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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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Speaking in response to the decision of the Planning Appeal Commission (PAC) in the north to grant planning permission for the construction of a pylon-supported North South Interconnector project, Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy said that it doesn’t change the fact that the proposed development does not have public acceptance among the affected communities and landowners.

He reiterated his party’s call for the companies involved and the Irish Government to proceed with the interconnector only on the basis of underground technology.

Speaking from Brussels Matt Carthy said:

“The news that the planning permission for the North-South Interconnector has been granted by the PAC does not change the fact that the project has not the necessary public acceptance among the affected communities or landowners.  Without that public acceptance the project will not be completed.

“EirGrid in particular have failed in their engagements with landowners and the public, despite their claims to the contrary and despite spending untold sums of public monies on an intensive PR campaign.

“Sinn Féin wants to see the development of a North South Interconnector, recognising that it is an important infrastructural project. But, the fact is that an over-grounded Interconnector will face fierce opposition from the rural communities concerned due to their genuine fears of the impact the proposal will have on the grounds of health, the visual amenities of their areas and its impact on local businesses, particularly in tourism and agriculture.

“Rather than addressing these concerns EirGrid have engaged in an elaborate campaign of dismissal and demonisation of anyone who disagrees with them.  Their actions have already led to a decade long delay to the project.

“If EirGrid were to prioritise the public acceptance criteria then the project would be developed using underground technology.  The international evidence clearly shows that undergrounding this project is possible and feasible.  It is likely in fact to be the economically sounder option in the long term.

“Should EirGrid and SONI refuse to adopt this position then they should be directed by government policy to do so

“The judgement by the North’s Planning Appeal Commission does not change the fundamentals on the situation. If anyone wants to see the development of the North South Interconnector then they should support the demand that it be developed using underground technology in the knowledge that this is the only way it will materialise”.

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Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed the resounding support on the European Parliament Employment Committee for her report on gender diversity in the media.  Ms Boylan, a strong advocate for media reform, said:

“This timely report draws attention to the worrying levels of harassment experienced by women working in the media sector. A recent study found that 64.8% of female journalists experienced intimidation, threats, or abuse in relation to their work and over one third of those said that the abuse was carried out by a male boss or co-worker.  My report commends the #MeToo campaign and calls for media organisations to establish structures that assist victims of harassment and facilitates whistleblowers.

“Harassment in the workplace is compounded by the high level of precarious working conditions in the media sector. Women are over represented in these atypical contracts and the precarious nature of their work leads to a greater risk of their exploitation.

“I have also called for greater transparency in pay systems to address the issue of pay inequality which stands stubbornly high at 17%. This, of course, feeds into the pension gap.  

“Transparency is also called for in recruitment and promotion processes. Despite women making up 68% of media and journalism graduates, less than 32% of those are senior staff and only 16% hold high level strategic positions. Women are also less likely to receive workplace funded training than their male colleagues.

“I would hope that both public and private Irish media organisations take on board the recommendations in this report.  RTÉ’s recent report into the pay gap was a missed opportunity, given that many high profile presenters were excluded from the study. Within the private media organisations, we have even less information regarding salaries, not to mention a distinct absence of women’s voices on private radio stations during peak listening hours.” 

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said EU citizens in the north should have the right to direct representation in the European Parliament post-Brexit. 

Speaking after a debate in the European Parliament’s AFCO committee today, Martina Anderson said:

“The ability to directly elect a representative to the European Parliament is a basic fundamental right.

“At this morning’s meeting of the European Parliament’s AFCO committee I brought forward amendments reiterating that all citizens of the north of Ireland, by virtue of the Good Friday Agreement, are entitled to British or Irish citizenship or both and reminded members that as Irish citizens, they will remain EU citizens post-Brexit.

“This means that people living in the north, through their entitlement to Irish and therefore EU citizenship, should still have the right to directly elect representatives to the European Parliament.

“I was pleased that members of the committee supported my amendments and this position now needs to be taken into account by those deciding on the future composition of the European Parliament.

“The Irish government, which has pledged itself to upholding the rights of all Irish citizens, including those in the north, need to ensure that this fundamental democratic right is protected.

“We cannot allow our basic democratic rights to be trampled on by the Tory Brexit agenda and the best way to guard against that and ensure our rights are protected is to secure special status for the north within the EU.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy embarks on three-day trip to Toronto today where he will engage with a range of leading trade unionists.

Carthy will brief the trade union representatives on Brexit and its impact on Ireland, the campaign for Irish unity and will seek to deepen links and solidarity between Sinn Féin and Canadian trade union movement. 

Over the weekend, the Sinn Féin MEP will also attend an event organised by Friends of Sinn Féin and deliver a speech on the issues of Brexit, the border and the campaign for a United Ireland.

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Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed the announcement of a plastic strategy by the European Commission.

Speaking from Strasbourg, the Dublin MEP said:

“The issue of plastic pollution is one that we cannot ignore and a strategy to deal with it is long overdue.

“The Commission’s proposals are comprehensive, including measures to clamp down significantly on single use plastics such as drinking straws and takeaway cups, improved access to tap water on the streets to curb bottled water use and increased funding for research into better design, durability and recyclability of plastics.

“However, I do have concerns about the Commission’s blind faith in the social conscience of the private sector to deliver on these proposals. The Commission referring to an industry pledge to reduce plastic waste as a ‘concrete’ measure is bizarre given our experiences with industry pledges in the past.  Self-regulation does not work.  What we really need to address the urgency of the situation with plastic pollution are binding rules and targets for industry.

“Ireland is looking to introduce its own measures to tackle some plastics and I sincerely hope that Minister Denis Naughten takes a more robust approach to industry than the EU Commission has.  Ireland is the top plastic waste producer in Europe and now that China has announced it will no longer take that plastic for recycling. We need strong measures and we need them fast.”