Adams calls on 'marching feet and angry voices'
By Sean Magill
and Maureen Baker
As Irish Republicans around the world commemorated the Easter rising of 1916, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams sent a clear message to the British government.
"For 25 years, the British failed to defeat the Republican struggle. They are now seeking a victory by subverting the peace process. If the British refuse to listen to reasoned and reasonable argument, then let them listen to the sound of marching feet and angry voices."
The British secretary for occupied Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, has invited four parties to talks, including the Alliance Party, which has less electoral support than Sinn Fein. Adams, speaking to a large and enthusiastic crowd at a commemoration in Dublin, said "We cannot accept the exclusion of the Sinn Fein electorate from the dialogue and negotiations which will shape the future of Ireland and the Irish people".
In response to the British government's call for the Irish Republican Army to give up its weapons, Adams said, "I want to see all of the weapons — the IRA weapons, the British weapons and the Loyalist weapons — taken permanently out of commission". He continued, "The reality is that there is no historical precedent in Ireland for unilateral disarmament".
The previous week the British Observer newspaper claimed that IRA hardliners were out to assassinate Adams. Mitchel McLaughlin, chairperson of Sinn Fein, said the report was "a pathetic piece of propaganda aimed at suggesting that Republicans are divided on the peace process".