Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams ready to talk with dissident republicans

By Ann W Schmidt

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has signalled that he is willing to open dialogue with dissident republicans who are "at war against this community".

The Louth TD called for dissident leaders to come forward and engage in conversation, not aggression.

"These people need to bring forward their spokespersons," he said yesterday. "They need to explain their actions."

He also condemned the increasing number of dissident attacks, accusing such groups of throwing pipe bombs in Londonderry and Belfast, and defacing posters of hunger strikers and starting bonfires.

"It's hooliganism (and) it's vandalism," said Mr Adams. "Of course, there are more serious aspects. They have killed a number of people as well."

The Sinn Fein leader particularly criticised the attacks that targeted Feile an Phobail, the west Belfast Festival.

These included sending out leaflets that named Feile staff and committee members, putting up posters on the Feile an Phobail offices and picketing outside.

Adams said such attacks showed that dissident groups had "nothing to offer".

But he added he wanted to engage in dialogue with those willing to come forward.

"If we can help in any way to assist those who want out, as opposed to those who are engaged in criminality, then we have a duty to do that," he explained.

"We need to be continuing to reach out to those who are alienated, who are not part of efforts to build a progressive society."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph