Wednesday 7 December 2016

Sinn Féin president defends his party's opposition to anti-terrorism laws

Published 14/04/2016 | 14:08

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has defended his party’s opposition to anti-terrorism laws which were today approved by the European Parliament.

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Mr Adams insisted he is not concerned about possible backlash from the public to his stance on opposing the sharing of passenger name records among European Union member states to combat terrorism.

“Maybe this measure you asked me about can have an affect but we are not convinced,” Mr Adams said.

His comments come as agreement was reached in Brussels today on the sharing of passenger records as part of the European Union crackdown on the growing threat from jihadi terrorists.

Sinn Féin has adamantly opposed the sharing of name records and voted against the introduction of the EU directive on several occasions.

“Every state has the right and the duty to protect their citizens. We are not convinced this measure will enhance security for citizens or for states,” Mr Adams said.

“We had bombings there recently and it has been revealed since that agencies involved knew who the perpetrators were and where they were moving and they weren’t able to stop them,” he added.

The European Parliament also passed new data protection rules today.

Acting Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection Dara Murphy said the new directive will protect personal data and ensure information is used to improve society for EU citizens.

“I believe we have struck a good balance with these new rules, with strong protections for individuals’ personal data, based on the key principles of data protection,” Mr Murphy said.

“The new data protection rules are good for individuals and for businesses and other organisations alike. I would encourage organisations, public and private, that handle personal data to now take advantage of the two year lead-in period to familiarise themselves with and prepare to meet their obligations under the new rules,” he added.

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