Varadkar: Irish Government will not recognise result of Catalan independence referendum

The Irish Government will not recognise the result of the Catalan independence referendum.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earlier came down on the side of the Spanish Government in the dispute.

However he condemned the violence seen in the region after police officers clashed with voters.

Leo Varadkar says they will not recognise the result, which was 90% in favour of Catalonia leaving Spain.

"No we won't. We accept and respect the laws of Spain, the constitution of Spain and the territorial unity of Spain, and in this referendum it would appear less than half of the population participated in, although admittedly it wasn't easy for people to participate, but that's a seperate issue. We respect, of course, the laws and constitution of Spain, which is a friend and ally of ours," he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement saying it is up to Spanish citizens to determine their preferred constitutional and political arrangements in keeping with the rule of law.

"With regard to the political context, it is the Government's view that it is for Spanish citizens to determine for themselves their preferred constitutional and political arrangements through their own democratic institutions and in keeping with the rule of law," the Department said.

"The reports and images of clashes, violence and injuries are of concern. There are strong historic ties between the people of Ireland and Spain.

"Upholding the constitution and the rule of law in all its aspects is a key underpinning of a modern democracy. It is important now that steps are taken to reduce tensions and to find a way forward together.

"In this context, we note that the Spanish Prime Minister has indicated that he will discuss the issues with all of the parliamentary political parties."

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