[Sinn Fein]

23rd January 2003

Sinn Fein expresses ``deep disappointment'' at Supreme Court judgement that will ``encourage racism''

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Justice and Equality Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has expressed his ``deep disappointment'' at the ruling by the Supreme Court, which has cleared the way for the Government to deport non-Irish parents of Irish children. The Dublin South Central TD said the judgement made second-class citizens of some Irish children and would ``encourage racism''.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``This ruling by the Supreme Court is a deep disappointment to all of us who value the fundamental equal rights of all Irish children and indeed equality amongst citizens. Rather than cherishing all the children of the nation equally the judgement in effect makes second-class citizens of some Irish children because of the ethnicity of their parents. I believe this will encourage racism in that it will give succour to those who feel that Irish children born to people of a different ethnic background are somehow less Irish.

Sinn Fein believes that all Irish children are equal, regardless of parentage. We believe all Irish children are entitled to the care and company of their families as a right. The law must reflect this.'' ENDS

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