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Blair must introduce legislation to end ban on Irish citizens

27 January, 2006


Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has called on the British government to immediately introduce legislation to end the ban on Irish citizens being able to apply for posts in the Public Prosecution Service in the Six Counties. Mr. McGuinness made his remarks after a Dublin born solicitor took legal proceedings after she was told she was not eligible to apply for a legal post in the Public Prosecution Service because of her Irish citizenship

Mr. McGuinness said:

“The decision of the Public Prosecution Service in the Six Counties to ban Irish citizens from applying for legal posts is completely unacceptable and nothing more than blatant discrimination.

“We have pressed the British government consistently to remove the bar on Irish citizens from senior civil service posts in the north. This must also apply to the Public Prosecution Service in the Six Counties.

“The British government know they must act to remove the ban to take account of the new reality brought about by the Good Friday Agreement. They should stop dragging their heels and instigate whatever measures are required to right this wrong immediately. It is time that they realised that such blatant discrimination is not acceptable. It is time for the British government to act.” ENDS

Note to editor:

A Dublin born solicitor who applied for a legal post in the Public Prosecution Service was told she wasn’t eligible because she wasn’t a ‘UK’ citizen. The post was designated by the Department of Finance and Personnel as a ‘public service’ post – which means only ‘UK’ nationals can apply. She is now pursuing legal action.

Sinn Féin raised this issue in negotiations with the British government.

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