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Gerry Adams reflects on 20th anniversary of IRA cessation

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD reflects on the 20th anniversary of the historic IRA cessation.

IRA Cessation 20 Years We are hiring GIF


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Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan said today those who burn tyres on bonfires should be prosecuted rather than farmers using them for legitimate business purposes. 

The Sinn Féin agriculture spokesperson said; 

"I have been made aware of an incident where a farmer could face prosecution for moving tyres on his own land. 

"Many farmers use tyres as an essential part of their business and they are fully entitled under the law to do so. 

"Yet we are now facing the ridiculous situation where farmers are receiving letters from the Environmental Crime Unit of the NI Environment Agency telling them they are being investigated and could be interviewed under caution. 

"These letters contain highly charged language and are causing great distress in the farming community.

"I have written to the Environment Agency and the Environment Minister asking for details on how many farmers are being investigated and how many non-farming businesses are under investigation regarding tyres. 

"I have also asked has the Environmental Crime Unit sent any letters to individuals or groups involved in burning tyres on bonfires. 

"Farmers are a soft target rather than pursuing those causing serious environmental damage burning tyres on bonfires close to the homes, schools, hospitals and businesses and damaging people's health in the process. 

"The farming community on the other hand works daily to protect and conserve our environment and contributes to the economy" 

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called on the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to head up an initiative on behalf of the Irish State to secure European Union support for practical measures aimed at a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr Adams has written to the Taoiseach and a number of EU premiers asking them to use the space created by the recent ceasefire announcement in Gaza, to work to obtain a resolution at the United Nations Security Council requesting the resumption of serious peace negotiations within a defined period of time.

Gerry Adams said:

“The international community must now ensure that the ceasefire is respected and sustained but what is also clear is the need for a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It cannot be acceptable for this conflict to erupt with depressing frequency every few years leading to thousands of needless deaths.

“With this in mind I have written to a number of EU premiers asking them to work to obtain a resolution at the United Nations Security Council requesting the resumption of serious peace negotiations within a defined period of time.

“These should be aimed at securing a two-State solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the borders of 4th of June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its Capital. All European states should now formally recognize the State of Palestine.

“I believe also that European states should support the deployment of a UN protection force in Gaza on the lines of that deployed in Kosovo.

“I have also written to An Taoiseach, asking him to support this approach and to head up an initiative on behalf of the Irish State to achieve these objectives.

“It is clear that the people of Gaza need urgent and massive humanitarian aid. There is now a pressing need to rebuild Gaza. There are now 450,000 people there without homes. There is no electricity, no running water and no sewage system as hundreds of thousands of boys and girls are due to start a new school year. The international community must begin immediately to restore the food, medical, fuel, and electricity needs of 1.7 million people.

“The people of Gaza and of the Palestinian territories need hope. They need to believe that there is a real possibility of positive change in their conditions. They need their rights as human beings and their national rights as Palestinians respected and upheld by the international community. They also need to know that international law will be respected. The Irish Government must do all that it can to ensure that international law is upheld and I have asked the Taoiseach you use his influence with our EU partners to advance this.

“I have travelled to the region on several occasions and have met many of the representatives of the Palestinian people, including Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. I have also met Israeli representatives. In my conversations I have stressed that inclusive dialogue, involving substantive and inclusive negotiations, and involving all of the participants is the only way forward. They need the help of the international community to achieve this and I am appealing to the Irish Government to use its influence positively in this regard.”

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Sinn Féin’s Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD has today called for a ban on vending machines selling sugary drinks to be implemented in schools to reduce health risks for young people. He criticised Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s refusal to act on the matter, blaming the chronic underfunding of schools on the use of vending machines to generate income.

Deputy O’Brien said:

“Schools are paid between €3,500 and €4,000 a year per vending machine on their premises. This is a significant amount of income for any school that is underfunded by the Department of Education. While schools recognise that sugary drinks are not beneficial to the wellbeing of their students, it seems that the need for increased funding has led to this unfavourable situation.

"Schools cannot be blamed for trying to make the best of a bad situation when they are strapped for resources and presented with a relatively easy source of funds following years of cutbacks.

“The Minister must ensure that vending machines selling unhealthy foods are banned and that, in their place, schools receive adequate funding to both educate students about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and to provide healthy food options at lunch time.

“A healthy and balanced lifestyle is key to the growth and learning capabilities of children and young people and must be a priority for schools and the Department of Education alike.

“I urge the Minister to reconsider her position and to implement a ban on sugary drinks in schools to reduce health risks among our young people.”

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has stated the Government is refusing to deal with the mortgage crisis.

Deputy Doherty was speaking following the release of new figures from the Central Bank which show that there are still 90,343 mortgages in arrears of ninety days or more.

He said:

“It is frightening to think that the financial pressure created by this situation is negatively impacting more lives than the number of people who filed into Croke Park to watch the All-Ireland Football Semi-Finals at the weekend. That is the scale on the crisis at it stands. It cannot be hidden by the government spinning a slight reduction as a success.

“The reality is that here are no grounds for celebration in these figures. They confirm once again that this government will play no hand in solving the mortgage crisis. Minister Noonan will not step in to make banks pass on interest rates or cut excessive pay and he will not step in to tell them to get real about the mortgage crisis. This government is content to let the mortgage crisis unwind at the pace of the banks’ choosing. The increase in long term arrears points to this fact.

“Last month the Oireachtas Finance Committee produced a report following exchanges with the banks and mortgage holders’ groups. That cross-party Report contained 47 recommendations on how the Mortgage Arrears Process could be improved. There is no evidence that any one of those recommendations has been implemented.”

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Tá an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh as Gaillimh ag impí ar an Aire Sláinte, Leo Varadkar dul i dteagmháil le Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte (FSS) chun cuidiú le fadsaoil Andrew Lydon, atá ag fulaingt leis an ngalar Motor Neuron, a chinntiú.

Deir Seanadóir Shinn Féin:

"Deimhníodh trí bliana ó shoin d’athair beirt chlainne, Andrew Lydon as Conamara, go raibh MND air. Creideann seisean dá ligfí dó obráíd ar a dtugtar tracheostomy air a fháil, go gcuirfí go mór leis na seansanna go mairfidh sé níos faide. Ach, níl an FSS sásta ceadú dó an obráíd a bheith aige in Éirinn.

"Maíonn Andrew nach bhfuil ach cúigear nó seisear daoine in Éirinn gach bliain a bheadh feiliúnach agus toilteanach an obráid seo a bheith acu agus go bhfuil an seans seo dhá cheilt orthu ag an FSS. Measann sé go bhfuil an cleachtas seo ag sárú an ceart atá aige féin chun na beatha.

"Creideann sé mar shaoránach de chuid na tire seo, go bhfuil dualgas ar an stát a bheatha a chaohmnú. Deir sé gurb í an fhadhb atá ann ná nach bhfuil an cúigear nó seisear seo le cloisteáil sách ard ar chúl na mascanna ocsaigín atá orthu le go mbeidís ina údar imní don stát.

"Tá mé ag iarraidh an an Aire Varadkar labhairt leis an FSS féachaint céard is féidir a dhéanamh maidir le cás Andrew agus chun fad a chur lena shaol, sa gcaoi go mbeidh seans aige a chuid páisti a fheiceáil ag fás agus níos mó ama a chaitheamh leo. Creideann Andrew gur ionann don FSS gan cinneadh a ghlacadh agus cead a thabhairt dó bás a fháil go luath.

"Tá sé íorónach gur úsáideadh cuid mhaith acmhainní de chuid an stát le deanaí le cásanna dlí a throid chun an ceart chun na beatha a chosaint agus go bhfuil fear againn anseo atá ag troid chun fad a chur lena shaol féin agus nach bhfuil siad ag tabhairt tacaíocht iomlán dó. ‘Tá feachtas dá chuid féin tosaithe ag Andrew leis an t-airgead a theastaionn don obráid agus I dtreo na gcostas iarchúram a bhailliú agus tá sé ag iarraidh ar an bpobal cabhrú tríd síntiúis a thabhairt ag www.andrewlydontrust.com más féidir leo.

"Caithfidh an tAire agus an FSS gach gur féidir leo a dhéanamh chun cabhrú leis an bhfear óg seo an caighdeán saoil is fearr gur féidir a bheith aige agus chun cur leis na seansanna atá aige a chlann a fheiceáil ag fás gan leithscéalta maoinithe a bheith mar bhac ar sin".

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