29 April 2004 Edition

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Dublin Government to monitor Lisburn Council

Lisburn Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Butler has welcomed the news that the Dublin Government will monitor developments in Lisburn City Council in the run up to the council's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June.

Butler was speaking to An Phoblacht after Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Mary Harney replied to letters he sent in which he asked Dublin to raise the issue of sectarian discrimination against nationalist representatives and the continuing exclusion of Sinn Féin councillors from holding key positions on Lisburn City Council.

At last year's AGM, both the Ulster Unionist and Democratic Unionist parties voted for themselves as chairperson and vice-chairperson of all the key committees on the council, to the exclusion of both Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance.

Butler subsequently asked Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin to raise the matter with the Government in Leinster House and to ask Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen if he had raised "this corrosive practice" with British Prime Minister Tony Blair or Northern Minister Paul Murphy.

In his reply on Wednesday 3 March, Cowen said the current practices within Lisburn City Council were a regrettable departure from the encouraging trend of power sharing across the Six Counties.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1