Irish Republican News · June 2, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Warning on ‘Ireland of the unwelcome’

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has called for people in the 26 Counties to vote no in the citizenship referendum and warned added that it would makes a joke of the claim to be Ireland of the welcomes.

He said that Sinn Féin wants a comprehensive immigration policy that is positive, compassionate, human rights compliant and anti-racist.

Such a policy, Mr Adams said, must fully recognise the positive contribution of immigrants to Irish society and to the Irish economy.

He said that the sole reason for the Irish government running the referendum on June 11, the day of local and European elections, was to deflect attention away from their miserable performance since coming to power.

Mr Adams said: “But look at what their selfishness will do.

“Irish children will be stripped of their rights, purely because of where their parents come from.”

According to Mr Adams, “Michael McDowell (Dublin’s justice minister) has not provided any concrete evidence for his claims, and his statistics do not prove his case.

“In quoting figures for non-nationals giving birth in Irish hospitals the minister is including many people from inside and outside the EU who are legally entitled to be here.”

Mr Adams also said that the government was trying to peddle the line that passing this referendum will make our citizenship laws similar to other countries.

“That is downright rubbish. Some 40 other countries share the citizenship laws we have now. If an Irish person has a child in America, that child will be an American citizen,” Mr Adams said.

The West Belfast MP said this referendum will have serious implications for the Good Friday agreement.

He said: “Anti-peace process elements have already seized upon it as an example of how the agreement can be tampered with. Is Michael McDowell trying to destroy the Good Friday Agreement?

“The government is trying to feed into the misconceptions and the genuine concerns about immigration that do exist in our society.

“This referendum is an insult to the Irish people, and is an example, once again, of this coalition pushing through serious legislation, without engaging in any sort of debate first.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News