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Sinn Fein attack on Unionist 'deal'

A LEADING Sinn Fein member yesterday attacked John Major's rejection of the John Hume/Gerry Adams peace plan. Martin McGuinness accused the Prime Minister of making a 'sordid little deal with Unionists' to reject the proposals and hold on to power.

In a major speech to the Sinn Fein European election convention, he sent a message to the Prime Minister: 'We refuse to accept your rejection of the Irish peace initiative. We, the Irish people, will have peace. We are not, Mr Major, going to let your rejection prevail.'

Mr McGuinness said the proposals put forward by Mr Hume, leader of the Social and Democratic Labour Party, and Mr Adams, Sinn Fein president, were the most imaginative and bold in 25 years. 'This is a unique and historic opportunity which the British government is prepared to squander in order to secure Unionist votes at Westminster.'

He said the nationalist population of Ireland was behind the plan and recent polls showed a huge gulf within the Tory party and among its voters over the issue of Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein needed to use every opportunity to focus British public opinion on the way in which Mr Major was 'mishandling a life or death situation in our country'.

Mr McGuinness said Sinn Fein had to focus on international opinion, lobby progressive sections of the British establishment and other elements in Britain and seek international assistance. He believed there was a wealth of goodwill throughout the world to be lobbied and secured.