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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

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada hosted a delegation of Irish Sign Language (ISL) users in the European Parliament in Brussels this week to coincide with a major international conference on language rights for sign language users.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“I am delighted to host a delegation of Irish Sign Language users from Ireland in Brussels. I have long advocated equality, respect and recognition for ISL and for the vibrant language community that use it.

“This conference of sign language users from across Europe and beyond has been a revelation. Its clear that people who use sign languages can encounter specific disabilities in terms of accessing education, healthcare and work.

“I have campaigned for Ireland to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and successive Irish Governments should be ashamed for their failure to do so over the years. Enshrining and  enumerating these rights is crucially important if we want to cherish all our people equally.

“However we need to widen the debate. We must look beyond the rights of people with disabilities and look at how language rights can help ISL users overcome the challenges and obstacles they can face in their daily lives.

“ISL users form a vibrant, diverse and distinct language community, with its own culture and trajectory. It includes Deaf and Hearing people, young and old, men and women. This community is entitled to equality, respect and recognition, and I intend to work with ISL users to secure these.

“I have been campaigning at a European level for strengthened rights and protections for uses of indigenous, minority and regional languages including my own first language, Gaeilge, and ISL.

“The ISL community made clear their demands in the European Parliament and in the Oireachtas yesterday, and the onus is on all elected representatives to work together to deliver on these.

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has congratulated management and staff at Cork Airport on the commendation the facility received at the global marketing awards for the aviation industry held recently in Sichuan Province, China. Cork aiport was highly commended on front of over 3,000 industry decision-makers and representatives at the awards ceremony held as part of the World Routes aviation forum in Chengdu this week.

Liadh Ní Riada siad:

“I want to offer my congratulation to the staff and management at Cork Airport on this achievement. As a frequent user of the airport I can testify to the professionalism, vision and dedication of the operation there. Cork Airport remains an integral part of the transport infrastructure for the South of Ireland, serving a large catchment area and connecting Cork and the Region with the world.

“Cork Aiport are rightly focussed on attracting new airlines, building on the routes already operating out of the city, and in continuously developing and improving its offering for the people of the Region and visitors alike.

“Effecive transport communications are vital for regional economic development. Cork is well placed to contribute to balanced economic growth in Ireland and its strategic development is a key building block in progressing this vision.

“This commendation will add to the profile and prestige of Cork Airport in aviation industry circles and contribute to Cork securing and developing new routes and an expanded range of destinations. This is good for Cork, good for the Region and good for Ireland.”

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Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland-South and the only Irish MEP on the fisheries committee, Liadh Ní Riada, is to participate on the 11th October in a high-level hearing which she has requested in the European Parliament on the potential impact of Brexit on Irish fisheries and on the Common Fisheries Policy.


Liadh Ní Riada MEP said;

“Brexit has brought up challenges but also potential dialogue for the Irish government to seek out a new arrangement to benefit Irish fishermen who have been at a massive disadvantage due to lacklustre government intervention and representation.

“With the Brexit negotiations they must press for new ways to renegotiate previous arrangements with their counterparts in the European Council which is comprised of government representatives for each member state.


“'The European Council hold the real power when it comes to negotiating, particularly in relation to quotas. This is an opportunity for the Irish government to step up to the plate and for once fight for our fisheries.

“Coastal communities right across Ireland have suffered enough and simply cannot afford to be left out of any deals or negotiations in relation to Brexit and the Common Fisheries Policy.

“The whole quota system and MSY needs to be revised, especially considering the fact that Brexit will affect distribution and there will potentially be decreased access for our fishermen to Irish waters under British jurisdiction in the north of Ireland, which is both impractical and unjustifiable.

“Whilst Brexit is detrimental to all-Ireland cooperation, trade, freedom of movement and the security of the peace process it is still important to explore avenues where the Irish people can get beneficial concessions, including ending partition and getting the best deal possible for our island.”

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Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, has welcomed a vote this morning (Thursday) which saw a report entitled “How the CAP can Help to Create Rural Jobs”, receive the overwhelming support of MEPs. 

Carthy, who was a negotiator for the report stated after the vote in Brussels:

“This vote, of which I was the Shadow Rapporteur, comes at a critical juncture.  With many aspects of the CAP currently being examined in advance of the mid-term review process and with job creation in agriculture and rural areas becoming an important point of debate, this Resolution will hopefully contribute to the future reform of CAP policy. 

“I am pleased that the majority of the amendments I put forward were accepted by MEPs from across all nationalities and political groups.  Before submitting my amendments, I consulted with all Irish farm organisations, growers associations, local enterprise groups and environmental groups.  So, further than moving towards a more progressive CAP policy I am confident that my amendments really reflected the particular needs of my constituency. 

“Included in the report now are paragraphs which highlight the dropping numbers of farmers in rural areas over the last 10 years, the fact that these rural areas were disproportionately devastated in terms of jobs by austerity measures, and the fact that there is a very low income per labour unit for agricultural activities at present.

“Through the passing of this Resolution and my amendments today, I have called on the European Commission to be cognisant of the fact that Pillar One payments are keeping small farmers and rural areas alive, and to bear in mind that should they be withdrawn, 30% of European farmers would be forced to cease activities.

“I have called for a fairer distribution of Pillar 1 payments, for measures to address issues identified in the Commission’s Report on the Needs of Young Farmers, and for simplified and stronger measures to protect local produce.  

“With regard to rural development, the Resolution now calls for the bottom-up approach to LEADER programmes to be restored, increased support for cooperatives, and for region specific flexibility to be restored in the Second Pillar. 

“Finally, I am happy that all three of my amendments warning about the detrimental effects of trade deals such as TTIP on rural areas, were accepted.  Farmers operate in an increasingly global market and experience a far greater exposure to price volatility than other sectors.  The Commission has today been warned that deals such as TTIP, CETA and Mercosur pose direct threats to job creation and threaten traditional farming models in rural areas.  The changes that these trade deals would bring would work against policies aimed at stimulating local production and supporting agricultural livelihoods in Ireland. 

“This Resolution will be debated in the European Parliament’s Plenary session by a full sitting of MEPs with the European Commission at the end of October.  I will press to ensure that these crucial elements remain included in the final text.  There is an opportunity to ensure that the Common Agricultural policy plays an important role in the creation and maintenance of jobs in rural Ireland and across Europe.  It must be seized.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has today welcomed the positive vote today on a report she co-authored which calls for strict limits on the amount of dangerous fats known as transfats which can be found in food.

The Dublin MEP said:

“Transfats are fats which a mostly used in industrially produced cheap food and which have been found to be the biggest risk for heart disease. These fats are found in a variety of popular food products such as biscuits, cakes, popcorn and fried food which are eaten by consumers who are unaware of the risks.

“This report which was passed today by an overwhelming majority of the European Parliament’s Food Safety committee calls on the European Commission to stop dragging its feet and finally come forward with a serious proposal to reduce the amounts of transfats in our diets.

“Four EU countries have already taken the necessary action to place maximum limits of these fats in foods. Unfortunately, Ireland is not one of these countries leading from the front.

“Transfats are very common in the cheapest most processed foods, putting the health of lower-income consumers at the highest risk. The Irish government’s failure to act on this issue shows once again its absolute disregard for the lowest-income families in Ireland and the ever-widening health in equalities in our society.

“10,000 people die every year in Ireland from heart-related diseases making it Ireland’s number one killer. Limiting transfats in food is low-hanging fruit which has been shown to be very successful in other countries. There is no excuse not to act and I call on my fellow Irish MEPs to support this vote when it is voted by the full Parliament.”