[Sinn Fein]

28th April 2002

Sinn Fein Chairperson on campaign trail in Leinster calls for the closure of Sellafield

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA and Six County Health Minister Bairbre de Brun are on the campaign trail in Leinster today where they are joining party candidates Mairead Keane in Wicklow and Cllr. John Dwyer in Wexford. Speaking from Wicklow this morning Mr. McLaughlin described Brian Wilson's (the British Minister with responsibility for Sellafield) dismissive comments regarding the concerns of the Irish people as grossly offensive. Mr. McLaughlin said:

"One million Irish people this month sent postcards to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the head of British Nuclear Fuels Norman Askew to mark the 16th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and to call for the closure of Sellafield. This was a powerful expression of the concerns of the Irish people regarding Sellafield and it is highly arrogant of Brian Wilson to summarily dismiss our concerns.

``Sellafield is a most serious and immediate danger to all the people of Ireland and Britain - a potential Chernobyl in our midst.   It has an appealing safety record and British Nuclear Fuels Limited has repeatedly lied and deceived about the safety of the plant

``I take this opportunity to call for a united effort by people on both sides of the Irish Sea to have Sellafield shut down. This plant endangers the lives of people in Britain as much as in Ireland. We must deploy people power to get rid of Sellafield.'' ENDS

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