[Sinn Fein]

26th January 2003

Government position on Shannon Airport is ``an act of political and moral cowardice''

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Aengus Ó Snodaigh has described reports that the Minister for Transport Seamus Brennan has authorised the transportation of munitions of war through Shannon Airport as a ``corruption of the democratic will of the Irish people'' and ``an act of political and moral cowardice''.

Speaking after several Sunday newspapers reported that the Minister had only this week authorised the transportation of the munitions Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``It's becoming very clear that Irish laws were systematically broken with the connivance of the Government during the weeks and months prior to Seamus Brennan giving this authorisation. That he done so in secret without any publicity or fanfare or without the approval of the Dáil is a clear indication that this Government is out of step with the electorate on this very important issue.

``The Governments position on allowing Shannon Airport to be used by the US military in preparing for war on Iraq is a corruption of the democratic will of the Irish people. The prostitution of our neutrality by Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and now Seamus Brennan makes it obvious that those who voted Yes during the Nice Treaty referendum on the basis that neutrality would be protected were conned on a large scale.

``This move by the Fianna Fáil/PD coalition is a dishonest act of political and moral cowardice that clearly goes against the wishes of the majority of Irish people and must be reversed.'' ENDS

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