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Campaigners should not be left languishing in jail - Ó Snodaigh

19 July, 2007


Sinn Féin Dublin South Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has today demanded that a new mechanism be put in place so that protestors who when arrested refuse to accept conditions attached to their bail are not left languishing indefinitely in jail.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"Yesterday a number of activists protesting against the building of the M3 route through Gabhra Valley which lies between the historical hills of Tara and Skyrne were remanded in custody in Cloverhill Prison.

"A number of the protestors have refused to agree to the conditions attached to their bail and now face indefinite imprisonment. Potentially this case could enfold as happened with the Rossport 5 case which saw 5 local men jailed for 94 days.

"Campaigners who refuse to agree to standard bail conditions such as not being within a number of miles of the location at which they were protesting should not be imprisoned indefinitely. This situation is democratically unacceptable. A new mechanism needs to be put in place to deal with campaigners who are arrested when engaged in protest actions.

"The decision of the Department of the Environment to allow the M3 be routed through Tara has been heavily criticised here at home, internationally and most recently from the EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, who says Ireland has breached EU rules by not conducting an environmental impact assessments (EIAs) before demolishing the Lismullen national monument.

"This Saturday the Love Tara march will deliver 50,000 signatures to the Department of the Environment calling on Minister John Gormley to reroute the M3 motorway away from the Tara archaeological reroute the M3 motorway away from the Tara archaeological complex. Earlier this week Tara International Campaign also submitted a petition of 12,000 signatures to Irish and EU officials in Brussels.

"Routing the M3 through the Gabhra Valley is an odious act of cultural vandalism by government and those who protest against such acts should not be left languishing in jail simply because they refuse to be bullied into submission." ENDS

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