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Sinn Féin MEPs final report back to the Irish people of 2014.

Sinn Féin MEPs Martina Anderson, Matt Carthy, Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada deliver their final report back to the Irish people of 2014.

Read and share Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget 2015


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Responding to comments today by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, the Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD said:

"I have been writing to the Ceann Comhairle for over a year now regarding my belief that he has failed to properly and impartially discharge his duties.

"I have been seeking a meeting with him to discuss Sinn Féin's concerns. He has not facilitated this.

"He has no problem facilitating media interviews to attack Sinn Féin and make false statements.

"Mr Barrett says he wasn't occupying the Chair for a section of a Dáil debate about which I complained. He deliberately misses the point. The substance of my most recent communication with Mr Barrett, is for him, in his capacity as Ceann Comhairle, to deal with the issues I have raised.

"His comments appear to be an attempt to salvage his reputation which has now become a political issue.

"Highly prejudicial comments against Sinn Féin TDs by members of the Government parties have become a feature of Dáil debates. The Ceann Comhairle has allowed Sinn Féin TDs to be abused in the most disgraceful manner.

"Sinn Féin will not accept a situation where our TDs are subjected 2nd class treatment in the Dáil or where those who elected us are given 2nd class treatment.

"I urge Teachta Barrett to have the courage of his convictions and meet me to discuss and hopefully resolve these serious issues."

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Seanad Leader David Cullinane has said the decision by the government to impose the guillotine on the Water Services Bill is another broken promise by the government.

Senator Cullinane said the bill is an unmitigated disaster.

He said;

“The imposition of the guillotine on this bill is a clear breach of the government’s promise not to do so.  This is yet another broken promise from the government as we head into the Christmas break.  We have come to expect nothing less from this government as it limps on from one crisis to the next.

“The Water Services Bill is an unmitigated disaster.  The government is all over the place on this issue.  They have no idea of their figures.  For that reason alone the bill should be rejected.

“But the overwhelming argument against this bill is the will of the people as expressed in the protests across the state over several months when hundreds of thousands of people came out against these charges.

“The government says it is listening to the people but the reality is very different.  The people are demanding the complete scrapping of domestic water charges.  The government is ramming through this seriously flawed legislation to facilitate these water charges.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin councillor & LGBT advocate Chris Curran has slammed the Government in the wake of the publication of the Gender Recognition Bill.

Councillor Curran said the Government is not listening to the transgender community.

He said;

“It seems like the government is imposing a form of piecemeal statutory gender recognition.  They just aren't getting the message.

“The overriding principal here is that one's gender identity is for the individual to decide and its the state's role to facilitate the rights of the individual.

“This is another example of the government telling the LGBT community what our rights are rather than asking us what we want.

“Much as I welcome the governments announcement that we'll have the Marriage Equality referendum next year - why should we have to ask for our rights?

“Whether it be Marriage Equality, Gender Recognition or Employment Rights, the government should be facilitating our rights rather than us having to ask.

“This is another example of where our legislators are failing to keep up with the will of the people and is proven in that Ireland is shamefully the only EU country not a legislate for gender recognition. 

“This Gender Recognition Bill needs severe amendment because its patronising and borders on insulting the transgender community. 

“The bill indicates that transgender people need to be ‘diagnosed’ as such. Imagine a gay person needing to be ‘diagnosed’ as gay. A transgender person knows his or her true gender identity and this verification process is horrific.

“In relation to younger people and the need to be brought before a court. This represents another example of the government’s lack of understanding of the issue.  

“When a young person realises his or her true gender identity and is supported by the parents, the state should be obliged to carry out their wishes as individuals.

“The government is clearly amateur in this area and must engage heavily with the transgender community, listen to its needs and document its requirements before this Bill is passed into law.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said tonight that efforts to achieve a comprehensive agreement to all-party talks in the North have so far been inconclusive.

Martin McGuinness said:

“Over the past ten weeks Sinn Féin have engaged in the talks process in a positive and constructive manner to achieve a comprehensive agreement.

 “Our objectives have always been to reach an agreement which protects the most vulnerable in society, safeguards the rights and entitlements of citizens, delivers on outstanding agreements, grows the economy and enhances the working of the institutions.

“Progress has been made and today the five parties have agreed a set of proposals regarding public finance that would enable the Executive to use it’s powers to protect the most vulnerable, and to invest in building peace and reconciliation and welfare safeguards.

“These proposals require additional financial support.

“There has yet to be agreement on the outstanding issues of identity, parades and the legacy of the past.

“A side deal between the British government and the unionists to set up a panel in response to a demand from the Orange Order to march through nationalist communities in North Belfast makes the achievement of a comprehensive agreement more difficult.

“The two governments’ dilution of the Haass proposals on the past particularly on the issue of victims and survivors is a stumbling block.

“We are continuing to seek agreement on the implementation of outstanding issues from the Good Friday and other agreements including an Acht Gaeilge, a Bill of Rights and the inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

“If the institutions are to maintain the support of the people it’s clear we need to resolve both the financial situation and the outstanding matters.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd has condemned those responsible for leaving a bomb under a car belonging to a British soldier in Portadown. 

The Upper Bann MLA said; 

"Those responsible for this attack do not speak for the local community and are not advancing any cause. 

"Fortunately no one was injured in this attack.

"This is a society determined to move on and the democratic representatives of the people are currently involved in intensive talks to build a better future for all.

“We will not allow a tiny minority to drag us back to the past.

"The people who carried out this attack need to call an immediate end to these futile actions.

“I condemn this attack which achieved nothing other than disrupting the lives of local people who were evacuated from their homes."

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North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed the announcement that the Northern Trust is to stand down the consultation to close the Dalriada hospital in Ballycastle.

He said: 

"Today is a great victory for the people of Ballycastle and the Save The Dal campaign.

"The past two months demonstrated that people power has made the Health Minister do a u-turn on the closure of this vital rural service. I would like to pay tribute to each and every person who protested, who campaigned, who signed petitions, who contributed in any way to saving this hospital. This decision shows the importance of that work.

"I would also like to pay tribute to Philomena McKay and those who took forward the legal action against this decision. I have no doubt that this was the key action that made the Health Minister and the Trust reverse their decision.

"The Dal is saved. However the fight must continue. The people here are determined to continue the work that this campaign has started in order to ensure that the Dalriada hospital continues to serve this community for the foreseeable future." 

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Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor, Larry O’Toole, has called on Dublin City Council to adopt a policy aimed at the preventing the exploitation of construction workers.

Speaking today about his motion Cllr O’Toole said:

“The issue of exploitation has been raised by public representatives, trade unions and other organisations. My proposal is simple, all workers on Dublin City Council construction projects should receive the terms and conditions of employment as contained in the Construction Industry National Collective Agreements. Furthermore all workers whether employed by the main contractor, a sub-contractor or an agency should be treated equally and receive all of their entitlements.

The motion also seeks to curb bogus self-employment and looks to ensure that all workers are employed on a PAYE basis.

We would like to see DCC encourage the creation of training opportunities for our young people through the creation of apprenticeships based on a ratio of one apprentice for every six craftworkers.

We would also like to see trade unions affiliated to the construction industry committee of Irish Congress of Trade Unions to have onsite access to construction projects in order to monitor compliance with the collective agreements and to service their members.”

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Sinn Féin Councillor Ciaran Beattie has slammed those behind the shooting last night at Thames Street.

Speaking today Cllr Beattie said:

“There is no place whatsoever for so-called punishment shootings in our society. This attack was carried out in a popular takeaway on the front of the Falls Road and those behind it cared nothing about the people working in the shop or using it.

“They represent no-one but themselves. The community know that these attacks are usually carried out by dissident organsiations for self-serving purposes.

“There are clearly other ways to deal with the issues affecting us all, both with the community and with the PSNI. Anyone who has any information on this attack should bring it forward.”

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Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said that a possible Dunnes Stores strike can be averted by senior management but they need to move from their backward early 1900s labour relations approach and into a more enlightened 21st century mode.

The strike threat comes on the back of a survey carried out by the Mandate Trade Union among Dunnes Stores workers and suggests that three quarters of those employed are trapped on part-time flexible contracts.

Crowe said that the Dunnes Stores controversy also highlighted the need for the introduction of robust anti-victimisation legislation and collective bargaining rights in line with International Labour Organisation conventions.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

"A pending Dunnes Stores Strike due early next year can be averted by senior management but they need to move from their backward early 1900s labour relations  approach and into a more enlightened 21st Century mode.

"The survey carried out by the Mandate Trade Union among their Dunnes Stores members suggests that three quarters of those employed are trapped on part-time flexible contracts.  A huge amount, eighty five per cent, felt that insecurity around their hours and believe that hourly rostering is being used as control mechanism over workers and that their hours are being distributed unfairly.

There is understandably widespread dissatisfaction with this policy that has them locked into part time hours, trapped in poverty and with no security of hours.

"An added difficulty faced by workers is the abject failure of Dunnes Stores to engage in any meaningful discussions with their workers' unions or any Irish Labour Relations apparatus.

"According to Eurostat, over one fifth of the Irish workforce is now in low-pay employment, there is a widening of the gap in terms of income distribution and there is an increase in the number of adults and children living in poverty.

"One hundred and one years after the 1913 Lockout, Ireland has the dubious distinction of being only one of three countries in the EU27 where the right to collective bargaining is not enshrined in law.

"Collective bargaining rights need to be introduced without delays that are in keeping with more progressive International Labour Organisation conventions.

"I believe the Dunnes Stores controversy highlights the need for new legislation to copper fasten the right to trade union recognition treating collective bargaining as a basic right.

"The Dunnes Stores strike can be averted but senior management need to move and join the rest of us in the 21st Century."

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