[Sinn Fein]

7 November 2002

Sinn Fein expresses outrage that no Dáil debate on Iraq will take place prior to UN Security Council vote

Responding to a Dail ruling that an emergency debate on the UN Resolution on Iraq prior to the Security Council vote was not a matter of 'national importance', Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said that "not only is this an issue of national importance considering Ireland's role on the UN Security Council it is also a matter of urgent international importance." He went on to say that the governments decision to prevent a debate prior to the vote is a "disgrace considering the international ramifications of any rush to war in the Middle East".

Sinn Fein TD, Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh had tabled a motion calling for the adjournment of the Dáil to consider the forthcoming United Nations Security Council vote on the new draft Resolution on Iraq and the need for Ireland to use its vote to oppose this Resolution.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: "In tabling this motion I was hoping to ask every member in the Dáil a very straightforward question: Do you support military action on Iraq and accept all the consequences of such action? If the answer is NO, then we all must ensure that this government uses it's position on the UN Security Council to oppose this Resolution.

"Sinn Fein do not support the drive to war lead by the US. And we believe there is little or no support for it throughout the island of Ireland. While Sinn Fein also opposes the development, stock-piling and use of weapons of mass destruction we don't believe that this resolution will solve that problem nor that of the many human rights abuses that occur in Iraq.

"This is surely a time where our government has an opportunity to reinstate and publicly support our stated policy of military and political neutrality. It is time for us to make our voice heard within the UN Security Council and to gain support in calling a halt to America and Britain's headlong rush towards war in the Middle East.

"We must not and cannot allow ourselves to be used as a rubber stamp within the UN to allow the US a free hand in pursuing policies that will bring further devastation to the region. We must stand up and be counted on the side of those opposed to war."

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