Two Irish politicians, who on Wednesday attended the referendum trial in Spain’s Supreme Court, condemned the conduct of Spanish police during the 2017 vote and called the accusations against the Catalan leaders “far-fetched.” Lynn Boylan, Irish MEP for Sinn Féin, who witnessed the referendum, said “there was absolutely no violence I witnessed from the people going out to vote, the only violence I witnessed on the day was by the Spanish police.” A member of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform, Boylan insisted that charges against the independence leaders are “far-fetched and don’t stack up” and she rejected the legal proceedings, insisting that “the only way this is going to be solved is through dialogue.”

Irish TD (MP) for Dublin, Séan Crowe, also condemned the hardline tactics used by Spanish riot police during the referendum: “I think people in Ireland were shocked at the scenes of police beating people off the streets, that shocked and horrified people across Europe”. Crowe also made reference to his own country, whose parliament is celebrating its centenary. “Our parliament was established 100 years ago in defiance of the British Empire. They took their seats, many were in jail. People draw parallels with what is happening here”, he said.

Italian manifesto 

Meanwhile, the mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, joined Italian intellectuals and left-wing politicians in signing a manifesto calling for the imprisoned independence leaders to be released, and for “the return” of “democratic normality” in Spain. Printed in the left-wing publication LEFT, the manifesto argues that in Catalonia a political group is being “criminalised” by the referendum trial, and it condemns Europe’s silence on the matter as “deplorable and dangerous.”