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Sinn Féin will campaign against citizenship referendum

18 April, 2004


Sinn Féin to campaign against citizenship referendum

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh speaking following a meeting of the party‚s Ard Chomhairle in Dublin this weekend announced that Sinn Féin will be campaigning against the citizenship referendum and is calling on the government not to go ahead with it on June 11th. He said "this proposed referendum is an attack on human rights, will introduce racism into the campaign and has the potential to undermine efforts to rebuild the peace process."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"There was an extensive discussion at the Ard Chomhairle this weekend on the government's proposed citizenship referendum and the negative impact that their proposals would have across Irish society. The Ard Chomhairle criticised the government's proposals as opportunistic and irresponsible and unanimously endorsed a recommendation that we oppose this referendum and call on the government not to go ahead with it on June 11th.

"Sinn Féin opposes the holding of this referendum on a number of grounds. It is an attack on human rights and will introduce racism to the upcoming election campaign. It also involves a unilateral change to the Good Friday Agreement, something that has implications for the Agreement itself and has the potential to undermine efforts to rebuild the peace process.

"The issues at the heart of this referendum are extremely complex. In addition to the legal, constitutional, and rights complexities, it is an issue that gets to the heart of how we, as a nation, define the basis of citizenship, and by extension how we want the Irish nation to grow and develop. It is crucial that this issue gets proper public consideration and debate. It is not something that should be cynically introduced into an election campaign at the 11th hour.

"Sinn Féin is calling on the government to cancel their proposed referendum and instead bring forward a positive policy on immigration, something which is long overdue."ENDS

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