[Sinn Fein]

19th March 2003

Government motion represents act of moral and political cowardice

In an initial response to the publication of the Government's motion on the war on Iraq Sinn Fein spokesperson on International Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has described it as an act of moral and political cowardice on behalf of the Taoiseach and his government.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The Government's position to the whole issue of a war on iraq has been clouded in a veil of secrecy and misinformation from day one. Now at the eleventh hour they have published this motion, which represents a gross act of moral and political cowardice. It is an unprincipled and unjustifiable position that flies in the face of the wishes of the majority of the Irish people. Bertie Ahern has through this motion decided to make the Irish people complicit in this war - he cannot pretend that it does anything else.

"I am calling on members of the Government parties to stand up and be counted on this issue. To those of you who have already expressed your concerns about the lack of a UN mandate I would urge you to follow your instincts tomorrow and to vote this motion down."

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