Government must condemn Spanish police violence against peaceful referendum voters - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Speaking from the Ministry of Education in Barcelona, Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin has called on ‘The Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs to condemn this morning’s policy violence against peaceful referendum voters in Catalonia’.
Deputy Ó Broin is with Lynn Boylan MEP, Martina Anderson MEP and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh as part of an international delegation of parliamentarians observing today’s independence referendum.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“This morning we have been traveling around various polling stations. Every station has seen huge crowds of people arriving early and waiting to cast their votes.
“A number of polling stations have been raided by the Spanish National Policy who have seized ballots and boxes.
“At one location police fired plastic bullets and what appear to have been live rounds at crowds of peaceful protestors.
“I spoke to one man who was badly beaten by the police during a peaceful sit down intended to protect the ballot boxes and voting process.
“I also met the Catalan Education Minister Clara Posantí whose Department is being used as a polling station. She described how Spanish Policy forced their way into the building earlier and seized a single empty ballot box. However once they left voting resumed.
“The level of police violence against voters, election officials and peaceful protectors is truly remarkable. Whatever ones view of the referendum itself there is simply no justification for this mornings violence.
“The actions of the Spanish police stand is stark contrast to the thousands of Catalans I have seen today patiently and peacefully trying to exercise their right to vote.
“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney must publicly condemn this mornings violence and call on the Spanish Government to allow the people in Catalonia to conduct their democratic rights in peace.”