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Morgan welcomes decision to consult Attorney General

19 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Arthur Morgan TD, has welcomed the decision by the Government to refer the Maritime Security Bill to the Attorney General for advice on the possible implications that the legislation might have for those involved in industrial action and other forms of protest. Minister for State at the Department of the Marine, John Browne, made the announcement after concerns on this issue had been raised during the debate by Deputies Morgan and Ferris.

At the conclusion of the Second Stage Debate, Minister Browne said: "Deputies Morgan and Ferris asked if the Bill could be used in cases involving industrial action or a protest against states or businesses. Advice has been sought from the Office of the Attorney General on these points, to which we will return at Committee Stage."

Deputy Morgan said:

"While this legislation is designed to embody a UN Convention to tackle terrorism at sea, both Deputy Ferris and I raised concerns that some of its provisions could be used against people engaged in industrial action and other legitimate protest. I am pleased to see that Minister Browne agrees that this is something that needs to be clarified and we will await the response of the Attorney General before deciding whether we need to address the issue through amendments at Committee Stage." ENDS

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