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34,452 reasons to end use of Shannon -- Ó Snodaigh

17 January, 2007

Sinn Féin International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has accused the Irish Government of 'catastrophic failures' in it's policies on Iraq and of having played a role in the creation of the 'chaotic slaughter' being suffered by the Iraqi people. He was speaking after the UN announced that 34,452 Iraqi civilians were killed in 2006, an average of 94 a day.

The Dublin South Central TD said: "Yesterday, during another bloody day in Baghdad that saw a hundred people lose their lives in suicide bombings, car bombs and shootings, the United Nations, in announcing that 34,452 civilians have been killed in Iraq in 2006, gave the Irish Government more reason to end the use of Shannon by US forces.

"The one thing both opponents and supporters of President Bush's plan to send an extra 21,000 US combat troops to Iraq agree on is that it will result in more violence and the deaths of more innocent Iraqis and US soldiers.

"Speaking in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, on Monday, the Taoiseach referred to 'catastrophic failures in policy towards Iraq', to the suffering of it's people, and to the increased divisions among the Iraqi people since the US invasion. What was missing was any acknowledgement of the role that he personally, and his government, played in the creation of the chaotic slaughter in Iraq through it's support for the US invasion, and it's continued provision of Shannon Airport as a staging area for US troops deploying to Iraq.

"I am again calling on the Irish Government to acknowledge that both the Irish and American people are overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush Administration's proposal to send more troops to Iraq with the inevitable consequence of worsening the conflict. We cannot afford another one of the Taoiseach's 'catastrophic failures' in Ireland's Middle East policy."


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