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Sinn Féin in government will axe the water tax – Mary Lou McDonald TD

"Sinn Féin in government will reverse water charges. These charges will only cause further hardship for families already struggling to make ends meet."

Today, Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD launched the party's vision for water services accompanied by both Brian Stanley TD and Cllr. Cathal King who is the Sinn Fein candidate for the upcoming by election in Dublin South-West.

Download the document here

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Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, met with representatives from the Crosscare Migrant Project today and supported their proposal for the creation of an Emigrant Register.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Crosscare Migrant Project came before the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee today to discuss their Emigrant Register proposal, which calls for the Government to create an e-mail based database for emigrants to sign up to in order to periodically receive an information newsletter from the State.

“This register could transform how Ireland communicates with its diaspora, which needs huge reform, especially in this age of technology.

“The register could not only open better channels between emigrants and the State, but promote job vacancies in the public and private sector. It would also be a clear sign that the Government wants to connect with emigrants and bring them back to Ireland.

“The Government should also bring in Diaspora voting measures and this register could act as a way to connect with our emigrants on how to get registered and where they can eventually vote.

“While I recognise that most of the people this register is aimed at are the young or middle age emigrants who have left in recent years, it is important that we don’t ignore the plight of those emigrants who left this island in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.

“Some of these emigrants are living extremely vulnerable and lonely lives, particularly the so-called Forgotten Irish in Britain.

“Now that the Government has created a Minister for State for the Diaspora it is vitally important that it acts on these extremely important issues in a tangible and meaningful way.

“It should act on this proposal and explore all the positive possibilities it could bring.”

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has welcomed a move by the Government to deal with the situation where Government Ministers are exempted from paying Water Charges on a second home.

Deputy Adams drew attention to the issue in the Dáil yesterday during Order of Business. He pointed to the fact that a reply from revenue to a question from Pearse Doherty TD made clear that, under Taxes Consolidation Act 1977, Water Charges are a deductible expense.

Speaking this afternoon Gerry Adams TD said:

"I welcome this belated move to deal with this privilege. It had been Sinn Féin's intention to bring forward an amendment to Section 836 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1977 to exclude Water Charges as a deductible expense.

"Sinn Féin is implacably imposed to domestic water charges which are an unfair double tax on struggling families and we would reverse them in Government."

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Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey has described a threat against a Belfast Sinn Féin member as a sinister development. 

Speaking after a Belfast Sinn Féin member received two bullets and a Mass card in the post, the West Belfast MP said; 

"This threat against a member of Sinn Féin must be condemned. 

"The individual came home from holiday to find two bullets and a Mass card in the post. 

"This is a sinister incident and has been reported to the PSNI. 

"However, it will not deflect Sinn Féin from continuing our work to represent and improve the lives of everyone in the community." 

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Sinn Féin Seanad candidate Catherine Seeley has called on Oireachtas members to support her bid to become a Senator.

Speaking today Councillor Seeley said;

“The Seanad is not in the gift of the government and should be representative of the whole Irish nation.

“The actions of the Taoiseach, with the unquestioning support of Labour has been to abuse the public appointments system, in order to place their man in the Seanad.

“It is clear that they view the Seanad election not as an opportunity to strengthen and diversify the Seanad but an opportunity for political patronage and more of the same.

“It is clear that the present Seanad is mostly made up of middle aged, middle class, men.

“I would hope that my election would allow for me to bring my experience to bear on the issues facing the nations from the perspective of a young woman, an educator and an Irish citizen born and raised in the North.

“In the Seanad I would hope to join the Sinn Féin team and promote our visions of a new republican and to forward understanding and reconciliation.”

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Tá sé léirithe ag an bhFeisire Eorpach de chuid Shinn Féin agus ionadaí an Deiscirt Liadh Ní Riada, go bhfuil sí i gcoinne ainmniúchán Phil Hogan mar Choimisinéir um Thalmhaíocht agus Forbairt na Tuaithe.

"Cé gur chuir Sinn Féin fáilte roimh an slí go mbeidh cúram talmhaíochta ag Éireann, creideann muid nach bhfuil an duine ceart roghnaithe ag an Rialtas don phost seo.

"Is léir ó chuntas teiste Phil Hogan agus é mar Aire Comhshaoil, gurb eisean a bhí i mbun cánacha pionósacha a chur i bhfeidhm, rud a chur isteach ar go leor teaghlaigh a raibh, agus a bhfuil fós, faoi bhrú millteannach.

 "Go pearsanta, seasann mise i gcoinne an rialtas maidir leis an méid a bhfuil á dhéanamh acu i dtaobh cumhacht agus achmainní na h-eagraíochtaí cosmhuintire áitiúla atá bainte le clár LEADER a ghabhadh agus a chur faoi smacht na bainisteoirí contae. Ba é Phil Hogan, agus é mar Aire Comhshaoil a thóg an cinneadh sin chun LEADER a chuir faoi chumhacht údaráis áitiúla agus bainisteoirí contae. Léiríonn a chur chuige do LEADER an theist uafásach atá aige.

"Téann an cinneadh seo iomlán i gcoinne an sprioc atá ag an clár LEADER. ´Sé an aidhm a bhí leis ná grúpaí áitiúla a chuir i gcroílár an phróiseas cinnteoireachta maidir le forbairt tuaithe. Ní atá ann ó na páirtithe sin, atá freagrach as na pleananna forbartha agus tithíochta uafásacha sin le linn na 15 bliana anuas, ach forghabháil

"Beidh mé ag bualadh leis an Ard-Stiúrthóir de Fhorbairt Tuaithe san Eorap an Luain seo chugainn, an 6ú Deireadh Fómhair agus tá sé i gceist agam m´imní a léiriú maidir leis an slí go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh cinntí pleanála a thógáil ó pobail.

 "Chomh maith le sin, beidh mé ag diúltú ainmniúchán Phil Hogan mar Choimisinéir um Thalmhaíocht agus Forbairt na Tuaithe mar go mbeadh an deis aige na moltaí seo go léir a chuir i bhfeidh agus é sa ról sin.

CRÍOCH

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Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada has outlined her opposition to Phil Hogan's nomination as Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

 "While we in Sinn Féin have welcomed Ireland receiving the Agriculture portfolio we believe the Irish Government has selected the wrong person for the job.

"Phil Hogan's track record as Minister for the Environment has been to oversee punitive taxes on families already undergoing considerable hardship.

"Personally I have strongly objected to moves by the Irish Government to usurp the role of local grassroots organisations engaged in the LEADER programme. The decision taken to put LEADER under the power of local authorities and county managers was first taken by Phil Hogan as Environment Commissioner.  It only highlights his abysmal record on his approach to LEADER.

"This completely undermines the intended purpose of the LEADER programme which was to put local community groups at the heart of the decision making process in rural development. It is nothing more than a power grab, by the parties who have been responsible for many of the disastrous development and housing plans of the last 15 years.

I will be meeting with the Director General of the Rural Development committee in Europe on Monday the 6th of October to highlight my concerns over the move to take planning decisions away from communities.

I will also be objecting to Phil Hogan being given the role of Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner in order to rubber stamp these proposals.

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has welcomed news that a team searching for the body of Belfast man Brendan McGraw have found human remains in County Meath.

Gerry Adams said:

“I welcome the fact that a team searching for the remains Brendan McGraw, one of the people killed by the IRA during the course of the conflict and secretly buried, have found human remains in County Meath.

“I hope the identity of the remains can be quickly verified and that this discovery will bring some closure to the family and loved ones of Brendan McGraw.

“I would also appeal to anyone with any information on the whereabouts of any of the Disappeared to contact the Commission for the Recovery of Victims Remains.

“Any information passed to the Commission cannot be used in a court of law or transmitted to any other agency and those passing on this information have absolute immunity in relation to this information.”

ENDS

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Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD has again pressed the Taoiseach to answer serious questions which have arisen in relation to the appointment of Fine Gael Seanad by-election candidate, John McNulty to the board of IMMA.

Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dail today, Gerry Adams said:

“Taoiseach, yesterday you told the Dáil that there were 29 nominees to the Seanad vacancy for which you interviewed Mr John McNulty. Was he the only Fine Gael nominee you interviewed?

“You said that during the course of the validation and eligibility process Mr McNulty expressed his desire to serve on a cultural body. Does that mean he expressed that desire to you?

“Can you tell the Dáil who forwarded r McNulty’s CV to Minister Humphries? Was anyone elses CV forwarded to her?

“You say that Minister Humphries appointed Mr McNulty to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) ‘in her own right’.

“But the Government quota of nine nominees to the board was already filled. The nomination of Mr McNulty and another person breached this quota.

“You say that you accept responsibility for Fine Gael party officials bringing Mr McNulty’s interest in serving on a state board to the attention of a Minister. But if this was nothing to do with you, how are you responsible?”

Following Mr Kenny’s failure to answer any of the Sinn Féin leader’s questions, Mr Adams repeated them and again and sought to raise the issue under a Point of Order, pointing out that the Taoiseach had failed to answer the questions put.

IRA Cessation 20 Years

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