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British Home Office must cease harassment of de Souza family – Ó Donnghaile

8 February, 2018 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has called on the British Home Office to stop its unnecessary campaign against Emma de Souza for simply asserting her Good Friday Agreement enshrined right to be an Irish citizen.

Speaking in Leinster House this afternoon Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said;

“Emma’s case is well known and has become a symbol of the need to protect Irish citizenship and respect Irish national identity in the North.

"At two separate tribunal hearings, Emma’s right to identify solely as an Irish citizen has been judicially upheld. The Good Friday Agreement is clear. We are Irish citizens.

"Incredibly however, the British Home Office are once again at the eleventh hour appealing these findings causing further undue stress and trauma to a young, newly married couple.

"Does the British Home Secretary not understand that her Government are signed up to the GFA? Are she and her departmental officials unaware of the complex nature of identity here and why these rights afforded to us are so crucial? Does the British Home Office not believe that 20 years after the GFA it is totally unacceptable to be pursuing a young woman through the courts for simply being Irish, particularly given the fact that at two separate hearings her stance has been judicially vindicated?

"I have today contacted Taoiseach Varadkar and Tánaiste Coveney’s offices today to call on them to intervene, and meet with myself and the de Souza family to help protect Emma’s assertion of her Irish citizenship rights.”

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