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EU Election Manifesto 2014

Putting Ireland First - Éire Chun Cinn

Sinn Féin's bilingual election manifesto for the 2014 EU election was launched on Monday 12 May. Download Sinn Féin's EU Manifesto 2014 here.

EU Election News


  Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has stated that the European Commission has acknowledged that the Irish Goverment's merciless policy choices have led to a substantial increase in family home repossessions.

Carthy, who is a member of the EU parliament's economic & Monetary Affairs Committee, stated that the Commission's response to a written question submitted by him has confirmed that the FG-Labour Goverment has chosen repossession of family homes as a policy.

He said:

"The response by the Commission is explicit in stating that the Coalition government went beyond simply reversing the Dunne Judgement, when enacting legislation.

"The Dunne judgment (which, in effect, prohibited the repossession of family homes) was reversed at the behest of the Troika and the resulting legislation has caused a serious increase in the number of family home respossessions in Ireland, which the Commission has reaffirmed.

"Under the the watch of Fine Gael and Labour almost 4 family homes a day are now being lost to the banks.  The homeslessness that we have witnessed is at an unprecendented crisis because of a conscious decision by the Govermennt not to challenge the banks.

"These policy choices have resulted in 42% of the cost of Europe's banking crisis being burdened on the Irish people.  And, now Irish families are paying the price with their homes.

"These policies have saw Irish and European banks bailed out and preferential interest rates offered to those of extreme wealth while those who played no hand, act nor part in the creation of the crisis are now forced to become homeless.

"The Commissions response has reafiirmed that a conscious decision by the government not to challenge the primacy of financial institutions has led to a sharp increase in the repossessions of family homes.

"Sinn Féin has called for solutions on a case-by-case basis including write-downs where necessary. An independent body needs to be put in place to force banks to make sustainable deals".


NOTE: Written Question and Response below:

Question for written answer E-011701/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL)

Subject:       Home repossessions

Press coverage of a Commission draft report[1] suggests that the overall number of repossessions in Ireland is low, with the majority of the homes being voluntarily surrendered. The fact of the matter is that almost four family homes are being repossessed or surrendered each day in Ireland. Figures from the Irish Central Bank show that in the first quarter of 2015, 351 homes were repossessed or surrendered.

Furthermore, according to figures from the Courts Service, the rate at which homes are being repossessed has increased by more than 500 per cent since last year.

This cannot be considered a low rate by any analysis.

Can the Commission advise as to the quantitative figures for the average number of repossessions of homes across Europe as a whole?



Answer given by Mr Moscovici

on behalf of the Commission


In 2013, Ireland enacted legislation removing the unintended impediments to repossession from the so-called Dunne judgment. This legislation was accompanied by CBI guidance on mortgage resolution, which comprises the voluntary surrender or forceful repossession of the property where no other option is available. Only since then, the number of repossessions and surrenders in Ireland have increased to significant levels. The high growth rates witnessed today are hence explained by the very low volume of past repossessions.

Consistent with this evidence, a  study by IMF staff[2] found that Ireland was the country where less properties had been repossessed in cumulative terms since the onset of the crisis, compared to Spain, Iceland and the USA. The number of repossessions currently taking place in Ireland is also low compared to other countries that have lived similar property bubbles. In the first quarter of 2015, 123 principal dwelling houses were repossessed and 306 surrendered in Ireland. By way of illustration, 8,802 repossession processes for such houses were initiated in Spain during this period. Moreover, it takes on average 50 weeks to complete a repossession procedure in Ireland compared to 18 weeks in the USA and 36 weeks in Spain, which also contributes to explaining the comparatively low number of repossession in Ireland.

The Commission does not currently have access to the agregate number of repossessions in Europe. Data are compiled, if at all, at national level in a non-harmonised manner given the diversity of the national legal frameworks applicable to mortgages and repossessions. The Commission has commissioned a study[3] to get an overview and analysis of available data and trends regarding housing evictions between 2010 and 2013.


[2]     "Resolving Residential Mortgage Distress: Time to Modify?" Jochen R. Andritzky,  December 17, 2014,

[3]     Pilot project - Promoting protection of the right to housing - Homelessness prevention in the context of evictions (



Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the adoption of the new EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE IV), worth almost 270 million euro.

Speaking after the announcement was made, Ms Anderson said,

"European funding such as the PEACE programmes have contributed significantly to development of positive relationships between individuals and communities since its inception 25 years ago and therefore I

"Therefore I am delighted that the funding programme is sustained and the sterling work is continued.

"On a regular basis I work closely with recipients of these funds and I see first-hand how important it is to groups and communities. But I also see the invaluable services they deliver and the relationships that are developed between those working within the programs.

"However, it is essential to highlight that the implementation of a BREXIT would most likely see the termination of this, and similar funding streams, and therefore would absolutely cripple the north.

"Therefore I will continue working closely with these recipients, encourage new groups and organisations to get involved and also to ensure that in terms of the BREXIT debate, the question of the north is always on the agenda." ENDS


Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has described as 'disappointing' remarks made by Social Democrat TD for Wicklow, Stephen Donnelly, regarding the ongoing EU-US trade deal (TTIP).

Carthy said

“On the Marian Finucane radio show Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly made reference to the role of the IFA in demanding better terms for farmers in the ongoing TTIP negotiations.  During his contribution he rightly outlined that farmers face a range of threats from the potential deal.

“While his short contribution on the matter gave the impression that he is familiar with the threats posed by TTIP deputy Donnelly preceded to toe the all too familiar line of “trade is good” and “barriers to trade hurt us”.  He stated that people are right to be nervous about “pieces” of the trade deal.  This is a classic example of "Sitting on the fence" on an issue that could have disastrous ramifications for the Irish economy including agriculture as well as the environment, public health and workers' rights. 

“Most of the information we have about TTIP comes from leaked documents with the remainder emanating from various PR exercises of the Commission and the Irish government.  The more that is revealed about this deal the greater the opposition is becoming in Ireland and across the EU. How Stephen Donnelly can maintain such a middle of the road approach to this deal is perplexing.

Carthy further commented:

“TTIP is not a trade deal as we would have traditionally known it.  For Deputy Donnelly to say “as a small open economy we need to be good traders” in the context of this mammoth deal frankly undermines the established work of Irish exporters.  Irish exports to the USA in 2014 totalled almost €20 billion accounting for 22% of our total exports.

“According to the American Chamber of commerce, total U.S. investment to Europe in the first nine months of 2014 fell 19% from the same period the previous year while U.S. flows to Ireland surged nearly 42%.  Ireland accounted for 36.4% of total US FDI to the European Union in 2013, a record high.   What Stephen Donnelly fails to understand is that if TTIP is fully realised it poses a real risk of FDI flight from Ireland to countries in Eastern Europe (which have lower cost base due primarily to poor wages). The Irish government commissioned Copenhagen Report which cost €250000 references FDI flight from a number of sectors in the Irish economy but this threat has been ignored by the government.

“I am calling on Deputy Donnelly and the Social Democrats to make a statement on this matter and outline what exactly their position is.  I would encourage the Social Democrats to join with the progressive forces who oppose TTIP and call for the end of negotiations under the current mandate.”



Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has met Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill to discuss concerns over the impact the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would have on the Irish farming industry. 

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Anderson said; 

"The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would have a huge detrimental and wide-ranging impact on many sectors, particularly on agriculture. 

"The Investor - State Dispute Settlement element of TTIP in particular would allow companies to override and overrule governments on cuts to their profit margins. 

"It would open the market here to US beef, which could jeopardise food safety and traceability and put jobs at risk. 

"And it is not just beef; it will also impact on the pork, poultry and dairy sectors and could result in up to 3,000 job losses. 

"Research carried out in the south has shown the beef sector could contract by three per cent, which would represent a loss of £45m as a result of TTIP. 

"We need to see similar research being carried out here in order to find out what the full impact of this unfair legislation would be on our agriculture industry." 


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson is to be the main speaker at an event at the Guildhall in Derry on Sunday at 5pm to mark International Day of Solidarity with Palestine.

Speaking ahead of the event, Ms Anderson said,

"The continuation of the Israeli occupation and its persistence with colonial settlement activities, cruel arrests and detention of civilians, affirm Israel's arrogance and intransigence, its violations of international law, its rejection of peace and its adherence instead to the ideology of colonial expansion, subjugation and greed.

"Ending the injustice inflicted on the people of Palestine is a moral and humanitarian responsibility. The international community should compel Israel, the occupying power, to abide by international law to put an end to its violations and its illegal, aggressive and destructive practices.

Chair of the Delegation of Relations with Palestine in the European Parliament, Ms Anderson continued,

"The status quo under occupation and the Israeli iron fist is unsustainable as it keeps the region in a constant spiral of violence, bloodshed and conflict.

"The Palestine people have the right to enjoy freedom, dignity, sovereignty and independence in their Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Similar to the north, peace is their ultimate goal.

"In the run up to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people I would like to reiterate my call to place Palestine and its people under international protection. The occupiers will not protect the occupied.

"I am hoping you can join me in Derry at 5pm on Sunday, as we stand in unity with the Palestinian people, as we send a strong message of support to them and their struggle.

"Israel's blockade of Gaza must end. Israel's settler activity and terror must end. The collective punishment of Palestinian youths must end and in order to secure peace & stability in the region the occupation must end." ENDS