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Hunger Strike Rally 2014

1981 Hunger Striker and Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan calls for a mass mobilisation for this year's National Hunger Strike Rally on the 3rd August in Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh. The West Belfast MLA who himself came close to death after spending 55 days on the 1981 Hunger Strike said this years rally is particularly special given the role the people of Fermanagh / South Tyrone played in the historic election of Bobby Sands as MP for the area.

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Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Pádraig MacLochlainn TD, has today welcomed the findings of the independent review group’s report into the Department of Justice and Equality. He also said that the Government cannot shirk their responsibility for the serious failings in the Department.

Deputy MacLochlainn said:

“The findings of this report highlight what we already knew about the ‘closed, secretive and silo driven culture’ within the Department of Justice and Equality.

“However, we also know that the political management of the Department by those who were democratically elected by the people was an absolute shambles. This is shown by the startling revelation that former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who was in office for over three years, didn’t once meet with the Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate Bob Olson.

“The report unfortunately doesn’t clarify what happened on the now infamous night where the then General Secretary Brian Purcell was dispatched by his political masters to the house of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan which clearly led to his resignation the next morning.

“So what we have had since then is a situation where the Minister himself and the Secretary General have had to move aside. We need the Taoiseach to urgently clarify what the message delivered was that night. We want answers.

“The confidence within the Department has been eroded and this has had a knock on effect on the delivery of policing and justice in this state.

“This report shows that there is a need for a new approach to the administration of policing and justice across the island.

 “What has been uncovered amounts to very deep-rooted and systemic deficiencies within senior levels of An Garda Síochána and other institutions of the state.

“In May of this year, Sinn Féin published our policy document ‘A New Beginning to Policing – Proposals for Reform’ that outlined our recommendations on how to reform the current system and, in light of this report, I once again urge Minister Frances Fitzgerald to take them on board and consider their implementation.”


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said she will continue to oppose the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in the European Parliament.  

Speaking as negotiations continue on the proposed agreement between the EU and the USA, Ms Anderson said; 

"This proposed partnership has the potential to have a one of the biggest pieces of legislation ever to come before the European Parliament. 

"TTIP could see major US companies and their subsidiaries sue European governments for legislating in a way that reduces their ability to make profits. 

"That is totally unacceptable as it would allow business interests to override democratically elected institutions. 

"I and my Sinn Féin colleagues, Lynn Boylan Liadh Ní Riada and Matt Carthy, have already opposed TTIP in the European Parliament and will continue to do so. 

"Opposition to this proposed partnership is growing with trade unions, environmental groups and anti-poverty organisations voicing serious concerns about the impact this could have on Europe. 

"The discussions around TTIP need to reflect this impact, particularly on a government's right to legislate for its own people. 

"The debate needs to be open and transparent so people can learn the truth about TTIP.

"Those in favour of the legislation, including British prime minister David Cameron, have made claims about job which have been described by academics from across Europe as vastly overblown. 

"The reality is that TTIP, far from solving unemployment problems, could actually lead to the loss of one million jobs in the EU and USA." 


Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has condemned an overnight arson attack on Derry Sinn Féin’s main constituency offices at Ráth Mór, Eastway Road. 

Speaking after the constituency office was targeted in the attack, the Foyle MLA said; 

"This must be condemned as an attempt to attack the democratic process. 

"It will not stop us working or the people of Derry. 

"It will be business as usual for Derry Sinn Féin, continuing to serve the people of the city an the wider north west." 


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has tonight welcomed the decision to recall the Seanad to discuss the situation in Gaza.

Deputy Adams said;

“I welcome the decision to recall the Seanad to discuss the crisis in Gaza. There is now no excuse for the Dáil not to be recalled. Sinn Féin has been calling for such an initiative. The move to recall the Seanad vindicates our position. The Dáil should be recalled as soon as possible.”


Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said Sinn Féin's efforts are ongoing to convince Taoiseach Enda Kenny to reconvene the Dáil to discuss the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the response of the Irish Government.

Speaking this morning Gerry Adams said:

"Irish citizens have been horrified at the unfolding scenes of suffering inflicted on the civilian population of Gaza by the Israeli military.

"I wrote to An Taoiseach on Thursday requesting that he recall the Dáil to discuss recent developments in the Middle East and in particular the ongoing conflict between the state of Israel and citizens in Gaza.

"In my view there is a very urgent need for the Dáil to discuss these matters.

"This is particularly so given that on Wednesday, the Irish state abstained from a United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution calling for respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian territory.

"Sinn Féin's call for the Dáil to be reconvened has already received support from TDs across parties. But as yet there has been no response from the Taoiseach.

"I expect the numbers of TDs seeking a recall of the Dáil to grow over the weekend.

"I think it is incumbent on the Taoiseach to heed these calls and to reflect the huge and widespread concern among Irish citizens by allowing the Dáil to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the appropriate response of this state."


Sinn Féin’s Midlands Northwest MEP Matt Carthy today addressed the Magill Summer school on the question of “The European Union: Reform or decline?”. During the debate Carty called for reform of the EU institutions and for powers to be returned to members states. He again urged the government to withdraw Phil Hogan’s nomination for the position of Ireland’s next EU Commissioner.

Carthy said;

“The European Union is at a cross roads. The public in Ireland and elsewhere are clearly uncomfortable with the direction of the EU.

“The election results were a call to action; they should have signalled a clear change in direction on the part of European leaders. Many of us were watching the first meeting of the European Council to see if the message had been received.

“Rather than announce a single change in policy or direction the council concentrated on a secret carve up of the top jobs within the institutions.

“The first big decision that our own government has had to take since the election has been the announcement of our next commissioner. If Fine Gael and Labour had heeded the message from voters they would have nominated someone who represented a break from the old boys club; a break from the usual Fianna Fáil type crony back-slapping move of using positions like this to reward party loyalty rather than to put someone who would be a credit to our country.

“What did they do? They nominated the epitome of cronyism. Phil Hogan has been nominated as commissioner because he was loyal to Enda Kenny during the leadership heave. Despite the fact that he has failed as a Minister; that questions will undoubtedly be raised at European level about his record it appears that Labour are content to support the nomination. I want to again call on the government to withdraw this nomination and put forward someone who we can all support.

“There are those who want the EU to become a federal state which in effect means taking an increasing amount of decision making powers further away from the people. I do not believe most of the Irish people, or indeed the majority population of the EU as a whole, wants to see this happen and that this is part of the reason for the growing chasm between EU institutions and the people of Europe.

“I believe most people, in Ireland and across Europe, agree with my starting point that decisions that affect them should be taken as close to them as possible. For this reason Sinn Féin is seeking support for a new EU convention with an explicit mandate to identify competencies to be returned to member states.

“It is time for a new direction, in Ireland and in the EU institutions. It is time to stand up for Ireland and the interests of the Irish people. I believe that if the EU is to have a future we need to end the Brussels power grab, to reign in the Commission and return powers to the member states.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Sport Sandra McLellan TD has congratulated the Irish Women’s under 19 soccer team on their performances at the European Championships which saw them reach the semi-finals of the competition.

Deputy McLellan said:

“I am delighted by the performances of the team and I am extremely proud that they reached the semi-finals of the European Championships.

“Being a proud woman from the Rebel County, I would particularly like to extend congratulations to the Cork contingent of players in the squad on this fantastic achievement.

“We must be encouraging women and girls into all sport. The government must ensure that there is proper funding so that women and girls can fully participate in soccer right up to international level.

“The FAI must work on ensuring that women’s soccer is not kept at the bottom of its priority list.”

Hunger Strike Commemoration 2014

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