Doherty wins first step in legal battle to force government to hold by election
Speaking today after the High Court granted him leave for a judicial review over the failure to hold the Donegal South West by election, Sinn Féin Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty said this was an important first step in the battle to force the government to hold the by election.
Doherty said that he had been compelled to take the case because the denial of equal representation to the people of Donegal South West was unacceptable and it had become clear that the government had no intention of holding the by election.
Senator Doherty said:
“First of all I would like to acknowledge the very real and acute tragedy that has unfolded over night in County Donegal. The devastating loss of eight people in a car crash is a tragedy of immense proportions, not just for the families and friends of those who have died, but for the wider close-knit community on the Inishowen peninsula. My sincere condolences and sympathies go out to all those affected. The hurt and anguish being felt in Donegal puts our efforts here today in to sharp relief.
“However, I welcome the fact that today the High Court has granted me leave for a judicial review into the failure to hold the Donegal South West by-election. This is a first step in the battle to force the government to hold the by-election. Given that the Government had twice voted down attempts by Sinn Féin to move the writ for the by election and has shown its determination to ride rough shod over the rights of the people of this constituency I felt compelled to take this case. This is not about who wins the by-election when it is eventually held – this is about standing up for the people of Donegal.
“The Constitution makes clear the right to equal representation. This is being denied to the people of Donegal South West where there has been a vacancy for over a year.
“Donegal has a history of being ignored by successive governments. Even during the Celtic tiger years it continued to experience levels of unemployment far above the state average. It has been left behind in terms of infrastructure and public services. The constituency has little hope of getting its fair share of much needed investment and jobs while it remains under represented.
“We should not have to use the courts to vindicate the rights of the people of this constituency but once again it is clear that the Government thinks it can get away with treating the people of Donegal like second class citizens.” ENDS