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Crowe calls on Government to recognise Armenian Genocide

22 April, 2015 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has called on the Irish Government to officially recognise the Armenian Genocide ahead of the centenary commemoration of the genocide on Friday 24 April.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“This week my colleague Aengus O Snodaigh TD tabled a Parliamentary Question calling on the Irish Government to officially recognise the Armenian Genocide, in its centenary year. The Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day is on Friday 24 April.

“The reply he received was completely inadequate. It stated that the Irish Government has not, and will not take a positon on the issue, unlike its position on other genocides in the 20th century, such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide.

“In 1985 a UN Committee Report agreed that what happened in against Armenians in 1915 met the criteria of a genocide. The European Parliament has passed motions recognising it as genocide, and 22 countries have officially recognised it as genocide, including 12 EU countries.

“There is overwhelming oral, written, and diplomatic evidence that the actions of the Ottoman Empire against Armenians was genocide. If we do not accept what happened in the past we cannot learn from the mistakes and move on. Collectively we must ensure that we oppose the manipulation of history and the silence of the international community adds to the hurt of the Armenian people.

“I was disappointed at the stance taken today by Government parties who voted against a motion calling on the Government to officially recognise the Genocide at the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee. Their majority on the Committee ensured the motion didn’t get passed.

“Denial harms the victims and their survivors, and many have called Turkey’s denial a double killing, as it strives to eradicate and kill the memory of the event.

“I am calling on the Irish Government to change its policy of refusing to take a formal positon and to recognise this awful genocide of a suspected 1.5 million people on its 100th anniversary.

“Ireland quite rightly recognises all who suffered during World War One. The genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire needs to be part of that recognition and the historical record. Recognition is essential to healing and closing this open wound, and is part of the difficult work on improving relations between Armenia and Turkey.”

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