[Sinn Fein]

29 March 2001

Sinn Fein to back campaign against GPO protest curbs

`Free assembly or pay to protest?'

Sinn Fein will today (Thursday) pledge its support for a broad-based campaign opposing Dublin Corporation's proposals to curb protests at the GPO in O'Connell Street.

Speaking before today's press conference at Trinity College Dublin to launch the Freedom of Association Coalition, Dublin City Councillor Nicky Kehoe said:

``Dublin Corporation officials and business people are trying to abolish free assembly and enforce a pay-to-protest system.

``The GPO is Dublin's most historic and traditional protest venue.  Dubliners died on O'Connell Street in police baton charges with Jim Larkin in the 1913 Lock-Out while defending the right to protest.  Will Dublin councillors turn their backs on that history or will they defend the right to free assembly?''

Cllr Kehoe said that the ``red tape'' surrounding insurance and other arrangements before permission to protest is even considered would be beyond most grass-roots community and single-issue groups campaigning on housing, traffic, drugs or incinerators and the environment.

Details - Cllr Nicky Kehoe @ 086 854 1942

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