims of their alleged crimes, Sinn Fein has said.

Gerry Adams was speaking after meeting Irish PM Bertie Ahern in Dublin.

He said including security personnel in legislation intended to allow paramilitary fugitives to return to NI was a breach of faith by PM Tony Blair.

The NI (Offences) Bill passed through its second stage in the House of Commons last month.

Mr Ahern has already said he had no advance knowledge that British soldiers would be included under its terms.

However, Mr Adams said the Irish government should tell the British government to exclude them from the terms of the legislation.

"It is in breach of the Joint Communique issued after Weston Park," he said.

"If this isn't resolved, it will cause even greater hurt to those people who have been bereaved or injured as a result of actions here by the British in Dublin city, or Monaghan, or in my own constituency, or any part of the six counties."

Mr Adams also called on both governments to come up with a plan to restore Northern Ireland power-sharing institutions in early 2006.

"The main focus of our meeting was to see those institutions put back in place," he said.

"We want to be there with the other parties working through our mandate and being accountable and answerable to the populace for doing that."

Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuiness and assembly member Caitriona Ruane were among the delegation to meet Mr Ahern in Dublin.

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