Sinn Fein will fight Trimble sanctions

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The Independent Online

Sinn Fein said yesterday that it will mount a legal challenge to the efforts by the First Minister, David Trimble, to impose sanctions on the two Sinn Fein ministers in the Northern Ireland administration.

Sinn Fein said yesterday that it will mount a legal challenge to the efforts by the First Minister, David Trimble, to impose sanctions on the two Sinn Fein ministers in the Northern Ireland administration.

The Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, attacked both Mr Trimble and the Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Mandelson, saying the latter had the power to intervene but refused to use it.

Mr Trimble is refusing to nominate the two Sinn Fein ministers, Martin McGuinness and Bairbre de Brun, to attend cross-border meetings with the Dublin government.

In the first meeting, Ms de Brun duly met her counterpart outside the official North-South structures. But the attempted sanction angered republicans, who see it as a unionist attempt to slap down Sinn Fein.

An Ulster Unionist Party spokesman dismissed the legal action as "a protracted stunt", saying that if republicans won it would simply provoke "more serious action" from the party.

Gerry Adams said yesterday: "Our decision to take legal action, despite the lack of confidence by republicans in the legal and judicial system here, is an indication of our grave dissatisfaction at how this British Government, which promised so much, has pandered to a Unionist veto."

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