Republican News · Thursday 01 June 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Passport Office for North?

Sinn Féin vice-President Pat Doherty has welcomed news that the Dublin Government is to consider opening a passport office in the Six Counties.

Doherty was responding to a statement to the All-Party Committee on Public Accounts by Padraic McKernan of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin in which he acknowledged the increase in passport applications from the North. However, a spokesperson for the Dublin Government said that no decision to open an office has yet been taken.

``Our party has, for some time now, been campaigning for a passport office in the Six Counties,'' said Doherty. ``The practical benefits of such a service are obvious. Since 1992, the number of applications from citizens living in the Six Counties has risen from 7,000 to 21,434, a rise of 300%.''

Doherty called on the passport authorities to move quickly to ``establish the service before the summer months''.

Threat to memorial lifted?

Sinn Féin councillor Aidan Carlin has told An Phoblacht that the future of a memorial to IRA Volunteers from the South Down area may have been secured after a meeting of Down Council last Wednesday.

The Policy and Resources Committee decided at its Wednesday night meeting to instruct council officials to enquire if they can find someone willing to buy the council land on which the memorial is built.

``As far as Sinn Féin is concerned, this is a suggestion we can go with,'' said Carlin. ``The SDLP councillors who proposed and seconded the motion, I think, were bowing to public pressure over the monument. But the fact that this compromise has been accepted by the relevant committee gives us a way of resolving this matter to everyone's satisfaction.''

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