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Government must facilitate meeting between Sarkozy and Sinn Féin

16 July, 2008

Sinn Féin No to Lisbon Campaign Director Padraig MacLochlainn has this morning again urged the Irish government to facilitate a meeting between Sinn Féin, the leading voice of the No to Lisbon Campaign, and EU President Nicloas Sarkozy when he visits Ireland next week. Mr. MacLochlainn welcomed “the government’s comments this morning that Sinn Féin has taken a constructive and sensible approach to this debate and it is in this context that we again ask the government to facilitate the meeting.”  

Cllr. MacLochlainn said:

“Mr. Sarkozy’s comment yesterday that Ireland must hold a second referendum on Lisbon illustrates the need for the Irish government to facilitate a meeting between Sinn Féin and EU President Nicloas Sarkozy on his visit to Dublin next week.

“To date the Irish government has not exampled an appetite for properly dealing with the Irish peoples rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. A number of key concerns in the areas of democracy, militarism and neutrality, workers rights and public services were consistently raised throughout the campaign.

“Sinn Féin recognises that Ireland must work with its European partners to overcome the current difficulties; however government must also accept its first responsibility is to the people of this state and it cannot allow Ireland to be bullied into a second referendum on a Treaty the people do not want.

“By the EUs own rules the Lisbon Treaty needs the ratification of all member states to proceed. So, the French President needs the Irish people. This is a strong bargaining chip for the Irish government to obtain a better deal for Ireland and Europe. They simply need to have the courage of leadership to do so.

“Following a meeting with the French Ambassador last week Sinn Féin has sought a meeting with Mr. Sarkozy through the Taoiseach’s office when he visits Ireland next week. As the only voice in the No campaign with Oireachtas representation and of course our negotiation background we believe such a meeting would be productive for the French President and would also be an expression of good faith by both the government and the EU to their commitment to listen to the Irish people.

“Sinn Féin continues to be ambitious for Europe. Ireland and Europe deserve a better deal.” ENDS

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