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Sights and sounds from Bodenstown 2015

Some sights and sounds from the Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare on June 21, 2015. Main speaker Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD. During the course of her speech she talked about the need for a fair economic recovery north and south; demanded the British to come clean about collusion; and expressed solidarity with the people of Greece.

Martin McGuinness speaking at Stormont said that Sinn Féin's conditional support for the budget bill will create the space to resolve outstanding issues and ensure the executive has workable and sustainable finances and see the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.



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Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has described the decision by the Policing Board and Department of Justice officials to halt funding for diversionary projects in flashpoint areas over the Twelfth period as incomprehensible. 

Mr Kelly said; 

"The decision to withdraw this funding, which is used to take young people away from notorious interface areas at times of heightened tension, makes no sense socially, politically or economically, with all the predictable impact for plans for a peaceful summer. 

"This is bureaucratic decision-making gone mad and takes no account of what happens in the real world. 

"Rather than save money, this decision will likely increase the cost to the public purse." 

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Sinn Féin mayor of Belfast Arder Carson has congratulated Críona Ní Dhálaigh on being elected as the new mayor of Dublin. 

Councillor Carson said; 

"I am delighted Críona Ní Dhálaigh has been elected as the new mayor of Dublin for 2015/’16. 

"Críona is an excellent public representative and I have no doubt she will make an brilliant mayor for all of the citizens of our capital city. 

"Her commitment to the people and tireless promotion of equality will be hallmarks of her term as mayor. 

"The election of another Sinn Féin mayor highlights the growing support for republicanism right across the island.

"As we approach the centenary of the Easter Rising Sinn Féin mayors will be in place in the four major cities on the island; Dublin, Belfast, Derry and Cork. 

"She will also join the Sinn Féin mayor of South Dublin County Council, Sarah Holland, who was elected last week. 

"It was an honour and a privilege to be in Dublin alongside my Sinn Féin mayoral colleagues to see Críona receive her chain of office."

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Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh is calling on the Gardaí to make more resources available to stop a small group of joyriders who are causing havoc in Connemara.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“I have written to the Garda authorities locally with concerns that have been raised with me in relation to 'joyriding' incidents in Connemara recently.

“I am told that things are getting particularly out of hand in Ceantar na nOileáin at the moment (Lettermore/Lettermullen/Beal a'Daingean).

“I understand that there have been a number of pursuits and that Gardaí and other people have been put in grave danger - high speed chases, rocks left on roads in front of squad cars, etc. I believe that a tow truck had a brick thrown at its windscreen while transporting a suspect vehicle on Saturday night and that a female driver was persistently and maliciously collided with recently as well by out of control youths.

“I understand that these types of incidents are becoming more and more frequent and that it is thought that only a small number of individuals are responsible. I believe there is an ongoing issue of inadequate resources to police these matters, both from a detection and a follow up role and in a preventative manner by patrolling when these incidents tend to occur.

“I have asked the local Chief Superintendent what can be done to stamp out this unacceptable behaviour before serious injury is done to anyone.

“I would have concern for citizens and Gardaí alike in this regard and certainly the ordinary of people of Connemara do not want to see this type of activity in our area and will assist wherever possible to bring it to an end.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said statistics published today by the Office for National Statistics in London, showed households in the north have lower average incomes than households in Britain. 

Mr Flanagan said:

“These figures very clearly highlight that the north remains a low wage economy.

“We need to see the powers to set the minimum wage transferred to Stormont so that local politicians can set a minimum wage which enables people to have a decent standard of living.

“With the British government’s proposals to target billions of pounds in cuts towards in-work benefits, this is an opportune time to make this move.

“We can only protect working people from these cuts through increasing their earnings and removing the need for corporate subsidies for low-paying employees.

“The introduction of a living wage is the direction of travel we should be urgently moving towards to ensure we have a fair and sustainable economic recovery for all of our citizens.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Rosie McCorley has welcomed the launch of the new-look Líofa website. 

The Irish language spokesperson said; 

"Almost 12,000 people have signed up for Líofa so far and this new website will be a valuable resource as they continue to learn the language. 

"The previous website was taken down in November following concerns about security and since then Carál Ní Chuilín's department has used that time to revamp and update the site. 

"The new site is more user friendly, and easier to use, particularly for people using mobile devices and tablets. 

"This new website will help the continued growth and development of the Irish language and I congratulate the minister for launching such a vibrant and dynamic site to help learners." 

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Speaking at today's special Dublin City Council, Cllr. Daithí Doolan, said:

"I applaud the Clerys staff and unions. Natrium have treated the staff appallingly. Deplorable as their bullyboy tactics have been, they are unfortunately lawful.  

“The Government must, without delay, review legislation including Protection of Employees and the Companies Act with a view to ensuring the unacceptable treatment of Clerys staff cannot be repeated again.

"Dublin City Council must extend beyond September 2015 the Special Planning Control Scheme for the O'Connell Street area.

"The unanimous passing of today's Council motion cannot be ignored. The message is out loud and clear to Atrium and their financiers. Dublin City is open for business. But not at any cost."

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has condemned Israel for attempting to block a vessel taking part in the Freedom Flotilla to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza. 

Speaking after Israel boarded a Swedish registered ship in international waters, Ms Anderson said; 

"The Freedom Flotilla is currently en route to Gaza to deliver essential supplies which have been denied to the Palestinian people as a result of the Israeli blockade. 

"In the early hours of Monday morning, Israel boarded and took control of the Swedish vessel, Marianne, in international waters. 

"This vessel is part of the Freedom Flotilla which is bringing essential supplies to the people of Gaza. 

"Those essential supplies include medicines and solar panels to repair the infrastructure during the Israeli onslaught. 

"Among the volunteers on board the Marianne were the former president of Tunisia, Dr Moncef Marzouki, Israeli Knesset member Bassel Ghattas, and former MEP Ana Miranda. 

"More than 100 parliamentarians from across Europe have given their support to the Freedom Flotilla and signed an open letter calling for it to be allowed to bring this essential aid to Gaza unhindered. 

"I have now written to Fedrica Mogherini, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, to object to Israel's action in boarding this vessel and to call for an end to the unfair blockade on Gaza."

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has expressed sadness at news of the death of former broadcaster and author Liam Ó Murchú.

Teachta Adams said:

“I was saddened to learn today of the death of Liam Ó Murchú. Liam was an accomplished writer and broadcaster.

“He is remembered fondly by many, many people for his role as presenter of programmes such as Trom agus Éadrom and Up for the Final.

“He did much to promote the use of the Irish language among a mass audience and always encouraged non-fluent speakers to use whatever Irish they had.

“I wish to extend my sympathies to Liam's family and friends at this sad time.” 

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Dublin Sinn Féin MEP has roundly criticised Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s comments at an event in Dublin Castle, labelling them “hysterical” and “wholly inaccurate”.

Speaking today Ms. Boylan said:

“I would suggest that Leo focus his attention on his own party’s actions in the European Parliament before he chooses to criticise Sinn Féin.

“Leo Varadkar questioned Sinn Féin’s commitment to tackling IS because of how we voted in the European Parliament.  He fails to mention that this report was a report calling for military action against IS.

“Despite Fine Gael’s constant attempts to undermine Ireland’s neutrality, we are a neutral country and consistent polls show that the vast majority of people in Ireland are in favour of this position. 

“Sinn Féin is consistent in our support of Ireland’s neutrality and that is how we approach any vote on military action in the European Parliament.

I’m sure it would come as a surprise to many in Ireland that only recently the four Fine Gael MEPS voted in favour of a report that called for greater ‘collaboration with NATO and the US military’ in relation to the Black Sea Region and urged member states to ‘increase their defence budget to 2%.’, which in Ireland’s case would see military spending more than double.

“Fine Gael’s hypocrisy does not stop at its stance on Ireland’s neutrality.  It is also content to share a group with 14 Fidesz MEPS, the political party of Hungarian Prme Minister Viktor Orban.  There has not been a peep out of Fine Gael MEPs regarding Viktor Orban’s actions and comments. 

“Viktor Orban who is on record of saying that he intends to abandon liberal democracy and cites Russia and China as role models.  He has also indicated that he intends to reintroduce the death penalty.  

“The Council of Europe published a highly critical report on Orban’s reforms and the European Commission has launched a series of legal actions against Hungary but Fine Gael’s group, the EPP is prepared to turn a blind eye to all this in favour of maintaining numbers. 

“In May the European Parliament voted on a resolution condemning Orban’s statement on the death penalty and migration but again Fine Gael were found wanting with their EPP group not only opposing the resolution but also leadership of the group defended Orban and dismissed criticism of the Hungarian Prime Minister as politically motivated!

“So while Leo talks a good talk, his comments on Sinn Féin are fantasy and his time would be better spent examining his own party’s actual hypocrisy.”

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