President of Sinn Féin delievers speech

Gerry Adams today delievered a keynote speech in which he asked the IRA to consider their position with regards to the current political impass. Mr Adams said that while he had in the past defended the IRA's right to armed struggle, he felt that a situation now existed where that struggle should be a peaceful one. An alternative to armed struggle now exists.

I was deeply heartened by Mr. Adams' comments and I believe they are a positive contribution to the political impass. In the face of rejectionist Unionism and the criminalisation policy of the two governments, once more Republicans are the ones showing their commitment to the process with positive words rather than negative rejections.

The struggle for Irish freedom has been a long and noble one, but it is also a struggle which has been ever changing. It has been my view for quite some time that it is the force of arguement, not the force of arms which will be the final weapon in ending partition and achieving a 32 county democratic socialist republic. In order to make this island a better place, we must all adapt to changing circumstances. I hope that all parties involved will take heed of Mr. Adams' words and react to them positively in an attempt to regain political momentum in the peace process.

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