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EU report to highlight Irish complicity in US illegal rendition programme

28 November, 2006

Sinn Féin International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has again called on the Government to refuse the use of Irish airports and airspace to all planes associated with the United States' rendition programme. Deputy Ó Snodaigh was speaking today before the publication of a report from a European Union Committee which is expected to expose Ireland as the third most culpable EU state having hosted 147 secret CIA flights.

He said, "According to the report from the EU Committee established to report on the role played by EU states in illegal CIA extraordinary renditions Ireland lies behind just England and Germany as the third most culpable state having hosted 147 secret CIA flights. This is a complete compromise of our neutrality, it is illegal and it is absolutely unacceptable.

"Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern is appearing before this committee on Thursday and it will be interesting to see how he explains this away. He would be better to admit that he and his Government were wrong when they tried to convince us that this state was not facilitating the United States' illegal rendition programme.

"This report confirms the concerns raised by myself and many other human rights campaigners long ago. The government must explain why it failed to insist on a capacity for the Gardaí to inspect the planes landing at Shannon Airport and the Taoiseach must give a direct, personal guarantee that in future no US military planes or flights associated with United States intelligence agencies will be allowed use Irish Airports or Airspace." ENDS

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