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Minihan engaged in typical PD spin - Ó Snodaigh

31 May, 2005

Responding to criticism of his position on Anti-Social Behaviour Orders by PD Senator John Minihan, Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights accused the Senator of engaging in "PD spin typical of his senior colleague, the Minister for Injustice."

He said, "Everyone knows the Human Rights Commission has made the exact same criticisms as I have of the proposed expansion of Garda powers, especially in the absence of adequate safeguards for Garda oversight and accountability. Indeed, they have criticised and cautioned the Minister on most of the legislation he has brought before the Dail since he assumed his portfolio, citing inconsistencies with human rights. This Government and especially Senator Minihan‚s party colleague Michael McDowell are the ones without any credibility on civil liberties.

"The PDs also have no credible case for introducing ASBOs, which have proven ineffective elsewhere. Our communities are crying out for effective action on anti-social behaviour and the best the Progressive Democrats can do is offer a cheap pre-election gimmick that failed in Britain. Such is the quality of their leadership on this issue.

"The comments of the unelectable PD senator only merit a response from me insofar as to point out that he cannot mount a decent counterargument to Sinn Féin's nine interlocking policy alternatives to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders - which represent a sensible, well-informed, thorough and wholistic response - and he is therefore reduced to distortions of my party's position through typical PD spin.

"Minihan's assertions that anybody who upholds the law have nothing to fear from increased powers to the Gardai won‚t be lost on people like Frank McBreaty in Donegal or the many other victims of Garda abuse in Dublin and across the state, who are still waiting for justice.

"He calls my opposition to ASBOs laughable, but I would remind him that the Garda Representative Association have also rejected the ASBO plan as irrelevant." ENDS

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