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Sinn Féin TDs walk out of Dáil before Special Criminal Court vote

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Neale Richmond

Neale Richmond

Neale Richmond

SINN Féin TDs walked out of the Dáil chamber tonight before a vote to extend the Special Criminal Court for another year.

The Dáil record showed that not one of the party’s representatives voted on the legislation that underpins the court, when it was called.

Last year, the party also abstained from the vote to renew the Offences Against the State Act and the Criminal Justice Act, the legislation that empowers the Special Criminal Court - but it has previously voted against it.

Tonight’s vote passed by 86 to seven and the Sinn Féin decision to walk out was criticised by both Opposition and Government TDs.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said it was a “terrible decision to abandon their opposition after some pressure” from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond said “when it comes to protecting our society from the most vicious terrorists and gangsters, the silence from Sinn Féin is deafening.”

Sinn Féin has previosuly said its TDs would abstain from the vote.

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