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Book of Condolence for the people of Palestine opened in Newry Sinn Féin Office

6 January, 2009

Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin today opened a book of condolence for the murdered people of Palestine. The official opening which took place at the party's office in Newry was attended by local councillors as well as Newry and Armagh MLAs, Mickey Brady and Conor Murphy MP.

Commenting on the launch Conor Murphy said,

"There is widespread anger and disgust at the actions that are taking place in Palestine as we speak. The Israeli ground offensive in Gaza, while widely anticipated will be greeted with horror around the world. The latest development marks a further escalation of the onslaught endured by the people of Gaza for the past week. As the death toll reaches 540, hospitals are struggling to cope with the more than 2,000 injured. The United Nations has advised that there is a growing shortage of basic foodstuffs and fresh water because of damage to the infrastructure in Gaza. This is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis."

A motion was also put forward last night in Newry and Mourne Council calling for a book of condolence to be opened in Newry Town Hall and for a minute silence to be held in honour of the victims of this conflict. Sinn Féin Council Leader, Brendan Curran who tabled the motion expressed his disappointment after the motion was defeated.

Cllr. Curran said,

"As people watch the death toll rise daily in Palestine I am aware of the depth of feeling and sympathy that the people of this area have for the Palestinians. I am disappointed that although the SDLP seemed to be in support of this motion they then sided with Unionism in order to defeat it. In the past there have been many books of condolence opened by the Council for a number of people varying from Princess Diana and the Queen Mother to 9/11 and the London bombings. I feel that the Council should have sent the same sympathies to the families of the 540 people killed in Palestine."

Books of Condolence are can be signed at the Sinn Féin offices in Newry, Crossmaglen and Armagh City.

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