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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 Lynn Boylan has commended a recent report by Dr Crystal Fulton of University College Dublin which looked at global trends in the gambling industry and is intended to influence and help shape policy and future legislation.

MEP Boylan said:

“This 140 page report by Dr Fulton, prepared for the Department of Justice, covers a range of areas, specifically international legislation, gambling industry mergers, services provided to problem gamblers and gambling technology.

“It is a comprehensive and informative piece of work which again raises many issues around problem gambling and the conduct of the gambling industry in the absence of ample regulation and oversight.

“In particular Dr Fulton highlights an issue which I have raised in the past, that a lack of regulation for advertising, in particular online advertising, can present problems for at-risk and problem gamblers.

“Some simple changes that could be made to the advertisement of gambling in Ireland would be the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland implementing a 9:00 pm watershed, as is the case in Britain.

“But we need to go even further than that. In particular we need to offer better protection to young people given that the Institute of Public Health in Ireland estimate that adolescent gambling is two to three times the rate of adults.

“The online industry uses sinister techniques to manipulate its users, making young people particularly vulnerable.  Incessant promotions are used if there is a period of inactivity and its users are specifically targeted on other social media platforms.  

“The same online gambling industries are happy to put in place restrictions on users when they are being too lucky but are not prepared to implement similar restrictions when problem gambling patterns emerge.

“The issue of problem gambling is not a minute issue, recent studies have shown that Ireland has the third highest rate of gambling losses in the world per capita, and over 50% of those losses is through online gambling.

“Ireland’s Institute of Public Health believes that there could be as many as 40,000 problem gamblers in Ireland, with an additional 400,000 Irish people whose lives are being negatively affected by their friend or family member's addiction. 

“As outlined in Dr Fulton’s report, we need to build on existing legislation and bring forward new legislation to help regulate the gambling industry, not in a punitive way, but rather in a way that allows the industry to exist while protecting vulnerable and young people.

“The Gambling Control Bill has been on the statute books since 2013, with no sign of movement. 

“There has been complete inertia from the government in relation to this issue while the problem of gambling has accelerated in the same period. 

“We need to act immediately by bringing the Gambling Control Bill before the Oireachtas. This will give politicians, experts, civil society, and the industry the chance to engage in dialogue and debate around the best way to shape legislation that will set appropriate standards for operators to adhere to in the public interest.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Irish government must act in the best interests of all Irish citizens in the upcoming Brexit negotiations. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"I took part in a public debate in Armagh today to discuss the impact of the British government's Brexit agenda on the island of Ireland. 

"It is clear they are intent on dragging us out of the EU against our will and that is causing serious concern across the community. 

"I welcome the comments from Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the EU must make provision for Irish unity during the Brexit negotiations and look forward to seeing action from him to follow that up. 

"Just last week Sinn Féin TDs in Leinster House moved a motion, which was backed by the Dáil, to back the case for special status for the north within the EU. The Irish government now needs to act on that Dáil vote. 

"The Irish government will be at the negotiating table as one of the 27 EU member states and they have a duty and a responsibility under the Good Friday Agreement to act in the best interest of all Irish citizens. 

"Sinn Féin has put forward a case for special designated status for the North within the EU and we are working with others to secure that."

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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has expressed deep concern at the potential closure of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Sligo, which services large parts of the west & northwest.

Farming groups from around the north west protested at the Lab in Sligo today. 

Matt Carthy, a member of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee said:

“I am deeply concerned at the potential closure of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Regional Veterinary Lab in Sligo, which services large parts of the west & northwest.

“Apart from the blow to workers at the lab, any closure would have a significant negative impact on farming communities in the north west. 

“The situation again raises questions regarding regional imbalance in services and infrastructure. 

“Any closure will mean that farmers in the North West will be forced to make lengthy journeys to avail of services to labs in other parts of the country.

“This lab performed over 3,000 post mortems on cattle and sheep in 2016 and tested nearly 30,000 samples from farmers. It is a vital service for suckler, beef and sheep farmers in this region.

“I will be in contact with the Minister for Agriculture to seek to ensure that diagnostic services in the north west, which are important in protecting the health status of the national herd, and which are important for the wider rural economy are maintained, and that this lab remains open.”

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Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has warned Agriculture Minister Michael Creed that the precarious situation of young farmers will continue if further commitments regarding the national reserve are not provided. 

Carthy said:

“I welcome the Minister’s announcement that €5million in funding for a national reserve has been secured.  This is a very small step in a much required direction and will come as some consolation for young farmers who were denied, with no prior warning, these same funds last year despite promises to the contrary during the 2013 CAP reforms.

“While this is good news, albeit minimal, for 2017, the Minister still has some serious questions to answer regarding the long term management of resources for young farmers.

“Yet again, we see no provision being made for the so-called ‘forgotten farmers’ category often referred to as the ‘old’ young farmer.  The Minister continues to stall on this issue by saying he needs “clearance” from Brussels before making providing for this group.  With respect to the legislation in place this just simply isn’t the case and it is well within the Ministers gift to allocate funding to this neglected category of farmer.

“Forward financial planning is of vital importance for young farmers (under 35) who make up just 7% of the farming community in Ireland.  However the manner in which the Minister is running his department at the moment is making this impossible.  Young farmers cannot be expected to just guess whether this resource will be available to them year in, year out.

“The decision that the national reserve will be replenished applying a linear cut to the value of all BPS entitlements, equivalent to the amount of unspent funds from 2015 draws attention to the now deafening silence from the Department on how the operation of its 50% claw-back policy on sales of entitlements and the two-year surrender rules are operating in Ireland.

"The objectives of both of these policies were to ensure a national reserve going forward, and the failure of the Department to make a statement on why this has not happened is now overdue.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has expressed his support for a major anti-Brexit demonstration on the border today.

Truck and Transport Companies and farmers are joining the protest to demand that the British and Irish Governments listen to the concerns of border communities in negotiations around Brexit.

They are staging a 40-minute ‘vehicle go-slow’ at various points along the border.

Matt Carthy said:

“In the years since the Good Friday Agreement, the border has become all but invisible.

“Brexit seriously threatens that important progress and risks inflicting significant hardship on border communities and the wider economy and society.

“The very last thing we need to see is the re-emergence of border controls, customs posts and all the paraphernalia of Partition which had been banished with the peace process.

“There is a real and deepening concern now, right across the border region, as to how Brexit will impact on businesses, tourism and on people who cross the border on a daily basis for work and education.

“The uncertainty which is already damaging trade and investment and   impacting on cross-border business will be as nothing compared to the hardships which will ensue with the imposition of tariffs and the restriction of the free movement of goods, services and people on this island. 

“New restrictions on cross-border agricultural trade would also be a devastating development for farmers, particularly in border counties. 

“Farming communities, North and South, have always worked together and that is the way things should continue into the future.

“Enda Kenny’s rejection of the proposition that the North be afforded a special designated status within the EU is a huge mistake.

“Without such a designation, a hardening of the border is inevitable. I welcome the recent Dáil vote calling on the Government to negotiate for the north to be designated as having special status within the EU.

“This position can be realised, and has the consent of a 56% cross-community majority in the North - democratically expressed - who voted to Remain.

“I wish to commend Border Communities Against Brexit for their actions today which highlight the deep and widespread concerns of those living along the border about the impact of Brexit and the urgent need for these concerns to be addressed by the Irish and British Governments.”