[Sinn Fein]

20th February 2003

Ó Caoláin calls for race relations training for judges following racist comments

Under a Standing Order 31 motion in the Dáil today Sinn Fein group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin called for proceedings to be suspended so that the issue of racist remarks by a Judge in Longford could be discussed.

Before being ruled out of order by the Ceann Chomhairle Deputy Ó Caoláin said there is an urgent ``need for a system of proper training and accountability for judges, especially in the area of race relations and equal status.''

Speaking afterwards Deputy Ó Caoláin said ``the promised legislation in the form of the Judicial Conduct and Ethics Bill needs to be fast-tracked now given the disgraceful comments of a judge in Longford. His comments will be grist to the mill of bigots and racists in our society and may well lead to increased racist attacks on vulnerable people.''

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