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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 Fein MEP Matt Carthy has told the Sinn Fééin. Ard Fheis that a United Ireland is closer than ever.

In a speech to the gathering in Dublin today, Carthy said:
 
"This year’s Ard Fheis sees us closer than ever to our historic goal of reuniting this country.
 
"As people witness the Brexit train coming into view:
 
As they see the possible return of border checkpoints in our country;
 
"As they recall decades of lectures on the need for republicans to recognise ‘the principle of consent’;
 
"And as they see contradiction of the British Government’s refusal to respect the will of the majority in the North on remaining in Europe;
 
"They see clearly once again the stark injustice of Partition.
 
People, North and South, have no intention of returning to the past.
 
"The political landscape has changed.
 
"The unionist political majority in the North is gone.
 
"A majority there want a referendum on Irish Unity.
 
"The largest bloc of young voters in the Six Counties support a united Ireland.

"There is no turning back the clock.
 
"Support for Irish unity will only increase as the implications of Brexit become clearer.
 
 
"If the North has changed, so too has the South.
 
"A whole generation has been politicised as a result of the economic crash and years of brutal austerity.
 
"Since Partition, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both turned their backs on the people of the North.
 
"They also both subjected working people in the South to inequality, economic failure and mass emigration.
 
"This state is not the republic envisaged by those who wrote the 1916 Proclamation – the republic of justice, equality and fairness.
 
"Between them, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil created a narrow, insular state that served the interests of economic elites and a golden circle of insiders.
 
"They handed control of our schools and hospitals to a conservative Church hierarchy.
 
"Women, children, ordinary working people, the poor and the vulnerable paid a severe price for all of this.
 
When the Northern state began to fall apart under the weight of simple democratic demands, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil turned many of the institutions of this state into mere adjuncts of Britain’s counter insurgency policy.
 
"They corrupted sections of the Gardaí.
 
"Meanwhile, they built an economic model based on the begging bowel, tax avoidance for multinational corporations, and the export of our youth.
 
But increasingly people of all ages across this state see through all the hypocrisy, all the can’t, the lack of idealism or vision.
 
"They are turning away from the conservative parties.
 
"Sinn Féin has already broken the mould of the stale, corrupt and dishonest two-and-a-half party system which has, up until this point seen one rotten Fianna Fáil government being replaced by a rotten Fine Gael government, implementing the exact same policies, only to be replaced by another rotten Fianna Fáil government.
 
"That is why our opponents resent us so much.
 
"That is why they spend so much time attacking us.
 
"They know our fierce determination to bring about a real republic based on social justice and equality.
 
"In their many terms in Government neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil did anything to advance Irish unity.
 
"But the growing strength of Sinn Féin, North and South, has brought a United Ireland closer than it has ever been.
 
"And, now those who have often paid lip service to the cause of Irish Unity freeze like rabbits in headlights because it is actually achievable.
 
"Their response? – Michéal Martin and Fianna Fáil tell us it’s not the right time.
 
"What sort of political leadership is that?
 
They want to leave it to the next generation to deliver a United Ireland, to forge a new, egalitarian republic.
 
"Well, Micháel, you’ve already left the next generation with €64Billion in bank debt – Fianna Fáil have left enough for the next generation. 
 
"THIS generation must be determined to bring about Irish Unity knowing as we do that it can create the opportunity to bring about the fundamental political, social and economic change Ireland so desperately needs.
 
"We have a unique opportunity in the time ahead to build a new Ireland;
 
"An opportunity to build an equal society that serves the interests of all the people who share this island.
 
"Political leadership is required.  Sinn Féin is in the business of nation building. 
 
"Of providing leadership. 
 
"History will judge harshly those parties that fail to provide that leadership, that offer excuses about timing rather than seizing historic opportunities.
 
"Together, we can build that New republic.

"Together, we can move Towards a United Ireland.
 
"Ar aghaidh linn le chéile!"

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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that the proposed North- South Interconnector must be routed underground and that any other option would face fierce opposition from rural communities.


Addressing delegates and visitors at the Sinn Féein Ard Fheis today, Carthy said:

"In September, I hosted a delegation to Brussels of stakeholders and community representatives living along the proposed route of the North-South Interconnector.
 
"The delegation visited the headquarters of Elia, the Belgian electricity transmission operator, which is responsible for developing the ALEGrO Interconnector between Belgium and Germany.  The ALEGrO project has many similarities with the North South Interconnector but with one fundamental difference - it will be entirely undergrounded.
 
"At the National Control Centre of Elia, the delegation learned of the criteria that Elia uses to determine the methods of providing infrastructure. These criteria are similar to what all transmission operators have in place but, at the forefront, is the principal of public acceptance.
 
"Public acceptance doesn’t feature on the EirGrid or SONI criteria whatsoever.  It is clear that consideration of the views of local communities is an important factor that has resulted in the ALEGrO project being undergrounded while the North South Interconnector is not.
 
"As it is respecting the wishes of the public, Elia’s undergrounded project will be delivered at least seven years faster than EirGrid’s overhead project.  
 
"EirGrid has ignored the public acceptance criteria and dismissed the concerns and wishes of local citizens.  The company is engaged in a campaign of dismissal and demonisation against those who express an alternative view to them. 
 
"Disgracefully they are using public funds to pay for this campaign with a lavish PR strategy that includes countless hundreds of thousands of euro in sponsorship and advertising of their misleading messages.
 
"EirGrid and SONI clearly have might on their side. 
 
"On the other side they face local, proud, rural communities.  Those communities need political support.
 
"When in opposition Fine Gael claimed to support the campaign to develop the interconnector using underground technology.  In government they have abandoned their pledges and supported EirGrid’s agenda.
 
"In opposition Fianna Fáil argue for undergrounding the interconnector but when in government they too blindly followed the direction of EirGrid.
 
"Only one party, Sinn Féin, in opposition in this state, in government in the north, has stood steadfast in support of citizens concerns.  From the outset our policy has been clear and unambiguous and endorsed by several Ard Fheisanna. 
 
"We support the development of the north south interconnector.
 
"But we have recognised from day one that it can only happen if it developed using underground technology.  The evidence is there – undergrounding is the safest, most effective, most cost-efficient and speediest way to develop this infrastructure.  In fact it is the only way that it will happen at all.
 
"Rural communities across Ireland are under attack.  EirGrid’s actions have formed part of that attack.  If we are serious about supporting rural Ireland then we need to remain steadfast in upholding policies that protect them."

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Addressing the opening night Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin, MEP Matt Carthy has urged delegates to make the party the largest component of the next Government and said this aim was achievable.

Speaking to a section of the Ard Fheis entitled 'Sinn Féein in Government', Carthy told those assembled:

"Sinn Féin wants to be in Government.

"Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael also want to be in government. But we want to be in government for different reasons.

"They want the mercs and the perks and the benefits of the system. We want to change the system – because their system isn’t working.

"Increasing numbers of children are growing up homeless.

"Thousands of working people who, in any previous generation would be living in their own home, are instead struggling to meet crippling rents. Our health service is crumbling.

"Families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. They are losing hope.Sinn Féin must offer them hope.

"The next election can and must be fought on alterative visions of the future.

"A Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael vision of the status quo. More of the same. Boom & Bust economics. Or a Sinn Féin’s vision of a better, fairer, united Ireland.

"Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil won’t want to talk about visions.  They’ll say there is no alternative to the path they’re on.

"No alternative to the system they created, even as it collapses it front of our eyes. Many within the media will play their game.

"They’ll try to convince voters the only choice is between a Fianna Fáil or a Fine Gael led government.As if there was any difference.They’ll want to talk about polls instead of policies.

 
"Delegates, don’t play their game.Let’s fight the next election on our vision.

"Our vision of a united Ireland. Of free, accessible healthcare. Of every family having a home.Of an economic system that creates sustainable jobs.

 
"Of a society where taxes are used to provide quality public services.A society where wealthy individuals and corporations actually pay their taxes.
 
"Sinn Féin has the policies to implement our vision. The best way to realise that vision is not just to get into government but to lead a government.

"Following the next election our members will decide how best to use our mandate.

"In the meantime, let’s not entertain any notion other than leading a progressive, republican government. 

"Leave the speculation to the parties of the speculators. Do not allow anybody undermine our ambition, our passion or our determination to create a better Ireland.

"Just seven years ago we only had four TDs. Today we have 23.mSo, don’t let anyone tell us there’s an electoral point past which this party cannot go.

The only thing stopping us leading a government is our ability to convince people of the merits of our vision and of our commitment to deliver it.

"Sinn Féin can be the largest party of Government. 

"We shouldn’t settle for any less and we shouldn’t get distracted by anything else before a vote has even been counted."

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 Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has announced plans to host a delegation of survivors of abuse in state-funded schools in Europe next week as pressure mounts on the Irish Government to remove its inhuman barriers to redress and restitution.

Speaking at a press conference in Cork today with representatives of the VOCADS (Victims Of Child Abuse in Day Schools) group to announce the delegation, Ms Ní Riada said the purpose of the visit was to bring international pressure to bear on the Irish Government to cease their mistreatment of abuse survivors.

“Victims of abuse in any setting carry with them the pain and trauma of that abuse their whole lives,” she said.

“It is society’s duty to help ameliorate that trauma, firstly by acknowledging its how horrifically wrong it was and is, and secondly by making genuine efforts to redress the wrongs done to them. 

“Following a heroic legal battle in 2014 by Louise O’Keeffe the state was shown to be liable for abuse that occurred in state-funded schools. Its worth pointing out that Louise was forced to fight her case to the highest levels in Ireland, before getting justice in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 

“The modest and belated redress scheme established by Government in the wake of the Louise O’Keeffe case was designed to be inaccessible and to effectively lock survivors out. Many brave men and women, who did a service to the state in seeing their attackers tried and convicted, are now being fought tooth and nail by the state. 

“Furthermore the Government's gross misinterpretation of the outcome of Louise's trial, in which a previous complaint against her abuser helped her achieve a ruling, means the Government is, unbelievably, telling abusers that they get their first victim for free.

“It is an appalling abuse of justice and insult to victims.

“Instead of acknowledging the wrong done to these survivors and seeking to make right the injustices of the past, the Government is perpetuating the pain. I am outraged beyond belief that in the wake of the many painful revelations around abuse over the past decades our Government continues to maintain a confrontational outlook to those it has failed in the most grievous way possible. 

“Next Tuesday a delegation of 17 survivors of abuse in state-funded schools will travel to Brussels as my guests, where I will facilitate a hearing in the European Parliament. The delegation will have an opportunity to give their testimony before a panel of MEPs and international human rights NGOs. 

“It is hoped that with mounting political pressure at home and abroad these brave men and women will get the justice and redress that they deserve.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for greater resources for the European Court of Auditors to ensure transparency, compliance and performance in spending of EU funds by Member States.

The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the EU Budgets Committee and is Budgets Co-ordinator for the GUE/NGL group, dsaid the court had a track record in ensuring the proper spending of funds.

“The non-implementation of recommendations determined by the European Court of Auditors is leading to large amounts of EU funding not being spent by Member States in many funding programmes,” she said.

“The European Court of Auditors has an extremely high record of report publication and oversight on the spending and indeed non-spending of European funding.

“Cohesion funding particularly is not being spent on a level anywhere near what is available. In 2017 alone, almost €10 billion remained unspent.

“This is leading to the non-implementation of key EU policies which have a direct impact on Ireland in the areas of jobs, growth and investment.

“With the onset of Brexit and an already developing black hole in funds for future European budgets post 2020, it is incumbent on Member States, and I specifically aim this towards the Irish Government, to draw down all European Funding that is available and ready to finance badly needed projects throughout the island of Ireland.

“In order to ensure this happens, the EU itself needs to properly resource the European Court of Auditors from a staffing and budgetary point of view. This will in turn pressure Member States, including Ireland, to up their performance, deliver more projects and meet the needs of all sectors in society.”