20/10/2006

Sinn Fein to start consultation on policing

Following yesterday's meeting of the Sinn Fein leadership with the 53-member Ard Chomhairle in Dublin, the party have begun a consultation process before making a decision whether or not to support the PSNI.

If a decision is reached to change their current policy on policing, an Ard Fheis will be held in order to make the change official.

The DUP has stressed that they will not venture into government with Sinn Fein unless they swear an oath of allegiance to the PSNI.

Earlier this week DUP leader Ian Paisley failed to show up for a meeting with Sinn Fein for talks on the new 'Programme for Government' claiming that there was doubt that Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator and future Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness would support police.

Speaking during the three hour meeting, Sinn Fein party chairperson Mary Lou McDonald said that a process of consultation throughout the entire party would start immediately and would reach out into the community to allow supporters to express their views.

She added that at this stage the decision on holding an Ard Fheis has not been made.

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams added that there may be a formula of words in a pledge of office that both parties could agree to, however added that "it cannot be a `sack cloth and ashes` pledge of office."

The Sinn Fein leader said that his party will continue to try to make progress within its membership on behalf of everybody who wants to see the future better than the past.

(EF)

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