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Taoiseach must address extraordinary rendition issue with President Obama - Ó Caoláin

11 February, 2009


Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Taoiseach Brian Cowen if he had addressed the issue of extraordinary rendition when he spoke to US President Barack Obama.  Deputy Ó Caoláin called on the Taoiseach to address the issue with a view to introducing a new regime of inspection at Shannon Airport to be agreed between the new US administration and Ireland.

 

He said, “In the context of President Obama's day one announcement of his intention to close the Guantanamo detention centre and all matters emanating from that, during the course of his telephone conversation, did the Taoiseach address the issue of extraordinary rendition and how it has applied to Ireland, and, specifically, at Shannon Airport?  Will he address the issue in the course of an upcoming engagement with the US President in the context of his stated intent.  Will we now see a new regime of inspection agreed to between the US Administration and Ireland?"

 

Deputy Ó Caoláin also asked the Taoiseach to address with President Obama, in a serious and focused way, the issue of the undocumented Irish in the United States.

 

He said, “Does the Taoiseach expect to have a meaningful engagement with the President and to have the opportunity to address, in a serious and focused way, the issue of the undocumented Irish in the United States?  All sides of this House share concern on this issue.  There is a critical need to start ratcheting up pressure with regard to this matter.  It drifted during the former President's terms and this has caused huge hurt and anguish for Irish people in the United States, and for their families here at home.  I presume we are all conscious of this.” ENDS

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