CAIN Web Service

Speech by Gerry Adams at a commemoration for IRA Volunteers Brendan Burns and Brendan Moley in South Armagh, 27 February 2005

[Key_Events] [Key_Issues] [Conflict_Background]
POLITICS: [Menu] [Reading] [Articles] [Government] [Political_Initiatives] [Political_Solutions] [Parties] [Elections] [Polls] [Sources] [Peace_Process]

Text: Gerry Adams ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Speech by Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin, at a Commemoration for IRA Volunteers Brendan Burns, and Brendan Moley, South Armagh, (27 February 2005)


"Robert McCartney's murder has shocked hundreds of thousands of republicans throughout Ireland and we are united in our call for anyone with information about the killing to come forward. I want to send my support to the rally, which is taking place in the Short Strand this afternoon and which is being attended by Sinn Féin leaders in the city. Sinn Féin fully supports the family of Robert McCartney in their demand for justice and truth. I have met the family and I remain in contact with them.

Sinn Féin does not underestimate the seriousness of the current situation. The process is in grave difficulties and just as all of us in political leadership must share responsibility for this crisis, we must also share the responsibility to create the conditions to put the process back on track. The republican people of Belfast do not need Irish government ministers to lecture us on our patriotic duties nor should they or others in the political establishment in Dublin demonise the good people of the Markets and Short Strand.

Sinn Féin is totally and absolutely committed to bringing the peace process to a successful conclusion. We are also committed to bringing about Irish unity and independence and to representing all those who vote for us. And while we will not shirk in our responsibilities we will not allow politicians, especially those who are glorying in the current difficulties, to criminalise those who support us or more importantly to set the political agenda.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin spoke for republicans the length and breadth of this island when he said in the Dáil last week that 'Sinn Féin is a party that rejects criminality of any kind and no republican worthy of the name can be involved in criminality. There is no room in Sinn Féin for other than a clear and unambiguous commitment to democratic politics and the pursuit of our goals by legal and peaceful means.'

It is a truism that those who want the greatest change have to take the greatest risks. We have demonstrated our capacity for doing this time and time again. Inevitably that will mean more hard choices, more hard decisions for Irish republicans as we push ahead with our political project and as we seek to achieve a united Ireland.

We are up for the challenge today. We are determined to see all the guns taken out of Irish politics and to be part of the collective effort that will create the conditions where the IRA ceases to exist. We are determined that the issues of policing, demilitarisation, human rights and equality are dealt with.

But republicans cannot make peace on our own. We cannot implement the Good Friday Agreement on our own. We cannot establish a working, viable power sharing government on our own. We cannot resolve the outstanding issues of equality and justice on our own. These require the British and Irish governments and the Unionists to play their part and to face up to the challenge of making peace."


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

go to the top of this page go to the top of this page
Last modified :