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True value of government's domestic violence promise exposed

1 March, 2007

During an exchange with the Tánaiste this morning Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked whether Minister of State Fahey's promise of a national co-ordinating authority to deal with domestic violence was just a hollow pre-election promise and if not when will the legislation to give effect to the promise be introduced. The Tánaiste replied "No promise has been made in respect of this legislation."

Speaking afterwards Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "McDowells reply exposes the shallow and cynical nature of the government's earlier promise. The government parties alone refused to support Sinn Féin's action-based motion which had sought to make real progress in terms of addressing domestic violence. The government dismissed the well-thought out and practical measures proposed by Sinn Féin. They sent in junior Ministers who apparently came up with the promise of a domestic violence agency off the top of their heads without any thought going into how this agency will actually operate or contribute to progress and without even getting cabinet go ahead it seems.

"I cautioned in my initial response to the government proposal that it may amount to nothing more than an empty election gimmick. With today's acknowledgement by the Tánaiste that no promise has been made, unfortunately my initial assessment appears to have been borne out." ENDS

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