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Sinn Féin MLA questions Irish MEPs commitment to Irish unity

20 October, 2006

Sinn Féin MLA for West Tyrone Barry McElduff has today challenged Ireland's MEPs to demonstrate their support for Irish unity after their failure to turn up to an EU conference on Irish unity in Brussels.

Mr McElduff was part of a Sinn Féin delegation which travelled to the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday (18.10.06) to attend a conference calling on the EU to assist in the reunification of Ireland. A number of additional meetings were held with European MEPs and European Commission officials to discuss cross-border co-operation initiatives and regional development.

Speaking today Mr McElduff said:

"Wednesday's conference and the subsequent meetings regarding Europe's role in assisting the end of partition and supporting Irish reunification provided the delegation with the opportunity to engage with academics, MEPs and EU officials at the European Parliament.

"Sinn Féin is committed to engaging with a wide range of people to discuss how we can bring about Irish unity and the form this new Ireland will take. It was therefore disappointing that aside from Sinn Féin, no other Irish MEP could attend the 'EU and Reunification' conference nor meet with the Sinn Féin delegation on our comprehensive proposals for the practical steps which the EU could take in the time ahead.

"Given that all of the political parties in the 26 counties profess to be in favour of Irish unity, particularly Fianna Fail - 'The Republican Party', Fine Gael - 'The United Ireland Party' and the Irish Labour Party, it is of concern that MEPs could not spare the time to listen to how the European Union could assist in the project of Irish reunification.

"I hope to write to all Irish MEPs in the near future to seek their practical support for Sinn Féin's document 'EU Support for Irish Reunification'." ENDS

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