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Micheál Martin must respond to anti-traveller views of his party's councillor

12 February, 2013 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin Justice and Equality spokesperson, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has again called on Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to outline what measures his party intends to take following the comments from Donegal Fianna Fáil Councillor Sean McEniff on RTE's Morning Ireland, where he repeated his call for the segregation of travellers from settled communities.

The comments this morning follow the burning of a house yesterday in Ballyshannon owned by Donegal County Council that was to be allocated to a travelling family.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

“Since Cllr McEniff first made his disgraceful and reckless call a number of weeks ago, there has been a deafening silence from his party leader, Micheál Martin.

“This is an appalling lack of leadership by Fianna Fáil. When it comes to citizens’ rights that party clearly likes to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

“Last year, Fianna Fáil councillors blocked a motion before Donegal County Council in support of marriage equality for same sex couples even though Micheál Martin had weeks before chastised the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, across the Dáil chamber on Fine Gael's position on the issue. Not a word of criticism was issued publicly by Micheál Martin after his party's 11 councillors prevented Donegal County Council supporting the motion.

“It is not good enough for Micheál Martin or any other party spokesperson to state that these actions are the ‘personal positions’ of the councillors involved. They are not independents. They were all elected under the Fianna Fáil banner and Fianna Fáil must answer for their actions.”


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