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Westminster Election Manifesto 2015


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This manifesto represents Sinn Féin's commitment to the electorate. It is our vow to continue to resist the disastrous agenda of Tory austerity in Ireland. It is our pledge to defend the most vulnerable, to protect public services and deliver a new and better future for this society.

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An Nuacht is déanaí

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD was in north Belfast this morning canvassing with party candidate Gerry Kelly.

Speaking during the canvas the Sinn Féin leader said:

“This is one of the most important elections in recent years.

“Whichever party or parties make up the next British government all are committed to an intensification of austerity. The Tories have stated their intention to cut £12 billion more out of welfare and Labour have also promised more austerity.

“The next British government will seek to impose further cuts to the block grant.

“The Unionist parties have conservative policies and support the Tories.

“I would appeal to working-class unionists to reflect on the fact that the unionist parties do not represent their economic interests.

“Unionist parties all back a Tory EU referendum that could see Britain leave the European Union with disastrous consequences for jobs and for the economy. Sinn Féin is the only party in the north to have taken a clear stand against austerity.

“We are determined to oppose future cuts and to demand the restoration of the one and a half billion already taken from the block grant.

“We have a proven record of building the economy and targeting investment to frontline services and protecting the most vulnerable.

“Gerry Kelly is part of a strong Sinn Féin team. He will be relentless in seeking the best deal for all our people. This election is an opportunity to take a stand against the Westminster politics of austerity and for a vision of a united, prosperous, equal and inclusive Ireland.

“After the election we will be seeking an immediate negotiation with the incoming British Government to restore the budget and protect public services and to gain full control over our economy. 

“A vote for Sinn Féin and the election of Gerry Kelly will strengthen our hand.”

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Speaking today Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has commented that it is bizarre that Fianna Fáil members are this weekend passing motions criticising policies and cuts which they themselves implemented before they were ignominiously forced out of office in 2011.

Senator Reilly said;

“I find it abhorrent that the Fianna Fáil membership can pass motions at their Ard Fheis this weekend criticising government policies and cuts when they themselves acted the exact same way before they were thrown out of office.”

“The first motion put to the floor criticised this government’s treatment of the elderly, the young, and the disabled. Without a doubt this government deserves to be castigated for their treatment of all these citizens, and many more, but it is the height of irony that Fianna Fáil are raising this issue when they attacked these very same groups when they were in government.”

“Such a statement highlights the absolute arrogance of a party who led the country into economic meltdown. Ironically, for a party that believe they are born to rule, the Soldiers of Destiny proved themselves incredibly bad at it when they got the chance.”

“Fianna Fáil should not be let off lightly by paying mere lip service to the people they disadvantaged and oppressed the most when they were in power. Neither should we as a nation forget the legacy of their actions when they were in power; corruption, nepotism, jobbery, clientelism, negligence of social responsibility, golden circles, and many more.”

“This weekend we have seen a party who are politically afraid and who are taking their fear out by attacking Sinn Féin. This is born of a fear of a genuine Republican party who stand up for the Irish people and have conviction in their beliefs. Fianna Fáil can attack Sinn Féin all they want in their effort to fight back against the wave of irrelevance which has overcome them; we are confident that the electorate will neither forgive nor forget what they did to this country.”

“All the while Sinn Féin will continue to grow and do right by the all people of Ireland.”

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Sinn Féin’s Workers Rights spokesperson David Cullinane has labelled Fianna Fáil’s concern about low pay and vulnerable workers as opportunist hypocrisy. Commenting on motions submitted to the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis, Senator Cullinane said:

“How could anyone take these motions on workers rights seriously?

“Are we really expected to believe Fianna Fáil is genuinely concerned about the gender pay gap, zero hour contracts, low pay and the victimization of vulnerable workers?

“This is a party that has been in power since the 1930s and never introduced collective bargaining compelling employers to recognize trade unions and to engage with them on pay and conditions.

“By calling at its Ard Fheis for an increase in the minimum wage Fianna Fáil is engaging in crude populism. This is the same party that cut the minimum wage by one euro to €7.65 in 2011 without batting an eyelid.

“While in power they could have introduced universal childcare provision which would have dramatically improved life for low paid female workers, again it chose not to.

“To be calling now for childcare provision is pure electioneering.

“Sixty percent of low-paid workers are women and while 25% of all workers earn less than the living wage of €11.45 per hour, 50% of all women workers earn €20,000 per annum or less.

“This did not happen overnight and Fianna Fáil has to take a huge amount of responsibility for this state of affairs.

“Fianna Fáil’s newfound concern for workers right just doesn’t wash, it’s populist and fake."

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has again criticised Taoiseach Enda Kenny's handling of the growing scandal around IBRC.

Gerry Adams said:

"The response of the Government and the Taoiseach to the growing scandal around IBRC has been weak and entirely inadequate.

"For several days this week Mr Kenny was unable to answer questions in the Dáil on this issue and his actions since have do nothing to get to grips with this issue.

"Alan Dukes' press conference yesterday merely raises further questions and concerns around IBRC and the Siteserv scandal.

"Mr Dukes said the Department of Finance was kept abreast of the sales process at all stages.

"He has said that the IRBC board never had a review of the Siteserv transaction. This contradicts Minister Noonan's claim that there was a review.

"Major questions remain for the Government. For instance, If the Department of Finance had so little confidence in IBRC, why was Mr Noonan happy to accept its assurances regarding the Siteserv transaction?

"Why were so many dissenting voices in the civil service ignored in relation to various IBRC transactions?

"There is obvious public disbelief at the fact that KPMG liquidators have been appointed to conduct review, as KPMG also acted for SiteServ.

"Let's remember this issue concerns millions of euro of public money. Citizens and taxpayers want the truth behind this scandal.

"The Taoiseach needs to establish a Commission of Investigation. That remains the only way to get to the bottom of this scandal, to answer all of the concerns that have been raised and to reassure the public."

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Responding to comments attributed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the US Ambassador's Residence this week, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has said that the calls for the Taoiseach for the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to be concluded in 2015 highlights the weak approach of the Irish Government to these negotiations.

Carthy said:

“The Taoiseach’s comments clearly show the lack of any intention of the Irish Government to take any steps to protect Ireland’s interests in these negotiations.

“Instead of addressing the legitimate concerns of the Irish people, our Taoiseach has declared that he “will work with our European Colleagues and American connections to get this across the line” by the end of 2015.

“This is despite the fact that Farming organisations, Sinn Féin and even the Government’s own Report has identified a clear threat to one of Ireland’s largest indigenous industries, the Beef Sector.

“It is despite the fact that the IMO has recently argued that TTIP could give powerful lobbyists such as the tobacco industry a helping hand to interfere with the right of Governments to legislate to protect the rights of citizens.

“It is despite the fact that the hugely controversial ISDS mechanism is still under review, six out of fourteen European Parliament Committees drafted opinions rejecting the inclusion of ISDS in the deal, MEPs have submitted 898 amendments to the proposed deal and hundreds of thousands of people across Europe have taken to the streets in opposition to this deal.

“It is despite the fact that, not only has this Government failed to outline any red line issues on behalf of the Irish people in these negotiations, but the contents of this deal have not been debated in any meaningful way in Ireland and have not yet come before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

“Has our Government really got so little regard for the democratic wishes of the people of Ireland and of Europe and the institutions that give effect to those wishes?

“Once again our Government has shown itself to be more concerned with sucking up to the powers that be at any cost rather than representing the Irish people in a fitting manner on the world stage. Our Taoiseach let the Irish people down with his remarks this week; it is now time for him and his government to stand up for Ireland.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called health minister Jim Wells before the Assembly health committee to explain his controversial comments on homosexuality. 

Ms McLaughlin, the chair of the committee, said; 

"Jim Wells' remarks at the hustings event in South Down have caused considerable and justifiable anger. 

"While I welcome his apology and retraction of the offensive comments, questions still remain for Jim Wells to answer. 

"He claimed to have seen research to back up his unacceptable views and, in spite of his retraction, the minister needs to explain the nature of this alleged research, who carried it out and on whose behalf. 

"That is why I have called Jim Wells to appear before the health committee as soon as possible so that MLAs can have the opportunity to question the minister and show their rejection of his comments. 

"I look forward to the minister's appearance before the committee and I hope he will take the opportunity to completely and unequivocally refute his baseless claims."

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Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan welcomed her fellow GUE/NGL MEPs to Dublin today.

MEPS Lidia Senra, Josu Juaristi and Ines Zube spent the day with the Sinn Féin team in Leinster House, which included a meeting with Right2Water activists.

The visit culminated with the MEPs participating in an Amnesty Ireland organised demonstration outside the Egyptian Embassy against the ongoing detention of Ibrahim Halawa.

Speaking this afternoon Lynn Boylan said:

“I was delighted to welcome my fellow GUE/NGL MEPs to Dublin today and that they had an opportunity to meet with my Sinn Féin colleagues and to meet with Ibrahim Halawa’s family.

“Amnesty Ireland organised a protest outside the Egyptian Embassy today and collected almost 5,000 signatures petitioning for Ibrahim’s release. I also handed in a letter to the Egyptian Embassy personally calling for the immediate release of Dublin born Ibrahim.

“Ibrahim faces his sixth trial date this summer and since the Irish government is dragging its heels on securing the Irish teenager’s release we turned our attention to the Egyptians.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said that equality can triumph over intolerance in the forthcoming referendum on Marriage Equality.

She said that all those motivated by the ideals of the proclamation of Irish independence must leave ‘no stone’ unturned in the campaign for a yes vote on May 22nd.

Ní Riada was speaking this afternoon at the launch of Sinn Féin’s YES FOR EQUALITY campaign in Cork City.

She said:

“We have to be progressive, proactive and patient. A YES win would mean that that the citizenship of this state supports the love of LGBT people and recognises their right to express that love through marriage.

“The messaging from the NO campaign certainly has the theme of intolerance running through it. However, fairness & equality can triumph over intolerance on May 22nd.

"As I have said before, this referendum is about ensuring all people, and all couples, have access to equal rights, dignity and respect.”

“Those inspired by the ideals expressed in the proclamation of independence must leave no stone unturned to ensure that this referendum passes.

“On May 22nd, we have a chance to honour the tenants of the proclamation by seizing a unique opportunity to advance the cause of equality. We have a chance to tell all those in the Irish LGBT community that they absolutely deserve to have their love and commitment recognised just like anyone else.

“Sinn Féin wants to build a real and united republic in which civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities are guaranteed to all its citizens. The passing of this referendum would be a step toward realising this vision.”

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Today is the Annual Remembrance Day for the Armenian Genocide. In recognition of this, Sinn Féin Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has reiterated his calls for the Irish Government to recognise the Armenian Genocide.

This is the Centenary Anniversary of the Genocide which occurred in 1915, when approximately 1.5 million people were killed.

Deputy Crowe said:

“Today, the Armenian people are remembering the Genocide against their decedents, which was carried out by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

“It is important that the world, but especially Europeans, remember this day and officially recognise the Genocide which was carried out against the Armenian people. Surely, if we do not begin to accept what happened in the past, and try to airbrush atrocities like this terrible wrong, then we cannot begin to learn from mistakes and move on.

“Collectively, we need ensure that we oppose any manipulation and distortion of history. We need to end the deafening silence of the international community which only adds to the sense of hurt and wrong carried out against the Armenian people.

“Ireland needs to join the 22 countries which solemnly recognise this genocide, and end its silence.

“I was extremely disappointed that Government TDs and Senators refused to support a motion at the Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday which called on the Government to recognise this awful genocide which claimed the lives of a suspected 1.5 million people.

“On this important day for Armenia I call once again on the Irish Government to change its current policy of refusing to take a formal position and to officially recognise what occurred 100 years ago as genocide.” 

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