[Sinn Fein]

21st January 2003

174 elected representatives endorse Shannon Peace Camp

``Using Shannon as staging post for war will not be done in our name'' - Ó Snodaigh

Sinn Fein spokesperson on International Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD will today (Tuesday 21st) visit the Shannon Peace Camp to deliver a message of support to the camp organisers on behalf of all 174 Sinn Fein elected representatives throughout Ireland. The message reafirms the party's opposition to the use of Shannon Airport as an ``immoral, unconstitutional an illegal'' staging post in advance of a war on Iraq.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``We share the view of those at the Shannon Peace Camp that the use of Shannon Airport to build up forces in the Middle East in advance of a war on Iraq is immoral, unconstitutional, and illegal without Dáil assent. It also goes against the wishes of the majority of Irish people.

``The Government is now clearly guilty of active participation in preparations for war, and in breach of Irish neutrality. One of the main reasons why successive generations of Irish people fought for independence was so that we would no longer be embroiled in Britain s imperial wars. Now an Irish Government seeks to embroil us in the new imperialism as represented by the drive to war by the US and British governments. As republicans, we will redouble our demands for the immediate cessation of overflights and landings of foreign military aircraft en route to war, and for the Dáil to debate this very serious issue as a matter of urgency.

``Sinn Fein has formally joined the Irish anti-war effort, and we will continue to support the building of a popular mass mobilisation against the Government s complicity in war preparations. We firmly believe that this Government must be held accountable for its actions. Sinn Fein will leave them in no doubt that they are not acting in the peoples name or interests by allowing Shannon Airport to be used as a staging post to an unjust war.''

Deputy Ó Snodaigh concluded by saying ``we were encouraged by the large turnout for the protest last Saturday in Shannon and especially the massive protests that took place around the globe and in the US itself.  The protests in the US put pay to some of the more mischievous comments that have sought to define the anti-war movement as anti-American.''

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