[Sinn Fein]

7th March 2002

Sinn Fein sign anti-racism pledge

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin today joined party leaders to sign an Anti-Racism pledge at Leinster House. Speaking following the signing of the pledge Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Racism must be tackled and political parties must show leadership on the issue.  Recent comments from Noel O'Flynn highlight the need for individual candidates to also sign the pledge.  The lack of action from Fianna Fáil following his remarks highlights the importance of individuals and not just parties signing the pledge.

``If parties are to play their part in combating racism then they must immediately expel any candidate that makes racist remarks.  

``Racism is a scourge on society that can, in the most tragic of circumstances, cost lives.  Political parties cannot afford to fudge this issue.  The treatment of asylum seekers and refugees by the state has contributed to the racist incidents that we have witnessed in recent months.  It is now that the issue must be tackled head on.''

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