Allocation of European Parliament seats to southern constituencies leaves Irish Citizens in the North behind - Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has failed the first test to his pledge that citizens in the north will never again be left behind by an Irish government.
Speaking today Carthy said;
"Just over a year ago An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar gave 'cast iron' guarantees to the people of the north that their rights would not be undermined by Brexit and that they would never again be left behind by an Irish government.
"Today, however, his cabinet has signed off on a bill allocating the two additional European Parliament seats allocated to Ireland to constituencies in the south.
"Effectively this bill ensures that Irish citizens in the north will lose their fundamental democratic right to direct representation in the European Parliament.
"The Irish government could have easily allocated these seats for election by citizens in the north. There was no legal or constitutional obstacle to doing so.
"This was the first concrete test of An Taoiseach's pledge and he has failed miserably.
"Civic nationalism from across the north implored to Taoiseach to defend their rights but their pleas now appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
"This fundamental democratic right to direct representation may be being removed by the Tories but it is being facilitated and rubber stamped by the Dublin government.
"50 years on from the Civil Rights campaign the Irish government is now complicit in the denial of democratic rights to Irish citizens."