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Reappointment of McDowell as Minister for Justice shows Government has no commitment to rights

29 September, 2004

Speaking during the course of the debate in the Dáil on the Cabinet Reshuffle, Sinn Féin whip, Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the reappointment of Michael McDowell to the post of Minister for Justice demonstrated that "this Government has no commitment whatsoever to building a rights-based society". Deputy Ó Snodaigh went on to say that in his reappointment by the Taoiseach "Minister McDowell is not just the medium - Minister McDowell is the message."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "The reappointment of Deputy McDowell sends a clear message from this Government to the people. It says that this Government does not expect its Minister for Justice to tackle the growing insecurity in working class areas caused by the concentration of increased street crime and the illegal drugs trade. Instead this Government is content to indulge a vicious anti-republican ideologue who would prefer to concentrate available resources on scapegoating more vulnerable people in our society like refugees, travellers, or children. The reappointment of Deputy McDowell says that this Government has no commitment whatsoever to building a rights-based society, but actually reaffirms the Deputy in his view that social and economic inequality should persist.

"But the real significance in the reappointment of Minister McDowell is this. It reconfirms for the voters NOT that the PDs dominate the coalition Government, but rather that Minister McDowell is nothing more than a handy tool for the dirty work the senior partner's leadership want done but are not willing to take responsibility for themselves. All we need to know to decode the Government's real agenda is in the reappointment of their Ministerial thug. Minister McDowell is not just the medium. Minister McDowell is the message." ENDS

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