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Framework document for partnership talks must be published ahead of Dáil economy debate – Ó Caoláin

27 January, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, speaking this afternoon as the Dáil returned, called on the Government to publish the framework document for the negotiations on a new partnership deal ahead of the debate in the Dáil tomorrow.

Deputy Ó Caoláin also outlined his party's priorities for the coming Dáil term.

He said, "The Dáil is due to hold a major debate tomorrow on the economy at which the Taoiseach is expected to make a state of the nation address. However, the detail of the framework document which is due to go to the social partners today is not known to most TDs or the public at large.

"In order to ensure an informed debate is held over the course of tomorrow and Thursday the Government must publish the framework document which will form the basis of the partnership negotiations.

"The Economy will remain the top priority for all parties in this coming Dáil term and will be the focus of much debate. It is essential that all parties work constructively towards a solution to our current economic problems.

"Our Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan will certainly be making this the focus of his attention in the current Dáil term.

"My priority as Health Spokesperson will be the battle against Government attempts to use the economic crisis as an excuse to sacrifice our public health services.

"Sinn Féin's Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh will continue his safer communities campaign with a focus on ensuring that the Garda budget is used in the most cost effective way to better serve the community. Deputy Ó Snodaigh and all Sinn Féin representatives will also continue to support the people of Gaza as they attempt to rebuild their lives after Israel's latest onslaught of the region.

"Martin Ferris TD will present a major report to the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on the survival of farming and fishing in the West of Ireland while Senator Pearse Doherty will continue his campaign to overcome social and economic inequality in the West.

"Of course Sinn Féin will be preparing itself to fight against any renewed referendum on the Lisbon Treaty which was so roundly defeated last June and our Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald will focussing her efforts on that campaign.

"Preparations for upcoming electoral battles including the EU elections, local Government elections and Dáil by-elections are all on the agenda for the coming term also." ENDS

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