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Sinn Fein leader seeks party convention to accept Northern Ireland's police

Sinn Fein leader seeks party convention to accept Northern Ireland's police

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams announced Thursday he wants a special convention of his IRA-linked party to vote on supporting Northern Ireland's police force, a long-awaited peace move.
Adams said his party's executive board would meet in a Dublin hotel Friday to set an exact date for the January convention, which will involve up to 2,000 grassroots members _ among them Irish Republican Army veterans involved in killing nearly 300 police officers during the outlawed group's 1970-97 campaign.
Sinn Fein support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland appears essential for reviving a Catholic-Protestant administration, the main goal of Northern Ireland's Good Friday peace accord of 1998. The major Protestant party, the Democratic Unionists, says it won't cooperate with the Catholics of Sinn Fein unless they embrace law and order in the British territory.
Adams, who has spent more than a decade steering the outlawed Irish Republican Army away from trying to overthrow Northern Ireland by force, said he understood that many supporters felt unable to support the police "given the history of repressive and sectarian policing."
`However, the achievement of a new beginning to policing, as promised in the Good Friday agreement, would be an enormous accomplishment. And I believe that we have now reached the point of taking the next necessary step," Adams said.
"I am certain that an initiative of this kind is in the interests of all our people. It is the right thing to do," he said. "If it succeeds, it will advance the struggle for equality and the search for a just and lasting peace on the island of Ireland."


Updated : 2020-12-01 10:38 GMT+08:00