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People must hold government to account over Shannon - Ó Snodaigh

23 September, 2006

Speaking at the protest to mark the International Day of Action on Iraq in Dublin’s Parnell Square today, Sinn Féin’s International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called on people to hold the government to account, saying there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, are complicit in the violence going on in Iraq. He also called for the broad anti-war movement to look at ways of re-energising the campaign and assess new ways forward.


The Dublin South-Central TD said: “Earlier this week the UN’s special investigator on torture, Manfred Nowak, said that the amount of torture in Iraq is ‘totally out of hand’ and ‘many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein’. Three years from the US invasion of Iraq, this is the freedom the Iraqi people were promised.


“The Council of Europe has previously identified Ireland as a stop-over point for CIA planes, many of which are associated with the illegal transportation of prisoners to third countries. This government, including the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Transport and Justice has become adept at passing the buck on this issue.


“Yet Irish complicity in the war in Iraq has slipped off the radar screen of the political and media establishment in Ireland. That is why events like this are important, to remind the Irish people of their role, through their government, in what is going on in their name and I would congratulate everyone here for turning out.


“But I would also say that perhaps it is time for those of us opposed to the war in Iraq and Ireland’s role in it, to come together to assess a new way forward, to reenergise the movement that a couple of years ago was able to shut this city down for a day. To explore new and direct ways of shutting down Shannon Airport as a US military base.


“Meanwhile, this government continues to collude in the increasingly brutal occupation of Iraq by US and British forces, while Bush beats the drum for a new offensive against Iran. There must be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bertie Ahern and the Michael McDowell, as Taoiseach and Tánaiste, are complicit in the violence and human rights abuses going on in Iraq and the people must call them to account.”



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