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Mary Lou McDonald MEP - Government missing the point on Sandra Conroy plea

27 July, 2006


Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today reiterated her calls for both the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs to intervene in the case of Ms Sandra Conroy.

Ms McDonald made her calls after a Government spokesperson said that "it cannot involve itself in the substance of the court case".

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"I am disappointed by the response released by the government today regarding the plight of Ms Sandra Conroy, whose daughter Celine brutally lost her life in Spain nearly one year ago.

"I have written a number of letters on behalf of Ms Conroy asking the government to intervene and help with the cost of a legal case later this year in Spain. Ms Conroy remains 7000 euros short and requires urgent assistance in her search for justice.

"Today's response by the government completely misses the point. Ms Conroy does not want the government to "involve itself in the substance of the court case" - that would clearly be inappropriate and this is not what the family have asked for.

"The family requires financial assistance. They have identified their own solicitor who they would hope to hire, but have only been able to manage to raise 3000 of the 10,000 euros required. Financial support from the government would in no way prejudice the forthcoming trial, and I find the government‚s response wholly inadequate to say the least.

"The Spanish legal system allows the family of a victim to be fully represented in court - to make submissions, call witnesses and ask questions. This is what the family requires. Given that the trial is in a foreign court and conducted in a foreign language, the family need the reassurance of their own legal representation.

"I want to call on the government to reconsider its position on this case. I have written to the Taoiseach seeking an urgent meeting on this matter." ENDS

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