11 January 2006

Gerry Adams responds to OTR announcement

Sinn Féin

Published: 11 January, 2006

Commenting on the statement today by the British Secretary of State Peter Hain addressing the need for political movement in the time ahead and the issue of OTRs, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said:

Mr Adams said:

"Over recent days both the Taoiseach and the British Secretary of State have said that urgent progress is necessary in restoring the political institutions. Sinn Fein has been pressing for early progress and we will pursue this with the two governments over coming weeks. In the interim the two governments should move quickly on issues under their direct control. These include the issue of political policing, the need for an effective truth recovery process, including the case of Pat Finucane and the issue of OTRs.

"Today's decision by Mr Hain on the OTR issue is a recognition that the British government legislative proposal was unacceptable. It was a major breach of what was agreed at Weston Park and a serious act of bad faith by the British government. I told the British Prime Minister and the British Secretary of State Peter Hain directly that if the British government was not prepared to change the legislation to remove the inclusion of British state forces then the legislation should be withdrawn. They have now done so.

"However the issue of OTRs must be resolved. Responsibility for this rests with the British government. This is an anomaly which affects only a very small number of people who should be allowed to return to their homes and their families.

"The issue of collusion and state violence is a much more fundamental issue. Sinn Fein, our party activists, families and friends were a primary target for British controlled loyalist death squads. It is critical that the recent focus on the issue of collusion, particularly by those who ignored the issue in the past, is maintained. The families must be supported in their campaign for justice and the truth. Sinn Fein will continue to confront the British government on collusion, state violence and their on-going efforts to hide the truth." ENDS

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