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Ó Snodaigh meets Human Rights Commission on savage budget cuts

29 October, 2008 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Sinn Féin Equality and Human Rights Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh today met with the Human Rights Commission in Leinster House to discuss the implications the budget cuts will have on their work. Speaking afterwards he said it is clear that one consequence of the budget cuts is that the state will fail to live up to its Equality and Human Rights obligations under the Good Friday Agreement.

He said, "In the wake of devastating budget cuts in the area of equality and human rights I met with the Human Rights Commission today in Leinster House. Following frank discussions it is clear to me that the budget cuts in this area will have a devastating impact on the crucial work carried out by the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority. The cuts will greatly undermine their ability to deliver on their respective programmes of work.

"I again reiterate Sinn Féin's assertion that the implications of this budget are akin to the ill-advised merger of the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority which the Government had previously proposed. This amounts to an attempt by the Government to silence critical voices.

"I am appealing once again to the Minister to reverse these budget cuts. The recession must not be used as an excuse to dismantle what is recognised as a world class human rights and equality infrastructure.

"The work of both the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority will be severely undermined and as a consequence this state will fail to live up to its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement.

"I will shortly be bringing forward legislation in the Dáil which seeks to protect these groups from this sort of attack by making them accountable to the Dáil rather than to a single Minister." ENDS

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