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Vote Yes for Marriage Equality

Sinn Féin launch the party's Referendum campaign urging voters to give a resounding Yes to both referendum issues.

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Dramatic re-enactment of The O'Rahilly charge performed by the Cabra Historical Society on the 99th Anniversary of Easter Rising.



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Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald has said steps must be taken to increase the number of women in public life. 

The Sinn Féin Vice President said; 

"While great advances have been made in recent years to increase the number of women in public life, much more work needs to be done.

"We need to increase the participation of women in politics at all levels. That should be the task for all of us in public life. 

"For our part, Sinn Féin is committed to supporting and promoting women in politics. Of the five Sinn Féin ministers in the Executive, three are women. Three of our four MEPs in the European Parliament are also women. 

"There is a need for real proactive steps to support women to enter and advance in political and public life. 

"Gender quotas are one way of ensuring more representation of women in politics and should be introduced in all political arenas. 

"Sinn Féin intend to bring forward gender equality legislation in the North to bring it into line with the south where, at the next general election, 30 per cent of candidates from each party will have to be women. This will rise to 40 per cent in subsequent elections. 

"However, gender quotas in themselves will not address the problem. They must form part of a broader picture which will require a change of attitude from all political parties and government departments. 

"It must be a genuine step-change and not merely an excercise in papering over the cracks and paying lip service to gender equality. 

"Real and meaningful gender equality will only be achieved when the remaining barriers and obstacles are removed." 

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Having launched its campaign for a Yes Vote in the Marriage Equality referendum this week Sinn Féin activists will be out in numbers over the course this weekend canvasing for votes.

The party’s campaign political manager, Donegal TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn, has said teams of canvassers will be on the doors across the state with activity taking place in every constituency.

Speaking this evening Deputy Mac Lochlainn said;

“Sinn Féin is now in campaigning mode.  We are out to win this election and we will fight hard for the right result.

“We are not taking anything for granted and we will have canvas teams out on the doors across every constituency in the state over the course of the weekend.

“This referendum goes to the core of who we are in Sinn Féin.  We are Irish Republicans who want to see an Ireland of Equals.

“We are asking the Irish people to vote yes to equality.  Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd has said the DUP is clearly shaping up to a deal accepting vicious Tory cuts to public services and welfare in exchange for an Orange Order march along the Crumlin Road.

Mr O'Dowd said; 

“The DUP is clearly shaping up to accept Tory cuts in return for a deal to force Orange Order marches through nationalist communities. 

"The DUP are obviously more concerned about appeasing the Orange Order than protecting communities from cuts.

“The DUP demand also raises questions for the British Tory party.

“Theresa Villiers needs to clarify is her party prepared to do a grubby deal with the DUP and give in to what can only be described as a nakedly sectarian demand.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan today welcomed news that legislation will be brought to the Assembly to make child car seats safer.

Cathal Boylan said.

“I welcome the announcement that plans are being made to improve safety for children travelling in car seats. 

“The new system of plugging child car seats directly into anchor points in the car is an advance on the current method of securing child seats with an adult seat belt.

“This initiative will save lives and I welcome the news that the Environment Minister is to bring forward legislation which will keep children and babies safer when travelling in cars.”    

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners detained by Israel. 

Speaking today on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Ms Anderson, the chair of the European Parliament's Delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council, said; 

"More than 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners are currently being held by Israel, according to human rights organisation Addameer. 

"More than 160 of these are children, some of whom are under 16 years-old. 

"Fifteen-year-old schoolboy Khaled Sheikh had been one of those detained and while I welcome his release last night, Israel must also release the remaining Palestinian children it is holding. 

"Israel has also imprisoned at least 13 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, democratically elected representatives of the people, and regularly arrests others. 

"The continued detention of these prisoners, many of whom are denied access to the families, is a major obstacle to peace in the region. 

"I am calling on Israel to release all Palestinian political prisoners immediately as a step towards a sustainable peace."

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Sinn Féin Workers Rights spokesperson David Cullinane has expressed dismay at the latest twist in the Waterford Crystal saga. Speaking in response to the news that the government has yet again delayed the pension settlement for former workers at the plant, Senator Cullinane said:

“Over the past number of years the government have made the former Crystal workers jump through countless hoops and over all kind of obstacles.

“When the government finally agreed a pension settlement on foot of a European Court judgement, the workers assumed the matter had been resolved.  

“It is now four months since the workers voted to accept the terms of the pension settlement, and High Court proceedings have still to be wound up.

“This is due to the state's failure to circulate a Deed of Release which is required to satisfy the Court that the settlement terms are confirmed so the case can be disposed of.

“This is a shameful situation and it is not acceptable. The Waterford Crystal workers have waited long enough for what is rightfully theirs.

“Over the past few days the government took great umbrage to the Sinn Féin motion calling for the immediate introduction of legislation to protect Workers Rights.

“If they have any sense of decency left they need to circulate the Deed before the 14 May when the matter is again before the High Court.  

“The government and especially the Labour Party should hang their heads in shame at way they have treated the Waterford Crystal workers.”

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Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today launched Sinn Féin’s Yes campaign for the two referendums taking place on May 22nd.

The Sinn Féin leader and local Louth Councillors and activists took to Dundalk Clanbrassil Street handing out Yes leaflets.

Gerry Adams said:

“In just five weeks’ time two referendums will be held. One is to reduce the eligibility age for a candidate for the Presidential elections. The second is on marriage equality. Sinn Féin is calling for a Yes vote in both referendums.


We will be running a vigorous campaign. The Party will be distributing around half a million leaflets; at least five thousand posters and the party in every constituency will be carrying out a thorough canvas.

Louth Yes Campaign Launch

In respect of the Marriage Equality Referendum, many of us will have a member of our family or extended family who is gay. All of us, whatever age we are or wherever we live or work, know someone who is gay.

They want what we want – the right to live their lives as full and contributing citizens and to share in the love of a family of their own.

A Yes vote for same sex-marriage is about recognising people’s right to equality; respecting their right to express their own sense of identity; and is about affirming their right as citizens to be free, equal and happy.

There is a possibility that some citizens who are so angry at this government will see this as an opportunity to hurt Fine Gael and Labour. I would appeal to them not to do this. This referendum is not about those parties it is about the rights and entitlements of our family members, our friends, our neighbours and workmates.

Nor should those who support these referendum be lulled by the opinion polls into believing that these referendum will easily succeed. This is not a time for complacency. Every vote will count."

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has expressed disappointment at the response of Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan to the case of a woman prevented from leaving Gaza last month to speak at a conference in Dublin at the request of SIPTU, the country's largest trade union.

Mr Adams has again called on the Minister to raise the issue directly with the Israeli authorities.

Gerry Adams said:

“I raised with Minister Flanagan, the case of case of Dr Mona El Farra, Projects Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance and Vice-Chairperson of the Red Crescent in Gaza.

“Dr El Farra was for unexplained ‘security reasons’, refused a visa to enter Israel, from where she planned to travel to Dublin as an invited speaker at a conference organised by SIPTU last month.

 “I asked the Minister to raise this abuse of human rights directly with the Isreali Ambassador. But I am entirely dissatisfied with the response from Minister Flanagan who while he expresses regret, gives no commitment to raise the wise with the Ambassador.#

“Dr El Farra’s sole activity is in helping traumatised and injured children and women in Gaza.

“It is entirely unacceptable that an aid worker, invited to this country to address human rights and aid issues would be prevented from so doing by a State which wants to stop the truth of getting out.

“I would call again on Minister Flanagan to raise this abuse of human rights directly with the Israeli authorities.”

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SF Cork East TD and Spokesperson on Children Affairs Sandra McLellan is meeting with Childcare workers and providers from the sector today in Midleton and Mallow, Co. Cork. Deputy McLellan has recently been appointed as Special Rapporteur on Childcare for the Health and Children Committee.

As part of her background and research work for compiling the All- Party Oireachtas report which is to be completed by the summer, she has organised a series of consultation meetings nationwide within the sector.

Meetings will be taking place across all provinces, commencing in her constituency of Cork this morning.

Deputy McLellan said:

“I'm meeting today with a variety of representatives from the Childcare sector to hear their views and to discuss the current childcare crisis and challenges we face in this state.

“Childcare is a key issue for so many parents struggling today. Childcare workers and providers are being faced with huge challenges as well.

“As part of my ongoing work for our All - Party Committee report on Childcare, I've organised a series of outreach consultation meetings. It's vital to meet with the people at the coalface of the sector as well as parents and stakeholders so that all views on Childcare in the state are reflected in the report.

“I'm very much looking forward to engaging and working with many of those today.”

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