28 October 1999 Edition

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Sinn Féin demands action on TD's racism

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Larry O'Toole has called on Ivor Callely to apologise for remarks the Fianna Fáil TD made regarding asylum seekers and for the Eastern Health Board to review his position as Chair of the Board. O'Toole said also that the Fianna Fáil party needs to clarify what action it will take in relation to the TD's comments. Callely described asylum seekers as people ``who have no right to be here in the first place'' and said that they are putting pressure ``on our own people''.

Councillor O'Toole said: ``Comments of this nature stink of racism and are not acceptable from anyone, let alone from someone in Mr Callely's position. He is Chairperson of the Eastern Health Board and TD for Dublin North Central and should not use his position to attack asylum seekers in relation to the shortage of emergency housing. There are many changes needed with regard to emergency housing which Mr Callely could be concentrating on, such as clamping down on hostel owners who aren't registered and are operating overcrowded fire traps.

``I am calling on the Eastern Health Board to distance themselves from these remarks and to reconsider Mr Callely's suitability to hold this position. I am also calling on Mr Callely to apologise immediately for his awful remarks and to clarify his future intentions in relation to housing asylum seekers.''

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1