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Minister does not promise to uphold EU Constitution refrendum result

10 November, 2004

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, in the Dáil today called on the Irish Government to respect the will of the Irish people on the upcoming referendum on the EU Constitution and to give a commitment that Ireland will not participate in EU Battle Groups.

Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy O'Snodaigh said:

"The upcoming referendum on the EU Constitution is of vital importance to our future. Today I called on the Government not to repeat their anti-democratic behaviour from the Nice Treaty where they re-ran the referendum but instead to accept the will of the people even if they reject the EU Constitution, and to guarantee that they will take the peoples' verdict - whatever it may be ˆ to Brussels. But the Minister refused point blank to answer me. This does not bode well."

The Sinn Féin TD went on to ask the Government for a commitment that Ireland will not participate in EU Battle Groups. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"Sinn Fein fully supports the strengthening of UN peacekeeping and genocide prevention capacity, but we do not support the outsourcing of such missions to EU Battle Groups. We are seeking a Government commitment that this state will not participate in EU Battle Groups, but instead provide increased support to chronically under-resourced UN-led missions. Specifically, we also want a commitment that Irish troops will not be deployed to Iraq as part of an EU Battle Group in future. But once again, the Minister avoided my question on the floor of the House today. I can only take that to mean that the Government has made its decision to commit Irish troops to the EU Battle Groups but is choosing its own time to make the official announcement. This is another example of their unacceptable dishonesty regarding their policy of incremental abandonment of Irish neutrality. The Government should come clean on this as well."ENDS

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