Governments trying to weaken SF, McLaughlin claims


The Irish and British governments have joined Sinn Fein 's political opponents in a bid to weaken the party's negotiating hand in Northern Ireland peace talks, it was claimed today.

Party chairman Mitchel McLaughlin told delegates at today's ardfheis that they must shift focus from devolution negotiations to upcoming local government and Westminster elections to strengthen their mandate and promote their policies.

"In the coming months we have an opportunity to once again seek an increased endorsement of our strategy, an opportunity to ensure that when we return to discussions which will shape a way forward, we will do so with an increased mandate.

"With increased political strength we will be better able to increase the pressure for radical, social and political change across this island," Mr McLaughlin told the gathering in Dublin.