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Hysteria over May Day celebrations a bogus crisis created to try and suppress legitimate protest

29 April, 2004

Speaking at the opening of the National Forum on Europe this morning, Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald said the hysteria over the May Day celebrations was "a bogus crisis generated by the government to suppress legitimate protest".

Ms McDonald also called on the Irish government not to 'go with the flow' on the draft EU Constitution. She said the draft Constitution will merely serve to accelerate a euro super-state, accountable to no one but the EU power elites.

The event entitled "Will the Draft EU Constitutional Treaty change the balance of power between Brussels and Member State"‚ is being held in the Great Hall of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin, at 10.30am. The Forum will deal specifically with the relationship between Member States and the EU institutions, such as the Commission, Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

Speaking before the event, Ms McDonald said:

"The attitude of the government, Gardaí and certain sections of the media surrounding the May Day celebrations are nothing more than a bogus crisis generated to suppress legitimate protest. The government have hyped these events out of all proportion in order to create fear and intimidate people into not paricipating in the May Day events. People have a right to voice their concerns over the current direction of the EU, and no amount of intimidation should prevent people from protesting in a democracy.

"At today's meeting of the National Forum Sinn Féin will address the serious and fundamental flaws of the current EU model. We have argued consistently that the institutions of the EU do not reflect the aspirations and concerns of European citizens. On the whole the EU institutions, are solely responsive to big business and the powerful nations of the EU.

"The Draft Constitution in its current form, will lead to a greater erosion of national sovereignty, and propel this state even closer towards an EU superstate with its own army. The forging of an EU Common Foreign and Security Policy is a prime example of this. In many areas of policy, EU laws will have primacy over national law.

"The current direction of the EU is not inevitable. It can and should be changed. Once again, Sinn Féin calls upon the Irish Presidency to use its influence to support an EU which protects its citizens and endorse a Constitution which places the sovereignty of member states at its core." ENDS

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