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Murray attacks Kenny over 'disgraceful' TV comments

MAYO’S Sinn Féin councillor Gerry Murray has reacted angrily to a suggestion from Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny that Sinn Féin exploited the Rossport Five campaign to launch an ‘insidious campaign’ of their own against the opposition leader.
Deputy Kenny made his comments on national television at the weekend, suggesting that Sinn Féin had targeted him and his party because of their opposition to the deal done between the Government and Sinn Féin over the release of the killers of Jerry McCabe.
“I find the comments made by Deputy Kenny disgraceful, deceitful and disingenuous. The facts of the matter are all parties on this island were invited by the families of the Rossport Five to support their ‘Shell to Sea’ campaign. We were the only party to stand on the platform and support the Rossport community,” stated the Charlestown-based councillor.
Deputy Mary Hanafin also stated that she felt the campaign was ‘jumped on by politicians for their own purposes’ and Mayo’s Fianna Fáil deputy John Carty too made suggestive comments.
“The only part that would worry me a little bit is that some people have used the campaign for their own advantage rather than for the men who were incarcerated,” stated Deputy Carty.
Cllr Murray stated that all the comments made by members of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were ‘the worst type of political spindoctoring by people who know they have let down the people of north Mayo.’
“Sinn Féin didn’t exploit or hijack any campaign. We only replied to the invitation for support from the Rossport Five families and the larger community.”
Cllr Murray went on to say that from day one the Rossport Five campaign was a community-based campaign and the comments of Deputy Kenny were now politicising the whole issue.
“To me it seems like Enda Kenny is trying to create a sideshow or a red herring to try and take the focus off the real issue here.
What he should be doing is apologising to the families of the Rossport Five and the community at large for effectively supporting Shell and their proposals,” added Cllr Murray.
Meanwhile, other politicians from around the county are now eager for the release of the men to ignite dialogue in the hope of a satisfactory resolution to the impasse.
Deputy Michael Ring welcomed the lifting of the injunction on the Rossport Five and said he was delighted that there has been a positive response from his calls in the Dáil last week for a mediator to be appointed.
“I hope now that Shell and the Government will do more listening to the local people so that this very serious situation can be resolved. I would like to thank my Fine Gael colleagues for their support in trying to settle this matter as they also played their part in trying to get this resolved. I hope there will be a positive outcome to the negotiations that will take place, to the satisfaction of all sides,” stated Deputy Ring.
Deputy Beverley Flynn also welcome the release of the five from Cloverhill prison.
“I am very pleased for the men and their families, and hope that their release will mark a new stage of dialogue and understanding between all sides involved in the pipeline controversy,” said Deputy Flynn.

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:09am