Speaking in the Dáil Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Pádraig MacLochlainn TD pressed Minister Eamon Gilmore for a real commitment from the Irish Government to recognise Palestine as an independent state and said it was paramount that he champion at EU level the Palestinian people’s right to real democracy.
Deputy MacLochlainn compared the non- recognition of the Palestinian state to the non- recognition by the International community of the Irish nation in 1921 when the first Dáil met and declared Ireland’s independence.
He said: “Tragically, it is because of the failure of the EU, the International community and indeed, Irish Governments in giving the Palestinian people the validation that they require, that we have witnessed the continued repression of their people and the worsening of circumstances with catastrophic results like those being experienced in Gaza.
“What I am asking you today Tánaiste is this; will we take a stand for the people of Palestine? Will you make a commitment to lead the charge in standing up for the rights of those suffering repression and will the Irish Government commit to following the lead of Cyprus as the first EU state to recognise Palestine as an independent state?
“Ireland needs to fully recognise the right of the Palestinian people to self- determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine.”