Sinn Féin - On Your Side

West Belfast Sinn Féin representatives call for the release and repatriation of MV Saoirse passengers

9 November, 2011 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey and Pat Sheehan MLA have called on Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore to ensure the Israeli authorities expedite the repatriation of the passengers of the MV Saoirse including two of their constituents John Mallon and Phil McCullough.

The West Belfast MP met both families on the day of their relatives illegal arrests and has been in contact with the Friends of Palestine Belfast group on a regular basis with updates.

Paul Maskey said:

“I have been contacted by the family of John Mallon and Phil McCullough, two West Belfast passengers who were on board the Gaza bound MV Saoirse and are being held by Israel.

“Eamon Gilmore needs to do more to ensure safe return of the Irish citizens who were illegally seized in international waters and taken to Israel against their will. The 72 hour period that Israel said they would keep them in custody before releasing them has now passed yet they are still being held.

Local MLA Pat Sheehan said:

“Israel seem intent on playing games regards the repatriation of those passengers they illegally took hostage. Israel was wrong in the first place and the Irish Government must impress upon Israel that their citizens be repatriated immediately.”

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