Article by Gerry Adams for 'The Irish Times', 21 December 2005
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Article by Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin, for 'The Irish Times', (21 December 2005)
"Over recent days the news has been dominated by the revelation that Denis Donaldson was a British agent working within Sinn Fein for as long as twenty years. When we stand back from the sensationalism, there are profoundly important issues to be addressed. And if we reduce all of this to its core, the stark reality is that a small number of faceless and unaccountable British securocrats have been allowed to collapse the democratic institutions established under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and supported by the people of Ireland in referendum.
This cabal of anti-Agreement forces have not only subverted the democratic decision of the Irish people but they are actively working against the policy of their own government. This is the stark reality that Tony Blair must deal with as we face into the New Year and a renewed attempt to see the Good Friday Agreement implemented in full.
The fact is that there was no Sinn Féin spy ring at Stormont.
The fact is that the documents allegedly stolen were found in the home of the British agent.
The so-called Stormont-gate affair was a carefully constructed lie created by the Special Branch in order to cause maximum political damage to the Good Friday Agreement.
The fact is that the collapse of the political institutions, the Assembly, the Executive and the all-Ireland ministerial council was caused by elements within the British security system.
It is no surprise that the British intelligence services are continuing to target Sinn Fein. Our political project threatens the interests of those who wish to maintain the status quo. These people are continuing to fight a war against Irish republicans. They are obsessed with notions of victory and defeat. They resent the fact that, despite all of their unlimited resources and money they could not defeat the IRA.
Ten, fifteen and twenty years ago these same people were orchestrating a murder campaign against our party through their control of the loyalist death squads. The British state continues to deny and hide truth about their policy of collusion. And by protecting those involved they have allowed these people to continue their activities unchecked. So at every point in the peace process where we have seen progress or the potential for progress, we have also seen the effects of the continuing activities of the securocrats.
Raids that find nothing, but which are conducted in the glare of media cameras, arrests which command newspaper headlines and charges which are brought in a blaze of publicity and then quietly dropped some time later.
What we are seeing now is a rearguard action by old-RUC elements, trying to stop the tide of history. That is why we are seeing examples of political policing more brazen than ever before. Televised raids and arrests have replaced the death squads, but the motivation remains the same - to defend the British state in Ireland and to target Sinn Féin because our peace project threatens their power by delivering real and meaningful change.
We have been warning about the negative power of those in the British system who are against the Good Friday Agreement and against the new dispensation. It is those people who have engineered the conditions whereby the political institutions were suspended.
Here you have the stated policy of the Irish and British governments being subverted by agencies of one of the governments. Here you have agencies of the British Government actively opposing British policy and subverting an international agreement and treaty.
If Britain's war is over in this country, if British policy in Ireland is to become totally peaceful, then the British Prime Minister has to rein in the securocrats. The activities of the British security agencies in Ireland must be brought to an end. Political policing must be brought to an end. Achieving this as part of our wider efforts to see the Good Friday Agreement fully implemented remains the focus for Sinn Fein as we face into the New Year.
2005 will be recorded in the history books as one of those pivotal points when profound developments changed the future. The IRA announcement in July that it had formally ended its armed campaign and it's decisive move in September to deal with the issue of IRA arms were initiatives of lasting significance. These developments have opened up the possibility of real and significant progress in early 2005.There will undoubtedly be more challenges and difficulties in the period ahead. That is the nature of peace making.
But these elements who oppose the peace process can only slow down the process of change. They cannot stop it. Ultimately their efforts will end in failure as the rest of us move forward in building a new and better Ireland."
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