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Citizenship referendum on June 11th should be cancelled

13 April, 2004

Sinn Féin EU candidate for the North West Pearse Doherty speaking at an Easter Commemoration in North Belfast this afternoon called on the Irish Government to cancel plans to hold the proposed citizenship referendum on June 11th. He was speaking following this morning's intervention by the Head of the Human Rights Commission in the south, Dr. Maurice Manning.

Mr. Doherty said:

"It is clear that there is widespread opposition to government attempts to rush through their proposed citizenship referendum without time for proper consultation and debate. It is also clear that the Government have not thought through the consequences of their proposals either in terms of the Good Friday Agreement or the human rights of those born in this country.

This is a complex and sensitive issue and should not be used for short term electoral gain. Sinn Féin opposes this proposed referendum and we oppose the matter being rushed through without proper debate.

"The government should cancel their proposed referendum and instead bring forward a positive policy on immigration, something which is long overdue."ENDS

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