Sinn Fein's Belfast City councillor Eoin O'Broin, who gave a lecture on “Ireland, home rule and civl rights” at the Balearic University last night, said yesterday that Sin Fein will never sit in Westminster but there will not be a return to violence in Ireland as long as the peace process is adhered to, however he sees an escalation in the conflict in the Basque Country.

Q.Will a Sinn Fein MP ever sit in parliament in Westminster?
A.No, never.
We're an Irish republican party, we stand for an independent Irish parliament, we view the British parliament as a foreign parliament and we stand in the elections on a platform on abstention from the British parliament, so it would be illogical to take a seat in the British parliament.

Q.How close is the relationship between Sinn Fein and the IRA?
A. Sin Fein and the IRA are inextricably linked to the Good Friday agreement. What you see is two separate organisations, a political party with a clear democratic mandate, you have an insurrectionary armed organisation, a clandestine organisation, both with similar objectives Irish independence and both wedded to a process of conflict resolution and I think that after the two acts of decommisioning, very clearly the IRA proving beyond resonable doubt through actions it is commmitted to seeing this process work. So, There was a time when people would say the relationship, imaginary or real, between Sinn Fein and the IRA was a bad thing, very clearly, the fact that both of us are wedded to this process is a positive thing.

Q.There are reports that the IRA is rearming, looking for weapons in Russia, is that the case?
A.It's British intelligence speculation....I've no idea what the IRA does and doesn't do and Sinn Fein is not in a position to comment on what the IRA does or doesn't do. It's propaganda. Probably the more worrying thing is not that it's directed against Sinn Fein, we're used to it after 30 years, the really worrying thing is that many of those people inside the intelligence community leaking these stories are actually underminding the peace process itself which is contrary to the wishes of the British government and the majority of people in Britain and Ireland.


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