RSF rejects talks offer

Micky McGonagle addressing the crowd at the Republican Sinn Fein Commemoration on Sunday.  (0204jB58)
Micky McGonagle addressing the crowd at the Republican Sinn Fein Commemoration on Sunday. (0204jB58)

Republican Sinn Féin has rejected an offer of talks with Sinn Féin over the future of republicanism.

The fringe party declined the offer when it held its Easter commemoration in the City Cemetery in Derry on Sunday.

Republican Sinn Féin vice president Des Dalton delivered the main oration and said his party was not interested in an offer of talks made by Sinn Féin national chairperson Declan Kearney in Monaghan at the weekend.

Mr Kearney said discussions with all elements of republicanism, including dissident republicans, are needed.

However, Mr Dalton said Republican Sinn Féin will not be talking to Sinn Féin.

“Our message here for Declan Kearney and the other puppets of the machine is that we, as Irish Republicans, have no desire and see no purpose in sitting and talking to those who are now an integral part of British rule in Ireland,” he commented.

He also dismissed recent calls for a border poll as a publicity stunt. “In January the Provos called for a border poll; more smoke and mirrors designed to give their supporters the illusion that they are trying for an end partition while masking the stark reality that they have been absorbed wholesale into the machinery of British rule.”

Dungiven republican Mickey McGonigle, who chaired the commemoration, also criticised Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. “He was not an Irish republican when he accepted the handshake from the Queen of England.

“I hope all areas will give them their answer the way the voters did in Mid Ulster where 10,000 less than before voted for them,” he said.

The commemoration ended with Whitey O’Neill playing the National Anthem.