Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Action plan on racism welcome, but sceptical of Government's commitment

28 January, 2005


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Equality Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the launch of the Government's first National Action Plan on Racism as "long overdue", but also said he treats the Government's commitment to fight racism "with skepticism".

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"Sinn Féin must of course welcome the long-overdue publication of the first National Action Plan on Racism, as we have been calling for this for years now. However I remain skeptical about the Government's commitment to anti-racism.

"This is a Government that has criminalised Travellers and taken no action against local councils who failed to reach Traveller Accomodation Plan targets. This is a Government that has cut funding to anti-racism organizations and educational initiatives. This is a Government that has stripped children of non-national parents of their equal right to citizenship. This is a Government that has whipped up hatred against non-national women who are pregnant, or young mothers. This is a Government that has recently amended the equality legislation to legalise discrimination against non-nationals.

"How can we take the Government's commitment to fight racism seriously when they have appointed and reappointed an anti-immigration Minister who has also stated on record that he is opposed to equality as the Minister with responsibility for equality. The mind boggles.

"In all, I cannot take this Government seriously on this issue. They are not committed to ending racism in Ireland. I desperately hope that I am wrong in my prediction that this strategy will join the others on the dusty shelf-full of unfulfilled commitments." ENDS

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