[Sinn Fein]

15th January 2003

``Irish complicity in the war build-up must end - Ó Snodaigh

Sinn Fein has pledged its full support to the growing movement against the war on Iraq. International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the Dáil must be recalled as a matter of urgency and that the government must take their head out of the sand and respond to the Irish public's very real concerns on this grave issue. Deputy Ó Snodaigh will lead a Sinn Fein delegation to the Shannon Peace Camp next week.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``Irish complicity in the war build-up must end. Brian Cowen s Ministerial authorisation of overflights and landing of both US military aircraft and civilian aircraft chartered to carry US troops and supplies are in violation of Article 2 of the Hague Convention Respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land, which states that belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral power. Sinn Fein reiterates our demand for the immediate suspension of such authorisation and the recalling of the Dáil to discuss this very grave matter.

``The government must take their head out of the sand and respond to the Irish public's very real concerns on this.

``For months now Sinn Fein has been calling for a debate in the Dáil on this issue of crucial national and international importance. But the government - in its typical arrogance - has refused. Their Nice campaign guarantee that they would defend Irish neutrality was clearly just another in a series of broken promises. We therefore also continue to call for neutrality to be enshrined in the Constitution and in legislation. 

``Sinn Fein fully supports the anti-war movement, the peace camp at Shannon Airport, and the national anti-war mobilisation on February 15. We look forward to playing our part, together with the other progressive peoples of the US and Europe - and, indeed the world over - on this most important issue.''

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