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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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Commenting today on the Draft Report to the European Parliament on the prospects for the Dairy Sector and  the review of the implementation of the Dairy Package, for which he has been appointed Shadow Rapporteur, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy has called for the protection of small dairy farmers as milk quotas end.

Carthy said:

“This week the long standing dairy quota system ends.  While this will obviously present opportuniities for Irish Agriculture, challenges are also already emerging. There are over 15,000 dairy farms in Ireland of varying sizes and capacity and it is becoming apparent that the rapid rate of expansion may have the effect of putting many smaller farmers under severe pressure.

“As Shadow Rapporteur on this European Parliament Report, I have consulted with many farmers and representative organisations in this sector and it is clear that many are concerned that there will be ongoing periods of extreme price volatility which will mean that their livelihoods become increasingly unsustainable.

“For this reason, it is my view that there needs to be an increase in the minimum intervention price and there needs to be a strengthening of contractual relationships between producers and retailers to provide certainty for farmers in this sector.

“I have recommended a number of amendments to this report, which seeks to ensure the viability and sustainability of small family farms. These were presented to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development today.

“I am hopeful that my Committee colleagues will support these measures and together we can take steps to mitigate the impact of dairy expansion on small farmers.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has commented on the Safe Ireland report which demonstrates that on every level the Irish legal system is not working for women and children living with domestic violence and abuse.

Speaking today the Dublin MEP said:

This report is the latest in a long line of reports that highlights the inadequacies, both institutional and cultural, in the Irish approach to tackling domestic violence.

Unfortunately domestic violence is still often being treated as a nuisance rather than a crime, which is at odds with that fact that domestic violence services around the country deal with in excess of 8000 women every year.

“The report makes 34 recommendations and underlining at lot of these recommendations is a need for a multi-strand approach to the problem, which draws on the expertise of all agencies battling this problem.”

Ms Boylan also stated:

“While we wait on the recommendations from the consultation forum on the next National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based violence there are a number of things the government could do immediately.

I would like to once again urge the Irish government to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention in order to help victims of domestic violence. 

The Convention sets out minimum standards on prevention, protection, prosecution and the development of integrated policies on domestic violence and countries that ratify the treaty are obligated to protect and support victims of such violence.

These countries must also establish services such as emergency phone lines, refuges and shelters, counselling and legal aid. 

Unfortunately many existing domestic violence services are under funding threats and with the housing crisis many women and children simply have nowhere to flee to. Sinn Féin introduced a progressive bill to deal with the specific issue of housing and domestic violence which, recognised the rights of victims of domestic violence to seek rehousing.

The government should reconsider its position and support this Bill while working to implement all the immediate changes it can to make a dent in this problem.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the legal profession has a responsibility to challenge states which flout international human rights legislation. 

Speaking at a law student's society ball in Derry, Ms Anderson said; 

"Ordinary citizens look to you as lawyers to fight injustices, defend communities and to shine human rights law on state wrongs. 

"One case close to the legal profession which highlights the need for justice is that of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane, who was murdered 26 years ago. 

"Despite the call on 2004 from Canadian independent judge Peter Cory for the British government to honour  its commitment to hold a public inquiry, the family are still waiting for justice. 

"26 years on from Pat Finucane's murder, David Cameron has still refused to order a full, formal public inquiry in the assassination.

"The decades of delay have but one objective; to bury the truth of a state murder trail that led all the way to Margaret Thatcher's door. 

"The case of the Bloody Sunday families and of Pat Finucane stands as a monument to the immoral failure of a British State that flouts international law and which corrupts human rights.

"There is a real need for campaigning human rights lawyers to stand up against injustice and challenge states who flout international human rights law, whether it is Britain's dirty war in Ireland or Israel's human rights abuses against the people of Palestine." 

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Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on An Taoiseach to personally contact President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt in order to secure the release of Dublin teenager Ibrahim Halawa.

Speaking today ahead of a demonstration organised in Dublin tomorrow afternoon Ms. Boylan said:

“I am calling on An Taoiseach to intervene and secure the immediate and unconditional release of Ibrahim Halawa.

“Ibrahim is facing his fifth mass trial date in Egypt this Sunday and has been imprisoned for over 600 days.

“Ibrahim is the only EU citizen still detained after the protests in Egypt over a year and a half ago and I will be raising this when I meet with Federica Mogherini’s office, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, in April.

“I am calling for all those with an interest in seeing justice done to join Ibrahim’s sisters on their demonstration tomorrow afternoon outside the Department of Foreign Affairs.”

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Speaking today from the launch of the Copenhagen Economics study commissioned by the Irish Government into the effects of the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Dublin Castle, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has said that the Irish Government is acting more like a mouthpiece for the European Commission rather than a sovereign Government.

Carthy said:

“The reality is that there are serious concerns over aspects of these trade negotiations among trade unions, farming groups, environmental groups, NGOs and civil society across Europe and in Ireland.

“These negotiations have, by and large, been conducted in secret and some information has only become available to public scrutiny as a result of leaked documents and interventions from the European Ombudsman.

“The report produced by the Government today has done absolutely nothing to reassure the Irish people that this Government is looking after the interests of the Irish people.

“The Government have not identified any red line issues for Ireland during the course of the negotiations and this report admits that the Irish Beef Sector is under serious threat.

“The report is based on a flawed CGE research model, which independent analysis shows does not take into account the social costs of free trade such as job displacement, which some commentators suggest could be up to 1 million across the EU as a result of TTIP.

“The Irish people have heard all the spin before – we have been promised jobs under Lisbon, now each family in Ireland has been offered a windfall under TTIP.

“Independent analysis has shown that the projected economic benefits of this deal are not based on the realities of the global economy  and are unlikely to come into fruition.

“It is time for the Government to wake up to the threats contained in this deal, present the real facts to the people and ensure that Ireland’s interests are fully protected in these negotiations.”ENDS