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Government stifling opposition voices – Cullinane

12 July, 2011

The government is incapable of tolerating dissent, and is determined to stifle any voices that disturb their cosy consensus, according to Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane.

His comments follow the visit of President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek to the Oireachtas. He addressed the Seanad this afternoon, where Sinn Féin was the sole grouping which didn’t have the opportunity to address Mr Buzek.

“The decision of the government, through the Committee on Privileges and Procedure, is absurd and makes a mockery of the Government’s supposed commitment to political reform. Sinn Féin is the second largest opposition party in the Oireachtas, yet we were denied the opportunity to speak.

“While this is at least partially related to the continued isolation and marginalisation of Sinn Féin within the Seanad, I also believe that the Government wanted to ensure that all speakers were singing off the same hymn sheet. Sinn Féin is the one major party that is fighting for the rights of ordinary Irish tax payers in Europe, and the government did not want to be embarrassed lest we strike a more challenging note.’

“The government has regularly stated its commitment to political reform, yet today, and indeed on an on-going basis, they have sought to exclude Sinn Féin’s voice despite our mandate, because we don’t fit in to their consensus. This to me shows an intolerance of dissent, and a determination to stifle oppositional voices.” ENDS

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