Northern Ireland

Dissidents reject Sinn Fein talks offer

Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams at Belfast City Hall
Image caption Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams at Belfast City Hall

Republican Sinn Fein has said it will not be accepting an invitation to talks with Sinn Fein.

Gerry Adams wrote to all of the dissident republican groups hoping to persuade them to seek Irish unity through peaceful political means.

But Des Dalton from Republican Sinn Fein said Mr Adams stopped listening to fellow republican leaders when he embarked on the peace process.

He said Sinn Fein was now "absorbed into the apparatus of British rule".

"Unfortunately Gerry Adams chose at that point not to listen to that advice and chose to embark on the road which was forecast where it would end up is where they are today," Mr Dalton said.

"Gerry Adams and his organisation are now fully absorbed into the apparatus of British rule in Ireland and we feel we have absolutely nothing to say to them on that basis."

Last week, the 32-County Sovereignty Movement also played down the chance of talks.

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey said dissident violence was setting back the cause of Irish unity.

"We believe we have created the space for the achievement of a united Ireland in a peaceful and democratic way," he said.

"We would like the opportunity to argue with those who disagree with our view and our analysis and believe we can convince some of those people there is a way forward without engaging in armed activity."

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