June 25, 2012
Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien has responded to attacks on his party in some Sunday newspapers in the wake of the decision for Martin McGuinness to meet the British Queen.
Deputy O’Brien was critical of Fine Gael ministers Brian Hayes and Leo Varadkar who he described as spectators to the peace process and said the Sunday Independent was continuing its anti-peace process line in downplaying the significance of the Deputy First Minister’s meeting with the British Queen.
Speaking today Deputy O’Brien said:
“The usual suspects have been wheeled out again to attack Sinn Féin on an initiative which should be welcomed, particularly by government ministers.
“The Sunday Independent, which was against the Hume/Adams talks, continues its anti-peace process line in downplaying the significance of Martin McGuinness meeting the British Queen.
“Ministers Brian Hayes and Leo Varadkar, who played no role other than spectators to the peace process, were given space to attack Sinn Féin in Sunday newspapers in the wake of this historic decision.
“Those who play down the significance of this meeting, choose to ignore the victims of British State violence in Ireland. These are the same people who attack Sinn Féin on legacy issues as if there is some hierarchy of victims of the conflict.
“Republicans have taken major risks in the interest of advancing the peace process. Imagine where we would be now if we followed the anti-peace process line of the Sunday Independent.
“Sinn Féin is acting out of respect for our Unionist neighbours but with full recognition of the difficulties it will cause for Republicans and Nationalists, particularly those who have been victims of British State violence.
“We will take no lectures from anti-peace process mouthpieces be they government ministers or Sunday rags.” ENDS