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IRA dissidents reject offer of talks with Sinn Fein leader Adams

IRA dissidents reject offer of talks with Sinn Fein leader Adams

A dissident Irish Republican Army faction rejected an offer to talk Friday with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, whose IRA-linked party is poised to accept Northern Ireland's police force, another important step in peacemaking.
A statement issued by the Continuity IRA, which continues to plot bomb and gun attacks in the British territory, said its leaders did not want to meet Adams to talk about Sinn Fein's plan to begin cooperation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
"We are not interested in accepting any offer to talk with yet another recruiting sergeant for the British crown forces in Ireland," the Continuity IRA statement said of Adams.
Adams has convened a special party conference Sunday in Dublin that will vote on whether to dump Sinn Fein's decades-old refusal to cooperate with the Northern Ireland police.
At stake is the revival of power-sharing, the central goal of the U.S.-brokered Good Friday accord of 1998. Protestants say they won't form a Cabinet alongside Sinn Fein, which represents most of the province's Catholic minority, unless Adams' party supports law and order as part of the deal.
Sinn Fein leaders and analysts expect Adams' pro-police motion to win overwhelming approval from the conference, which is expected to involve about 2,500 party activists, of whom about 1,000 will be eligible to vote.
Over the past week, Adams and senior deputies have addressed debates in several Sinn Fein power bases over whether to accept the authority of the police _ a predominantly Protestant force that the IRA heavily targeted during its failed 1970-97 campaign to force Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic.
Sinn Fein leaders have encountered relatively little criticism from their audiences, pointing to the likelihood that their proposals will be accepted Sunday.
Hard-liners who reject the IRA's 1997 cease-fire said they would picket Sunday's conference at the Royal Dublin Society conference center. The dissidents conceded their picket was unlikely to affect the outcome.
"The picket is to highlight the fact that the real issue is the acceptance by the Provos of British police, British law and British courts in Ireland," said Des Dalton, deputy leader of the breakaway Republican Sinn Fein party. "Provos" is street slang for the Sinn Fein-IRA movement.
Dalton said when Sinn Fein leaders convene their supporters to vote, "they do generally have a fair idea of the outcome."


Updated : 2021-07-29 21:40 GMT+08:00