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Sinn Féin MEPs make historic first address to European Parliament

21 July, 2004


Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún (north of Ireland) and Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin) made their historic first address to the European Parliament this morning. Both MEPs contributed to the debate on the Irish Presidency and set out Sinn Fein's vision for the future direction of the EU. Speaking today, both MEPs said:

"Our election to the European Parliament represents another huge step for Sinn Fein. We have representatives elected to political institutions throughout Ireland - the Dáil, Six County Assembly, and local councils. We are proud to represent our voters in the European Parliament and pledge to use this forum to advance the Irish Peace Process and set out our vision for a social Europe built upon equality and the protection of the fundamental rights of its citizens.

Ms de Brun said in her speech:

"Sinn Fein stands for change in Ireland and across the EU and we look forward to working with others who want to see a Europe of equals and a globally responsible EU.

"In Ireland we are engaged in a peace process to which the European Union, the United States and others have contributed greatly. I welcome the Council's call for the Commission to examine the possibility of extending funds for PEACE II and the International Fund for Ireland. I would ask the Dutch Presidency and my colleagues here to focus on the Irish peace process."

In her speech, Ms McDonald said:

"I would like to acknowledge the work of the Irish Presidency, which had much to contend with in the last six months and to wish the new Dutch Presidency well.

"Sinn Féin believes that the enlarged EU must adopt a new set of priorities. We oppose attempts to turn the EU into a superstate or a military and economic superpower. We support EU reform which gives power back to the people, the elimination of poverty, support for public services, revitalised rural economies, reform and strengthening of the United Nations. ENDS.

Full text of both speeches

Inaugural address to the European Parliament by Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin

Mary Lou McDonald

A Uachtaráin, a Uachtaráin in oifig, a Thaoisigh,

Tá mé mórálach as a bheith anseo inniu mar chuid de chéad-fhoireann Shinn Féin i bParlaimint na hEorpa. (Mr President,Mr President-in Office, Taoiseach I am proud to be here today as part of the first Sinn Féin team in the European Parliament.)

As Irish republicans, following in the tradition of Bobby Sands MP, we are committed to the politics of equality, justice and freedom. We bring Sinn Féin's agenda for change, for Irish unity and independence to this forum.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the Irish Presidency, which had much to contend with in the last six months and to wish the new Dutch Presidency well.

Sinn Féin believes that the enlarged EU must adopt a new set of priorities. We oppose attempts to turn the EU into a superstate or a military and economic superpower. We support EU reform which gives power back to the people, the elimination of poverty, support for public services, revitalised rural economies, reform and strengthening of the United Nations.

This, we believe is the new direction for Europe. This is the EU that we will work towards.

Óráid bhunaithe Mary Lou McDonald, Feisire Eorpach Shinn Féin Bhaile Átha Cliath, do Pharlaimint na hEorpa

A Uachtaráin, a Fheisirí, a Thaoisigh,

Tá mé mórálach as a bheith anseo inniu mar chuid de chéad-fhoireann Shinn Féin i bParlaimint na hEorpa.

Ionann is cúig bliana is fiche ó shin, arsa Bobby Sands, poblachtánach Éireannach, ar chéad lá a stailce ocrais, "Tá mé i mo sheasamh ar thairseach dhomhain chreathaí eile." Inniu, seasann Sinn Féin ar thairseach dhomhain úir agus muidne ag feidhmiú ar son na hÉireann ina hiomlán, thuaidh agus theas, don chéad uair, i Parlaimint na hEorpa. Táimid ag súil go mór le clár athraithe Shinn Féin a thógáil chuig an fhóram seo agus le clár leanúnach athaontú agus neamhspleáchas na hÉireann a chur ar aghaidh.

Ba mhaith liom saothar Uachtarántacht na hÉireann a aithint agus í faoi bhrúanna le sé mhí anuas agus ba mhaith liom ádh a bhronnadh ar

Uachtarántacht na hÍsiltíre.

Creideann Sinn Féin go gcaithfidh an tAontas méadaithe Eorpach bailiúchán úr de thosaíochtaí a tharraingt chuige laistigh de theorainneacha an Aontais féin agus sa domhan lasmuigh. Táimid in éadan na n-iarrachtaí atá ar siúl faoi láthair ollstát nó ollchumhacht eacnamaíochta nó mhíliteach a dhéanamh den Aontas. In áit é sin a dhéanamh, tacaíonn muid le hathchóiriú an Aontais Eorpaigh, leis an chumhacht a thabhairt ar ais don phobal, le cealú na bochtaineachta, le tacaíocht a thabhairt do na seirbhísí poiblí, le

treoracha chomhionannais níos láidre, le h-athbheochaint gheilleagar na tuaithe agus le h-athchóiriú agus neartú na Náisiúin Aontaithe leis an cheartas agus leis an tsíocháin a chur ar aghaidh ar fud an domhain.

Ní Eoraip dho-shaonta í Eoraip an lae inniu. Is féidir í a athrú agus ba chóir í a athrú.

Inaugural address to the European Parliament by Sinn Féin MEP for the Six Counties Bairbre de Brún

A Uachtaráin, a Uachtaráin in oifig, a Thaoisigh,

Seasann Sinn Féin ar son an athraithe in Éirinn agus ar fud an Aontais Eorpaigh. Táimid ag dúil le bheith ag obair leo siúd ar mhaith leo Eoraip chothrom a fheiceáil, Eoraip dhomhanda fhreagrach (Mr President, Mr President-in-office,Taoiseach. Sinn Fein stands for change in Ireland and across the EU and we look forward to working with others who want to see a Europe of equals and a globally responsible EU. )

I look forward to building support for the Irish Peace Process and Irish unity and independence. It makes sense for all of Ireland to be treated as one whether in employment, agriculture or human rights and equality

In Ireland we are engaged in a peace process to which the European Union, the United States and others have contributed greatly. I welcome the Council's call for the Commission to examine extending funds for PEACE II and the International Fund for Ireland.

Despite much progress, the peace process in Ireland faces great difficulties with the democratic institutions suspended. Just last week people in my home city of Belfast were penned into their communities while a sectarian unionist parade was forced through.

Iarraim ar Uachtarántacht na hIsiltíre agus ar mo chomhghleacaithe anseo díriú ar phróiseas síochána na hÉireann (I would ask the Dutch Presidency and my colleagues here to focus on the Irish peace process. )

Óráid bhunaithe Bairbre de Brún, Feisire Eorpach Shinn Féin sna Sé Chontae, do Pharlaimint na hEorpa

A Uachtaráin, a Fheisirí, a Thaoisigh,

Tá áthas mór orm a bheith anseo inniu in éineacht le mó chomhleacaí, Mary Lou McDonald.

Seasann Sinn Féin ar son an athraithe in Éirinn agus ar fud an Aontais Eorpaigh agus táimid ag tnúth le bheith ag obair leo siúd laistigh agus lasmuigh den Pharlaimint a theastaíonn uathu Eoraip chothrom a fheiceáil, Eoraip dhomhanda fhreagrach a bhfuil an ceartas eacnamaíochta agus an ceartas sóisialta mar bhunchloch aici. Ar an dóigh sin, caithfidh muid deimhin a dhéanamh de go gcuirfear spriocanna Chuspóir Fhorbartha na Mílaoise i gcrích, spriocanna a bhaineann le dul-i-ngleic leis an bhochtaineacht dhomhanda.

Ina theannta sin, táimid ag súil le tacaíocht a thógáil do Phróiseas na Síochána in Éirinn agus d'athaontú agus neamhspleáchas na hÉireann. Is ciallmhar an rud é a bheith ag plé le cúrsaí na hÉireann ar bhonn uile Éireannach, is cuma an leis an fhostaíocht nó an talmhaíocht, le cearta daonna nó leis an chomhionannas an fhadhb.

In Éirinn, chomh maith, tá Próiseas Síochána ar siúl a chuidigh an tAontas Eorpach, na Stáit Aontaithe agus grúpaí eile sa phobal idirnáisiúnta go mór leis. Fáiltím roimh achainí na Comhairle go scrúdódh an Coimisiún ceist leathnú na gcistí do Síocháin II, do Chiste Idirnáisiúnta d'Éirinn agus do na Cistí Struchtúra.

Ainneoin an dul chun cinn a rinneadh le blianta beaga anuas, is mór ar fad iad na deacrachtaí atá ann go fóill. Is mór iad na fadhbanna atá os comhair Phróiseas na Síochána faoi láthair agus na hinstitiúidí daonlathacha curtha ar ceal. An tseachtain seo chaite i mBéal Feirste, mo chathair féin, cuachtadh náisiúnaithe istigh ina bpobail féin a fhad is a brúdh paráid Aontachtach sheicteach tríd.

Iarraim ar Uachtarántacht na hIsiltíre agus ar mo chomhleacaithe anseo sa Pharlaimint díriú ar phróiseas síochána na hÉireann agus cuidiú linn na deacrachtaí sin a shárú.

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