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Government must not put up employment obstacles to former political prisoners – Ellis

23 November, 2011 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the government to live up to the state’s commitments under the Good Friday Agreement to support the reintegration of former political prisoners and their pursuit of gainful employment.

 Deputy Ellis was speaking on his party’s amendment to the Road Transport Bill which would exclude convictions for politically motivated actions from obstacles to obtaining road transport operator licences or working for such licence holders.

 Deputy Ellis said;

 “The Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements which pushed forward the peace process committed the government to supporting former political prisoners in reintegrating into society, achieving educational qualifications and employment. Too many times legislation has been implemented since the agreement which has discriminated against former political prisoners.

 “These people are in most cases pillars of their community and are well respected and regarded. Despite all this, in many cases former political prisoners cannot obtain licences for certain types of business and an example is found in this bill in relation to Road Transport Operator licences.

 “Political prisoners took the risks to bring the peace process to where it is today they should not be penalised for this.” ENDS

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