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Doolan welcomes peaceful end to hunger strike

20 May, 2006

Sinn Féin’s Dublin South East Representative, Councillor Daithí Doolan, has welcomed the news, "that the hunger strike in St Patrick’s Cathedral by Afghani asylum seekers has ended without loss of life."

Speaking tonight, Cllr. Doolan said:

“I am very relieved at the fact that the hunger strike has ended with out loss of life. I had visited and spoken to the hunger strikers, their supporters and the church clergy on several occasions over the past number of days. I must congratulate all those who attempted to negotiate a peaceful and dignified conclusion to this difficult situation. I particularly commend the the clergy in St Patrick’s Cathedral for allowing the men to seek sanctuary there since Sunday evening last.

It is now vital to ensure that nobody seeking asylum in our country ever feels they have to go on hunger or thirst strike again to have their cases highlighted. Those seeking asylum in our country must feel that the process is just, humane and transparent.”

In conclusion Cllr. Doolan called on the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform, Michael McDowell, “to immediately set about reviewing the men’s cases, taking into consideration the escalation in violence in Afghanistan, and if there is any threat to these men in Afghanistan then none should be sent back.”

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