01 March 2006

RSF replies to false accusations

1 Márta / March 2006

A police report of a planned sit-down protest by Republican Sinn Féin on the occasion of last Saturday's (February 25) loyalist march which has been quoted in Leinster House is without foundation. It is mere speculation and is not true.

The matter of the loyalist march through the centre of Dublin was discussed repeatedly at Ard-Chomhairle meetings. Our information on the growing level of disquiet and opposition to it was much more accurate than that which it appears was available to the "powers that be".

We sought to give this situation a political focus and the sole woman staff member who was in An Ard-Oifig on Monday, February 20 did not refuse to give the facts to a Garda Inspector when he visited without notice.

All was in the open and was carried on the front page of the January and February issues of SAOIRSE. Republican Sinn Féin carried out its protest picket as planned and departed from the scene in an orderly manner when the march was cancelled.

Earlier we had laid a wreath at the memorial to the 33 people killed in the Dublin-Monaghan loyalist bombings in 1974. All through our time in Cavendish Row we were corralled off by police barriers and an open space from the crowd which gathered in O'Connell Street.

In point of fact we were never in O'Connell Street but located ourselves in Cavendish Row, a small street which connects Parnell Square and O'Connell Street. Banner, placards and leaflets were all there for public scrutiny and the media were constantly in attendance throughout our presence there and can vouch for what we are saying.

The principal leaflet was entitled "An address to the People of Ireland" which made a special appeal to those of the Unionist political persuasion. It asked them to reconsider our ÉIRE NUA programme for a new four-province Federal Ireland including a nine-county Ulster in which unionists would have a working majority, but nationalists would be within reach of power.

We held a press conference three days earlier (Wednesday, February 22) in a Dublin hotel at which we gave interviews to UTV among others. Nothing was hidden but false accusations have been made. Rumour and public house talk is no substitute for accurate information.

We declared this loyalist march to be ill-advised. We believe any attempted repetition of it to be even more ill-advised.


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