News & Media

FG MEPs wrong to vote against search and rescue motion

25 October 2019

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has criticised the decision by Fine Gael MEPs to vote against a Socialists and Democrats resolution in the European Parliament to ramp up search and rescue efforts for migrants in the Mediterranean, saying it shows a lack of solidarity and urgency on the crisis.

Senator Ó Ríordáin commented:

“In a week that’s seen the tragic deaths of 39 people trying to reach Europe, it absolutely beggars belief that four Fine Gael MEPs would vote against a resolution with the purpose of improving efforts to help people at risk in the Mediterranean. The decision shows a lack of solidarity and urgency on the issue.

“Reports that far right and ultra conservative politicians in Europe were applauding the result in the European parliament just says it all.

“During the European Elections the Taoiseach called on voters to 'send our best team' to the European Parliament. This is what they have decided to do.

“As has been highlighted with the so-called ‘vote gate’ controversy this week, how politicians use their votes in parliament matters.

“That doesn’t just apply to national parliament, but also how our MEPs vote- or don’t- in Europe.

“It’s particularly dispiriting when candidates from centre right parties pretend to have progressive politics at election time,  but revert to type when lives are at stake.”