10/06/2004 17:50:25

An Irish activist began a two week hunger strike today in protest of an
Irish company's role in the construction of a wall separating Israel and

Caoimhe Butterly is camping outside Cement Roadstone Holdings Dublin
headquarters in an attempt to draw attention to its complicity with what she
claims is a violation of international law.

She said cement from the company was being used in the construction of the
so-called Apartheid Wall, currently being built by Israel in the West Bank.

"It is shameful that an Irish company should profit from anything that is as
immoral, unjust and destructive as the construction of this wall," she said.

Campaigners have repeatedly condemned the wall, which is eight metres high
in some places, as a land-grab, isolating Palestinians, separating families
and cutting them off from places of work, worship and schools.

Israeli authorities maintain it is a security measure to prevent terrorist

Ms Butterly, who spent a year working with a solidarity group in Palestine,
is calling on CRH to clarify its position in relation to the building of the

"The Irish government should be endorsing the call for the suspension of all
such trade agreements," she said.

"I am determined to provoke a response from CRH and remind people in Ireland
that we have a direct complicity in something that has been deemed a war
crime and which has received widespread international criticism including
from our own government."

CRH owns a 25% stake in the Mashav Group, an Israeli holding company for
Nesher Cement, the sole provider of cement in Israel.

Amnesty International recently stated: "CRH, through its subsidiaries Mashav
and Nesher is likely to be providing the raw material of the fence/wall...
if so, it would contravene the UN norms on the responsibilities of
Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with regard to
Human Rights (2003)."

CRH, which is based in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, could not be contacted
for comment tonight.

By: Press Association

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