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Ferris to address PANA press conference on Defence Bill

3 July, 2006

Sinn Féin's Martin Ferris TD will speak at a Peace And Neutrality Alliance (PANA) press conference in Buswells Hotel at 11.30am tomorrow morning. PANA are hosting the press conference in opposition to the controversial battle groups enabling legislation that is to be pushed through the Dail by the Defence Minister Willie O'Dea tomorow night.

Speaking before the press conference Deputy Ferris said, "Sinn Féin has serious reservations about this legislation. In particular, we are opposed to the integration of the defence forces into the EU battle groups, the elimination of the triple-lock safeguard and the underhand manner by which the Bill is to be passed at midnight following less than 2 and a half hours debate by the Dail. Not only does the proposed legislation imply a gross infringement of the principle of Irish neutrality but in addition they will weaken the United Nation's ability and capacity to respond to international crises effectively, since European troops will be diverted to these battle groups and other non-UN forces." ENDS

Note to editor: Other speakers at the launch will include Roger Cole, PANA, a Green Party spokesperson and Independent TD Tony Gregory.

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