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9 November 2000 Edition

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Disqualification Bill develops all-Ireland politics

Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin has welcomed the debate on the Disqualification Bill currently going through the British House of Lords.

Essentially, the Bill will end the situation whereby people who are elected to Westminster or even the Assembly would lose their seats if they took up a position in Seanad Eireann or Leinster House.''

Speaking on Tuesday, 7 November, McLaughlin said:

``The issue for Sinn Féin is that developing out of the Good Friday Agreement, this legislation progresses all Ireland politics. Sinn Féin have argued and also made a formal written submission to the Oireachtas on the issue of northern representation. During the negotiation that led to the Good Friday Agreement we also received a commitment from Bertie Ahern that he would support the principle of Northern representation.

``A joint committee of the Oireachtas has been examining our submission and other groups were invited to make submissions to the committee. I understand that the committee have now delivered a report on this issue which I believe is generally favourable and we are now waiting for a response from Bertie Ahern.

``In parallel with this discussion there is also the British dimension.''
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