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Government's contempt for electorate exposed by Referendum briefings with British

20 April, 2004


Sinn Féin Dáil Leader Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD today accused the Irish Government of "breathtaking arrogance" in discussing with the British Government their plans for the Citizenship referendum after they failed to consult the political representatives of the Irish electorate north or south on their plans. He said it "displays an absolute contempt not only for the democratic process in Ireland but also for the electorate of this island." Deputy Ó Caoláin was responding to the issuing of a joint declaration on the referendum by the two Governments last night.

The TD for Cavan/Monaghan said, "The breathtaking arrogance of this Government is growing at an alarming rate every day. Their cavalier and dismissive attitude to very real concerns raised by all the political parties on this island in relation to this ill-conceived and ill-informed referendum stand in stark contrast to the considered discussions they held with the British Government on the matter.

"And contrary to what Mary Harney or Michael McDowell may want people to believe, they have not engaged in any meaningful way with other political parties on this very sensitive issue. Neither have they sought to address it in a compassionate and reasonable manner.

"The Irish Government's latest dalliance with the British Government, over the heads of the political representatives of the Irish people, displays an absolute

contempt not only for the democratic process in Ireland but also for the electorate of the whole island." ENDS

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