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Tribunal of Inquiry Bill must be withdrawn – Ó Snodaigh

26 June, 2007

Commenting on today's government motion restoring Bills to the Dáil order paper Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh expressed his disappointment that the controversial Tribunals of Inquiry Bill 2005 is to remain.

He said "I am disappointed that the FF/PD/Green government have not taken this opportunity to withdraw the controversial Tribunals Bill and to table a new one instead. There can be no doubt that spiralling Tribunal costs must be tackled but any new legislation must not hinder the ability of Tribunals to achieve justice and uncover the truth.

"The 2005 Bill was produced by the power hungry Justice Minister Michael McDowell prior to his electoral defeat. McDowell sought to copy the British Inquiries Act. That Act has been roundly rejected by international human rights experts and organisations from across the globe. The British Inquiries Act stands in the way of the Finucane family's quest for the truth around the murder of their husband and father Pat Finucane.

"A motion backed by all parties in this House last year supporting the Finucane family called for a full, independent, public judicial inquiry. That all-party motion also called for the British Inquiries Act to be amended to allow for the full and proper inquiry.

"Yet the government are now re-tabling their own Tribunals Bill which shares many similar fundamental shortcomings with the British Act. The Green Party were vehemently opposed to this Bill prior to going into Government. This move is untenable for all Government Parties and doubly so for the Greens. I am again calling on the Taoiseach to withdraw the Tribunals Bill." ENDS

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