[Sinn Fein]

1ú Feabhra 2002

Ahern must expel racist TD

Sinn Fein Councillor Séan Crowe has said that the Taoiseach must expel Fianna Fáil TD Noel O'Flynn following the Cork deputy's verbal attack on refugees and asylum seekers. Crowe, a member of South Dublin County Council has also called on all parties to sign an anti-racist pledge and to ensure that all candidates make a commitment that they will not play politics with the race issue.

Councillor Crowe said:

``Noel O'Flynn's remarks were a disgrace. Bertie Ahern may be a ditherer, a slow-to-act leader; but in this instance he must be decisive. He must expel his racist deputy.

``O'Flynn's remarks were nothing more than a hazardous generalisation in a blatant attempt to pick up votes using the race card. If the Taoiseach fails to expel him a dangerous precedent will be set.  Comments such as these will put the lives of foreign nationals and those with different coloured skin than most at risk by those who will use the remarks of Noel O'Flynn to defend actions such as racist attacks.

``I am calling on each party leader to join Sinn Fein in signing an anti-racist pledge. This must include a commitment that the party's will not allow candidates to use the race issue to score short-term political points. Racism, of any form, cannot be tolerated in any political party. Bertie Ahern must show leadership and expel Noel O'Flynn from Fianna Fáil.''

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