Fine Gael and Labour accused of insulting population of six counties
Sinn Féin leader in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, today accused the leaders of Fine Gael and Labour of deliberately insulting the entire population of the Six Counties by continually blocking northern representation in the Dáil. Deputy Ó Caoláin made his comments during discussions in the Dáil about the upcoming visit of Australian Prime Minister John Howard to Leinster House. Mr. Howard is to address the Dáil on Tuesday next.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "Last week the Dáil, sitting as a Committee of the whole House, accommodated the presence and participation of a visiting EU Commissioner, an unelected voice of the European Union. Next Tuesday, we will hear an address by Mr. John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia. Both of these events have been and will be facilitated and supported by the leaders of the Fine Gael and Labour Parties. When will these two parties recognise the insult they have delivered to over 1.5 million people in the Six Counties whose chosen Members of Parliament they have blocked from receiving the same accommodation as was accorded to Commissioner Fischer Boel?"Speaking afterwards the Cavan/Monaghan TD said, "The hypocrisy of both Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte is breathtaking. They have no problem whatsoever facilitating access to Dáil speaking opportunities to non-elected representatives of the European Commission nor to representatives of another country but yet they have still set themselves steadfastly against allowing the elected representatives of Irish people, living on the island of Ireland the same opportunity. It is a shameful position to hold which not only makes a mockery of Fine Gael's claim to be the United Ireland Party but also Labour's claim to the legacy of James Connolly." ENDS