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Merger of Equality and Human Rights groups goes against the grain of the Good Friday Agreement – Ó Snodaigh

8 September, 2008

Entering the debate on the Government's proposal to merge the Human Rights Commission, the Equality Authority, the Equality Tribunal, the National Disability Authority, and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD described the proposal as an unjustifiable roll-back on the Government's Good Friday Agreement Commitments.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Sinn Féin is resolutely opposed to the merger proposed by government. The Human Rights Commission is a Good Friday Agreement body. Likewise, the Equality Authority is essential to the delivery of the equality protections equivalence provisions contained in Strand three of the Agreement.

"At a time when the Irish government should be emphasising the importance of delivery to the peace process they are instead contemplating an unjustifiable roll-back.

"In considering their responses to government the affected human rights and equality bodies should be alert to the broad stakeholder support that exists for these bodies to remain intact. This support is evidenced by the coming together today of over 40 civil society groups under the banner of the Equality and Rights Alliance with the aim of enhancing equality and human rights protections and preventing the proposed merger." ENDS

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