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Protest greets Israeli Ambassador’s visit to Carrickmacross

29 January, 2010


Carrickmacross Sinn Féin Councillor, Matt Carthy, has criticised the Town Mayor, Fine Gael’s Mary Kerr Conlon, for hosting a civic reception for the Israeli ambassador, Zion Evrony, this morning, Friday 29th January.

Councillor Carthy said that at least four of the nine town councillors had expressed their opposition to the visit and it should have been cancelled. Indeed no other member of the council, apart from the Mayor herself attended the proceedings.

The ambassador was met by a protest of over thirty locals and was confronted by local representatives including Cllr. Carthy and his colleague, Noel Keelan who is the Deputy Mayor of Carrickmacross. Also in attendance was the Mayor of Monaghan Town Council, Seán Conlon and the former Workers Party Mayor of Carrickmacross, Francie O’Donoghue.

Speaking after the protest Cllr. Carthy, who himself is a former Mayor of both Carrickmacross Town Council and Monaghan County Council, said that the current Fine Gael Mayor should be ashamed of herself for hosting a civic reception for someone who simply wasn’t welcome in Carrickmacross.

Cllr. Carthy said: “The Mayor’s actions in this regard are disgraceful. Carrickmacross does not want to be associated in any way with the Israeli government which has been condemned for engaging in war crimes by numerous international organisations and has repeatedly refused to abide by International Court and UN decisions.

“For Carrickmacross Town Council to be associated with this ‘rogue government’ is an affront to the Palestinian people who, only one year ago, were the subject of an unrelenting aerial and ground attack by Israeli forces in their Operation Cast Lead. That operation saw upwards of 1,400 Palestinians killed; more than 400,000 Gazans were left without running water; 4,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged and tens of thousands of people were left homeless.

“At the next meeting of Carrickmacross Town Council I will be proposing that any costs associated with this mornings civic reception are not paid by the council, that the page in our ‘distinguished visitors book’ signed by Zion Evrony this morning be removed and that the council write to the Israeli embassy stating that any further visit will not be welcome.

“The Israeli government, who Zion Evrony represents here in Ireland, have never accepted their responsibility in targeting schools, homes, hospitals and civilians in their attacks. Indeed they have tried to cover up the use of horrific and illegal white phosphorous shells in the attack.

“Even since then they have maintained their siege of the region ensuring that poverty, malnutrition and unemployment is endemic and that hospitals aren’t adequately equipped, that electricity blackouts occur regularly, that the sewerage system can’t operate, that schools have no supplies and that over 80% of the population are dependent on UN food aid to survive and that industry has ground to a halt with no access to markets and no supplies or replacement equipment. They have denied access to the market for Palestinian products from both the West Bank and Gaza regions.

“Mr. Evrony’s government continue the land grab and the building of their ‘apartheid wall’ around the Palestinian Territories and while these actions continue no council in Ireland should wish to be associated with them.

“Unfortunately Mayor Kerr Conlon decided to proceed with this morning’s civic reception despite being informed of the objections of at least four of her colleagues which I believe are shared by the majority of people in our town. She should apologise for her actions.” ENDS

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