10th May 2002
Gerry Adams calls on Michael Noonan to withdraw comments and apologise
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP speaking following a media screening of the party's election broadcast called on Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan to withdraw his remarks supporting compulsory health screening for asylum seekers and apologise for the offence that they caused. Mr. Adams said:
``Michael Noonan's comments supporting compulsory health screening for asylum seekers were outrageous and they were wrong.
``Last March Michael Noonan signed an anti-racism pledge committing his party to sending out a consistent and clear message to the electorate that they reject racism. His comments yesterday were a clear breach of this pledge. He should withdrawn his remarks immediately and apologise for the offence that they caused. If Michael Noonan was willing to disregard this pledge for cheap electoral publicity then how can voters be expected to accept his party's election promises.
``The treatment of asylum seekers and refugees by the state has contributed to the racist incidents that we have witnessed in recent months. Political parties cannot afford to fudge this issue. Political leaders must be at the forefront of ensuring that racism is tackled at local, regional and national level.''
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