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Ó Donnghaile slams British over latest De Souza delay

30 May, 2019 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile has slammed the British Home Office after it was granted a six-month adjournment in a landmark legal case over the recognition of Irish citizenship rights.

Sen. Ó Donnghaile was commenting after campaigner Emma De Souza revealed the latest delay in her lengthy legal battle to have the citizenship rights conferred by the Good Friday Agreement recognised and upheld by the British Government.

“The Emma De Souza case has shone a light on the attempts by the British Government to undermine a central tenet of the Good Friday Agreement – namely the right to identify as Irish citizens,” Niall Ó Donnghaile said.

“Unfortunately this case has been characterised by consistent stalling tactics from the British Government and repeated appeals every time the courts have ruled against their clearly discriminatory position.

“Now they have secured a further six-month delay because the British Home Office is not prepared to go to court next week as planned.

“That is appalling and will be hugely frustrating to Emma De Souza, her husband Jake and everyone who cares about their citizenship rights under the Good Friday Agreement.

“Rather than simply recognise their obligations under an internationally-binding treaty, the British Government continues to drag this issue through the courts but can’t even be bothered to prepare their case in time.

“That speaks volumes about their commitment to rights and the agreement.

“However, the Good Friday Agreement, and the rights afforded by it, are international obligations which cannot be ignored or set aside.

“As co-guarantors of that agreement, there is now an onus on the Irish Government to defend it from British Home Office attempts to undermine it.”

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