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Government must end foot-dragging on Six County representation in Dáil

10 February, 2004

Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP has welcomed the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's commitment in the Dáíl this afternoon to support Six County representation in the Houses of the Oireachtas within the timeframe of this Dáil, but called for an end to the foot-dragging that has characterised progress on the matter in recent years. The Taoiseach was speaking in response to a question from Sinn Féin Dáil Group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

Mr. Doherty said:

"This afternoon's statement from the Taoiseach supporting Six County representation in the Oireachtas in the life of this Dáil is welcome. However, we need to see an end to the foot-dragging that has characterised progress on this issue over recent years. We need to see concrete and early progress and the Taoiseach needs to make it a priority for the Government Chief Whip Mary Hannifan to ensure it happens.

"The issue of northern representation has been subject to delay after delay by this and the last coalition government. It is now almost five years since the Government made a commitment to look at this issue and two years since the all-Ireland Committee on the Constitution published its report. This is an important part of the peace process and given the ongoing suspension of political institutions in the Six Counties it is critical that speedy progress is made." ENDS

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