18th March 2003
Government veil of secrecy a disgrace -
Dáil must be recalled immediately
Sinn Fein spokesperson on International Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD today slammed the government's veil of secrecy on how it intends to respond to the US/British war on Iraq as a disgrace. He accused them of treating the elected representatives and people of this state with complete disdain and said that the Dáil should be recalled immediately for a full debate.
Speaking in support of the planned three-pronged protest against the war, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
"It is clear that we are now hours and not days away from the beginning of the US/British war on Iraq, yet the government remains in hiding. There are growing concerns that the government is intent on all but abandoning our neutrality by continuing to assist the US military on route to the Gulf, against the expressed wishes of the people.
"Not for the first time, Bertie Ahern is treating the elected representatives and people of this state with disdain. His failure to consult with the Dáil and to clearly answer direct questions on how he intends to respond to the US/British war on Iraq is a disgrace. The Dáil must be re-called immediately and the Government immediately stop allowing the use of Shannon airport by the US military.
"Over the past months there has been an exclusive focus on the role that Shannon has played as a pit-stop on the way to war. However, in answer to a Parliamentary Question to the Minister of Defence last week I learned that this role may not in fact be confined to Shannon. It appears that the government has also been allowing the US Air Force to land at Casement Aerodrome Baldonnel. We need to establish the full extent of this government's neutrality violations through full public disclosure, not ad-hoc information squeezed out of a secretive Government. What we need is a public audit on the state of Irish neutrality.
"Sinn Fein will continue to play our part in the anti-war effort. We have now put our 32 county membership on alert, and will be fully mobilising in support of the planned three-pronged protest action throughout this island." ENDS
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