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Varadkar fails to comment on imprisonment of Catalan democrats - Peadar Tóibín TD

8 November, 2017

Today at Taoiseach’s questions Leo Varadkar on foot of a question from Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín refused to address the imprisonment of eight Catalan Ministers and the effective exile of the former Catalan president.

An Teachta Tóibín also queried whether the crisis was spoken of or even raised by the Taoiseach at the recent European Council meeting.

Deputy Tóibín said;

"An entire government, democratically elected by its citizens, has either been imprisoned or forced into exile by the Spanish government.

"It is mind bending stuff that an EU partner State has jailed these elected representatives for the crime of peacefully allowing people to vote on an issue of self-determination.

“Yet in the middle of this, the biggest constitutional crisis in the EU, at the meeting of the 28 heads of state of the EU at the European Council no one discusses the issue or seeks to raise it.

"The response to the corrosion of democracy in a partner state in the EU is complicit silence”.

An Teachta Tóibín asked whether the Taoiseach, the Irish Government or the EU had to date ever condemned these imprisonments. He has also asked ‘Does this send out the message that the jailing of democratically elected representatives for facilitating a democratic expression in the EU is OK?'

“I understand that the Taoiseach's response is laden down with diplomatic concerns however there must be something in the Taoiseach that abhors what has happened and seeks to speak out."

Despite numerous opportunities the Taoiseach avoided the substance of An Teachta Tóibín’s  question and refused to comment on the imprisonments.

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