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Irish aid ship to Gaza sabotaged – Mac Lochlainn calls on Taoiseach to demand answers from the Israeli Prime Minister

30 June, 2011 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Following reports from the crew of MV Saoirse, the Irish aid ship to Gaza, that their boat has been maliciously and recklessly sabotaged, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, TD, has called on An Taoiseach to immediately demand answers from the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn stated that if the assertions of the peace activists on board are proven correct then those responsible are guilty of sabotage and of the "reckless endangerment" of the lives Irish citizens.

He said:

“After speaking to my party colleague Councillor Gerry Mac Lochlainn last night I was shocked to learn about this very serious incident. It is very clear that Gerry and the rest of the crew on the MV Saoirse are convinced that their boat has been sabotaged and that their lives were put at risk and most likely by agents of the Isreali state.

“This act of what appears to be sabotage to the propeller shaft of the Irish aid ship, the MV Saoirse, was designed to ensure that the ship failed at sea and indeed with potentially catastrophic consequences. I am advised that if the ship was travelling at full speed, the damage to the propeller shaft would have resulted in the ship sinking and the real potential of a loss of life to those on board.

“If the peace activists are correct in their assertion then those responsible are guilty of the reckless endangerment of the lives of Irish citizens and I expect An Taoiseach to respond in kind by demanding answers from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the likely event that the Israeli Government refuse to provide answers, then the Department of Foreign Affairs must oversee an immediate investigation of this outrage in cooperation with the Turkish Government.

“The Irish Government has a solemn responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens and the only party with an obvious interest in sabotaging this boat and recklessly endangering the lives of those on board are the Israeli Government".

He continued:

“While it is now unlikely that the MV Saoirse can complete its mission, some of those on board, including Councillor Gerry Mac Lochlainn will be able to complete their aid mission. They will travel on towards Gaza on board other ships within the flotilla. From my conversations last night it is clear that their spirits remain high and their resolve to complete their aid mission unshaken.

“If the Israeli Government believes that they can silence those Irish and International peace activists on board the flotilla, then they are badly mistaken.”


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