6/26/2007

Dáil standing orders a disgrace

Sinn Féin’s Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has today called on the Taoiseach to amend Dáil Standing Orders to allow a Technical Group be formed by the four Sinn Féin TDs and Independent Tony Gregory.



Speaking at a protest outside the Dáil today Deputy Ó Caoláin said 143,410 voters gave their first preference votes to Sinn Féin in the General Election and these voices must not be silenced.

“The Government has so far refused to amend Standing Orders to allow a technical group to be formed by the five opposition TDs outside of the Labour and Fine Gael parties,”

“Current Standing Orders dictate that seven TDs are required to form a technical group. However, in the last Dáil, the Green Party called for Standing Orders to be changed to allow five TDs to form such a group.

“And, during the negotiations for Government, Finian McGrath said that one of his priorities would be to ensure adequate speaking rights for all TDs and there was no way he would ‘hang the technical group to dry’ and that the Greens agreed with him"

“The Taoiseach clearly sees the attempted marginalisation of Sinn Féin as the icing on the cake of his deal with the Greens and the so-called Independents"

“Sinn Féin TDs, just like all TDs, are elected by the people of this State and are entitled to speak on their behalf in the Dáil. As long as we are elected to this Dáil we will not be silenced.”

The Dáil standing orders are a disgrace!

Every single TD is elected with the same mandate, to serve the people. Yet Dáil standing orders are allowed to discriminate against a section of the Irish people and in effect to deny them a voice.

This is an unacceptable position and one which needs to be addressed. I am disappointed in Finian McGrath and to a lesser extent the Greens.

Every member of the Dáil should be entitled to the same speaking rights; they should not be beholden to either Labour or Fine Gael for speaking time.

The Dáil standing orders represent a form of discrimination, one that is attempting to silence the views of 143,410 people.

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