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Despite Government attempts at revisionism regarding his role in the recent series of controversies involving the Gardai, the Minister is in fact a central actor, and the author of a litany of catastrophes in this whole affair.

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Latest News


Two South Belfast Sinn Féin representatives are meeting senior police officers today about their failure to tackle a loyalist gang erecting paramilitary flags in a shared community on the Ormeau Road.

 Alex Maskey MLA and Councillor Deirdre Hargey are meeting the PSNI at 2.30pm in Belfast City Hall to raise an incident involving a loyalist gang in the area last night.

 Alex Maskey said that local residents had felt intimidated by the loyalists, some of whom had clearly been drinking.

 “A gang of around 20-30 loyalists arrived on the Ormeau Road and took down legal Sinn Féin election posters and began erecting flags, including UDA flags, illegally on lamp posts,” said Alex Maskey.

 “Some of this gang clearly had been drinking alcohol and local residents said they felt very intimidated by their actions.

 “The PSNI were on the scene but despite the gang committing a criminal offence and acting aggressively the PSNI failed to take any action.”

 Councillor Hargey said that local people felt very ‘dispirited’ by the failure of the police to respond to bully boys.

 “There is real anger and frustration in the local community this morning,” said Deirde Hargey.

 “Local people have no faith in the PSNI’s willingness to deal with loyalist mobs breaking the law and increasing tensions in what is a shared community.

 “This type of aggressive sectarianism sets community relations back 20 years.

 “We are meeting senior police officers today to convey the community’s frustration and anger at the police’s refusal to act and to demand they stand up to the bully boys.”


East Derry Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has expressed his sadness on the news of the death of Independent MLA David McClarty.

 Mr Ó hOisín said,

“Despite having different political views I always found David to be a gentleman in all my workings with him. I worked on many issues with David and found him to be totally professional.

 “I would like to extend my sincere condolences to David’s family and friends at this time.”


Sinn Féin election candidate for Ballymoney Leanne Peacock has called on the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to make sure that homecare workers are paid expenses on time. 

Leanne Peacock said that she has been working with local Homecare workers employed by the Trust as they faced a crisis caused by underpayments over the last few days.  

Ms Peacock said,

 "I was approached by a group of local Homecare Workers who brought to my attention the serious issues that have been leaving them underpaid and without their travel expenses recently. 

“These workers provide a valuable resource assisting elderly people in their homes and as a result clock up substantial mileage in their role. 

"It is shocking that staff who work tirelessly in the community would have to go without the substantial sum that they are out of pocket in travel expenses incurred as a result of their work. 

“Indeed without the reimbursement of travel expenses many homecare workers have feared that they may be unable to carry out their job over the next few weeks as they cannot afford to pay for the fuel required. 

"Having pressured the Northern Trust to take urgent action in conjunction with my colleague Daithí McKay MLA I have received assurances that all outstanding travel expenses will be paid by 22nd April. 

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely. I would encourage any homecare workers who have not received their payments by the 22nd to contact me, or the Sinn Féin Constituency Office in Dunloy, so that we can take further action on the issue.” 

North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay added: 

"The Trust needs to ensure that this does not happen again. 

“Regardless of problems with a new payroll system workers are entitled to their pay and they must be paid in good time.

“We all know the problems and stress that missed standing orders and direct debits can cause, as well as meeting basic household overheads, and the Trust must ensure that staff are not one penny out of pocket."


Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy was in Mayo this evening to host a public meeting on seaweed harvesting amidst concerns that the industry could be privatised.

Cllr Carthy was joined at the packed meeting by local councillor Rose Conway Walsh and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Speaking in Belmullet the Midlands Northwest candidate said:

“The scenic west coast of Ireland, including here in Belmullet, has much to contribute towards the revitalisation of the economy.

“There is great untapped potential along our coast for greater use of seaweed and for job creation by adding value to the potential harvest there. However, significant concerns have arisen for the future of the industry.

“It appears that a private company from Canada is bidding for the state-owned Arramara Teoranta and I am very concerned that this is another feature of our lives that this government wants to sell off for privatisation.

“The potential of this industry will only benefit our own people if the harvesting and processing is controlled by the communities living there by way of co-operatives or some similar community-based approach.

“I am calling on the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, to come clean on plans for the future of seaweed harvesting on the Western seaboard.

“The community here in Belmullet made their views known tonight. There is a great deal of concern along the west coast for the future of seaweed harvesting. Minister Hogan should not leave these communities waiting for an answer.”

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