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Doherty challenges Fine Gael's Taylor-Quinn to a debate on Neutrality

15 March, 2004

Sinn Féin North West EU candidate Pearse Doherty has this week challenged Fine Gael's Madeline Taylor-Quinn to a debate on neutrality. The challenge comes after Fine Gael's anti-neutrality Bill failed to get support in the Dail on March 10th 2004.

Speaking today, Mr Doherty said:

"I want to issue a direct challenge to Madeline Taylor-Quinn to a public debate on neutrality. This is an issue of huge importance and it is important that the people of the North and West have an opportunity to directly hear the positions of the parties on the matter. Last week in the Dáil Fine Gael introduced an anti-neutrality Bill, which failed to receive any support. This Bill included proposals to involve this state in the continuing militarisation of the EU and we led opposition to it in Leinster House.

"Sinn Féin believes that a full public discussion around neutrality is required.

"Our position on neutrality is clear. We want to see neutrality enshrined in the Constitution, we oppose the militarisation of the EU and we support a policy of positive neutrality in action. We will actively defend neutrality at every opportunity, against those who wish to draw us into conflicts, many of which are designed to serve the interests of big business, and the selfish and strategic interests of the EU's elites.

"I would like to debate these issues out with Madeline Taylor Quinn in the coming weeks and allow the people of this area the chance to have their say."ENDS

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