[Sinn Fein]

17 December 2000

Mary Robinson's call to political leaders on racism: Gerry Adams calls on all party leaders to unite in public stand

Today's (Sunday's) appeal by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mary Robinson, for political leaders to be more active against racism has been echoed by Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP.  The Sinn Fein leader has repeated his call on party leaders throughout the island to unite in making a joint public declaration against racism.

Mr Adams said:

``I urge An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, to take a public lead on this issue through the Oireachtas, the all-Ireland institutions and in wider society. He is in a position to bring together all the other leaders of civic society - the political and church leaders, trade union and community networks, media personalities and music, cultural and sporting heroes - in a public event declaring our united stand against racism, in all its forms and wherever it appears.

``Some of us seem to have forgotten our own experience of discrimination and emigration.  It is not so long ago that signs saying ``No Dogs, No Irish, No Blacks'' were displayed in boarding-house windows in England.  It is not so long ago that thousands of young Irish people departed our shores for the United States to work illegally.

``The time has long past for the civic leaders of Ireland to make a public, united stand against racism.''

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