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We must actively challenge Racism, Sectarianism and Homophobia - Bairbre de Brún

14 June, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has expressed concern at the increase in racist and homophobic violence across Europe and has called for everyone actively to challenge racism, sectarianism and homophobia wherever we find it - whether from neighbours or colleagues, powerful policy-makers or the media.

She made her comments before speaking in a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today on the increase in racism and homophobia. Ms de Brún highlighted the recent sectarian murder of Michael McIlveen.

Ms de Brún said:

"I mí Bealtaine, ba é an t-íospartach is déanaí mar gheall ar fhuath seicteach i dtuaisceart na hÉireann ná Michael McIlveen, caitliceach. Fuair sé bás lá i ndiaidh ionsaí bhrúidiúil air agus é ar a bhealach abhaile.

"My constituency has seen a number of violent attacks on communities from other member states and from further afield, as well as a consistent level of homophobic violence. We also experience ongoing sectarian attacks, such as the recent murder of a 15-year old catholic boy, Michael Mc Ilveen.

"Politicians and political parties across Europe should sign up to the European Protocol on Political Parties and Racism and actively work on the commitments contained therein. We need to look beyond mere protocols. We must all actively challenge racism, sectarianism and homophobia wherever we find it - whether from neighbours or colleagues or powerful policy-makers or the media. It also means ensuring that legislation is effective and adequate resources are provided for communities and support groups.

"Caithfimid uile dul i ngleic leis na dearcaidh sin agus caithfimid teacht le chéile ina n-éadan trínár bhfocail agus trínár ngníomhartha. Is féidir leis an Aontas Eorpach a bheith chun tosaigh le cur in aghaidh idirdhealaithe cibé áit a dtarlaíonn sé. Ach is é an gníomh ní an béalghrá atá de dhíth le sin a bhaint amach.

"It is vital that the European Council now adopts the 2001 Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia and I would call on the Finnish Presidency to re-start work on this with all urgency. ENDS

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