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Martin Ferris appointment to Agriculture Committee - Victory says Ó Caoláin

25 October, 2007

Sinn Féin TD and Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has this afternoon described Deputy Martin Ferris appointment to the Agriculture and Food Oireachtas Committee as a victory for democracy. Government Chief Whip Tom Kitt reversed his decision to exclude Deputy Ferris from Dáil committee membership following an angry and impassioned intervention by Deputy Ó Caoláin during this morning Dáil business.  


Deputy Ó Caoláin said:


“Despite the governments best efforts to exclude Sinn Féin from the committee work of the Oireachtas we have now secured committee membership for all Sinn Fein Deputy’s.


“We had the shameful scenario of individual Dáil Deputies being proposed for two and three committees. In addition some committees were to be extended from 11 to 13 places to facilitate extra places for other opposition TD membership.


“This morning during Dáil business I demanded that the government Chief Whip Tom Kitt reverse his decision to exclude my colleague Martin Ferris from committee membership. I insisted on equality of treatment for all elected voices and parties in the Dáil chamber and highlighted that scrutiny of the working of democracy in this house is judged on how the smaller groupings are treated.


“Sinn Fein Deputy’s are elected representatives of the Oireachtas and as such have a right to committee membership. We have a record of committee work and attendance that is second to none. I welcome that Tom Kitt has recognised this work and reversed his original decision.


“Sinn Féin intends to hold this government to account each and every day. We will continue over the coming weeks to fight for membership of the Health and Justice Committees as is our right.” CRÍOCH


Note to Editor:


Sinn Féin Committee membership details:-

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin – Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Committee

Arthur Morgan – Enterprise Committee

Aengus Ó Snodaigh – EU Scrutiny Committee

Martin Ferris – Agriculture and Food Committee

Pearse Doherty – Rural, Community and Gaeltacht Affairs



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