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Ó Snodaigh calls on McDowell to withdraw and apologise for disgraceful remarks

1 June, 2005


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell to "publicly withdraw and apologise for his disgraceful and inflammatory remarks about asylum seekers and refugees." Deputy Ó Snodaigh was speaking after Minister McDowell repeated his controversial comments at a conference in Dublin on community relations today.

He said, "Minister McDowell's repeated comments about asylum seekers and refugees and his expressed contempt for the UN Refugee Convention are in violation of the Anti-Racism Protocol for Political Parties. His comments are disgraceful and border on incitement to hatred.

"I am calling on the Minister to come before the Dáil to publicly withdraw and apologise for his disgraceful and inflammatory remarks about asylum seekers and refugees.

"His offensive comments would be a matter for resignation in other jursidictions. It is disturbing to me that the Taoiseach allows such behaviour to continue totally unsanctioned.

"At a minimum the Taoiseach should remove Michael McDowell from responsibility for Immigration and Equality matters as penalty for his lastest insubordination. If the Taoiseach fails to do so, or to publicly censure him, I cannot but interpret this as the Taoiseach endorsing the Minister's view, and that would be very serious indeed." ENDS

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