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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Positive Supreme Court judgement would make future challenges irrelevant

I welcome the statement from Government today that it will move the writs immediately for the by- elections in Waterford and Dublin South if it loses its Supreme Court appeal. Sinn Féin has made it clear that it will seek to defend the recent high court judgment.

This development makes any action taken by Fine Gael against the Government irrelevant, as it will be the Supreme Court challenge against the High Court judgement in favour of Pearse Doherty that will determine the holding of by-elections in Waterford and Dublin South and not any subsequent legal action taken by Fine Gael.

If the Government loses the Supreme Court appeal, the judgement will have implications for Dublin South and Waterford. The Government has stated that it will move the writs immediately for both constituencies. I welcome this development.

From the outset Sinn Féin was determined that its court case would force the Government to hold a by-election in Donegal South West before Christmas and would also force a by-election in Dublin South and Waterford. The Government’s statement today clearly shows us that the court will leave no wriggle room for more delaying tactics on the other two.

It is unfortunate the Government has chosen this path. I am pleased to hear that it has finally made a clear commitment to moving the writs if it loses its case.

It is therefore evident that any further action by opposition parties will become irrelevant. The belated actions of the Fine Gael party to mount a similar court challenge will be seen by an increasingly discerning public as no more than an opportunistic media stunt. The Sinn Féin strategy of forcing the by-elections is working. We are leading as others in Fine Gael desperately follow. Our strategy is simple – to force the holding of all outstanding by-elections and bring down this discredited Government.

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