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Sinn Féin considers Adams v Frazer public debate

January 19, 2015

Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy is to meet with victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer to discuss proposals for a public debate between the firebrand Unionist and the Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, The Examiner has learned.

The party says it is considering an offer from Frazer for a public debate on equality and justice, revealing that Mr Adams has written to him expressing his willingness to meet with victims of the conflict.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: “Sinn Féin believes in the imperative of dialogue as a means of resolving differences.  Consequently, in response to Mr Frazer’s request for a public debate on equality and justice, Gerry Adams has written to him expressing his willingness to meet with victims of the conflict.

“The Sinn Féin leader has proposed that Conor Murphy MP meet with Mr Frazer to discuss the details of any debate, for example when it can be held; who will be the independent chair mentioned in Mr Frazer’s proposal; who is the ‘other person’ to which he refers, and how do we ensure a public aspect to the debate?”

It has been reported that former peace process negotiators or senior church figures are being considered as potential independent chairs for the debate.

Mr Frazer says failure to properly address victims’ issues in the past has spurred him to make the move himself: “This is going to be a genuine attempt at seeing if this can be moved forward and to see if Sinn Féin is genuine.  Or are they, what we believe, just out to milk the system? We will make up our own minds after a sensible debate.  This is about the victims taking the situation on. We have left it to everyone else in the past and they haven’t delivered for us,” he said.

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