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Reilly says Oireachtas sub-committee on Austerity Treaty is “navel gazing”

29 March, 2012


Sinn Féin’s EU Affairs Spokesperson Senator Kathryn Reilly had called the EU Affairs sub-committee’s planned activities on the Austerity Treaty a prime example of “navel gazing.”

Speaking after details emerged of the EU Committee’s plans to meet over Easter with experts, civil society representatives and MEPs Reilly said:

“Enda Kenny committed to using the Oireachtas to promote debate on the issues in the austerity treaty and that was welcomed by Sinn Féin. What we see now is that that commitment has not been followed through on. What is needed is an open public discussion involving citizens across the state in forums where they can put forward their views and question public representatives, experts and civil society leaders on the facts and details of this treaty. Citizens should be empowered to learn about this treaty and what it means for them and their communities and families. Instead what is proposed is an in-house exercise in navel gazing.

“What we should be doing is properly engaging with citizens and listening to them. In-house meetings with the usual suspects and foreign politicians serve no purpose in informing or motivating our citizens. This treaty is too important to be left to the politicians. Sinn Féin will take our arguments to the people and debate this treaty on its merits or lack of them and we challenge other politicians to do the same and to come out of the comfort zone of Leinster House and into the real world and defend this dilution of Irish sovereignty and enshrinement of austerity into our constitution.”

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