Successful Sinn Féin lobby in Strasbourg
Mitchel McLaughlin and Sean Crowe, accompanied by party press officer Dominic Doherty, visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg earlier this month. The purpose of the visit was to update the parliament on developments in the Irish Peace Process, outline Sinn Féin's views on the Patten report and the British policing bill and to discuss the role of the European Union in consolidating the Peace Process.
As part of their visit they met with Hans Gert Poettering, Leader of the Group of the European People's Party, Pat Cox, Leader of European Liberal Democrats Party, Heidi Hautala, Leader of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Francis Wurtz, Leader of the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left, Gerry Collins, Deputy Leader of the Union for Europe of the Nations Group and Michel Rochard of the Group of the Party of European Socialists.
They also met with a number of Irish MEPs, including Joe McCartin, Avril Doyle and John Cushnahan of Fine Gael, Brian Crowley, Pat The Cope Gallagher and Niall Andrews of Fianna Fail and Patricia McKenna and Nuala Ahearn of the Greens, and Rosemary Scanlon.
The Sinn Feein delegation suggested to all the MEPs they met that a cross-party European parliamentary delegation to the Six Counties in the late autumn would be bhelpful, an invitation received with enthusiasm from all quarters.
They also met the mayor of Strasbourg, who expressed interest in forging cultural links with Irish cities on both sides of the border