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"The Stop Tory Cuts petition, which will be available online and in hard copy, is the first in a series of initiatives being organised throughout the North to allow people from all sections of the community to show the deep opposition to these devastating cuts." - Daithí McKay MLA

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Martin McGuinness and Colin Parry discuss peace and reconciliation at Féile

An Nuacht is déanaí


Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said tonight that he and North Belfast MLA Carál Ní Chuilín are seeking an urgent meeting with the Belfast Trust over problems in Belfast A&Es. 

And Paul Maskey said it was time for health minister Edwin Poots to spend as much time tackling the problem at A&E units as he has on media playing blame games.

The West Belfast MP said:

“I have been contacted by unions and staff in the RVH and once again there are dozens on trolleys and at one stage tonight almost 100 people waiting to be seen.

“My colleague Carál Ní Chuilín and I are seeking an urgent meeting with the Belfast Trust as the problems facing staff at Belfast A&E departments are unbearable.

“I’m calling too on the health minister Edwin Poots to step up to the plate. 

 “He has the largest budget of all ministers in the Executive. He has also received a total of more than £200m of additional funding on top of that budget, including an extra £20m in the latest monitoring round.

 “Yet instead of tackling the problems in A&Es he has chosen instead to criticise the Executive, his party colleague the finance minister and just about everyone else for his inaction.” 


Following a meeting with the Derry Chamber of Commerce to discuss the future expansion of the University of Ulster Magee’s campus Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said,

 “I accepted an invitation from Chief Executive of the Derry Chamber of Commerce Sinead McLaughlin to discuss the future expansion of the Magee campus in Derry.

 “There is no doubt that the future economic development of the city is connected with the expansion of Magee campus so it is essential that we work together to see that expansion delivered.

 “In 2009 I attended an event where the University of Ulster announced plans of a financial strategy to invest £250m over 25 years for the expansion of the university on the Magee Campus.

 “In 2011 we seen another announcement of 350 extra places and the transfer of several departments to the campus but since then the development has stalled.

 “Todays meeting was helpful in bringing the economic arguments for expansion together and looking at ways how we can work together to deliver the project of the expansion of Magee.

 “I also intend to raise with Department of Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry his recent mixed messages about the future plans for Magee.

 “The expansion of Magee is a crucial part of the One Plan which is a programme for Government commitment and I am determined to see it delivered.”


Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has asked if DUP ministers are really in charge of their departments. 

The Sinn Fein economy spokesperson said; 

"Edwin Poots' DUP colleague and finance minister Simon Hamilton publicly criticised his handling of the health budget in the June monitoring paper. 

"Now, Edwin Poots is claiming that document, including the criticisms, was written by civil servants. 

"Is Edwin Poots telling us that civil servants are running the finance department instead of the minister? Is he telling us that this paper was issued in Simon Hamilton's name but that he didn't read or agree the content.

"The reality is that Simon Hamilton signed his name to a paper that publicly criticised the performance of the health minister. 

"The DUP leader Peter Robinson attended briefings with the Chief Medical Officer in April where he heard about the problems facing the health budget yet his party still went ahead and slashed the health budget.

"Neither Simon Hamilton or Peter Robinson made any argument to meet the £160 million that the health Minister claims he needs. 

"Again, his inability to persuade even his own colleagues in the DUP raises serious issues about his ability to effectively run the health service.

"Sinn Féin is committed to securing additional money for essential services, including health and education but the minister has a responsibility to manage his budget properly and to persuade his own colleagues that he is doing so."


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has accused Labour Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash of posturing when he calls for pay rises for low and middle income earners.

Speaking today Deputy Adams said;

“Some 40,000 people left Ireland in the year up to April. Many of these left paid employment to build new lives for themselves abroad.

“Measures such as the Universal Social Charge, Water Charges and the Property Tax are making it impossible for many Irish people to cope and forcing them abroad.

“In many cases we are losing our best and our brightest.

“We must also be conscious of those who cannot afford to leave and are existing in desperate circumstances.

“The growing problem of Ireland’s working poor needs action rather than press statements. While we have had some posturing by Labour TDs, including Ged Nash’s call for pay increases for low and middle income earners, we have had no positive action from government.

“The reality is that the Labour Party has failed to stand up for working people in government and has simply acted as a rubber stamp for Fine Gael’s austerity policies.”



Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien has called on the State Examinations Commission and the Department of Education and Skills to review procedures in place for the Reasonable Accommodation Scheme now so that no child is left without the support needed for exams next year.

Deputy O’Brien said;

“This year there was an increase in the number of students with learning difficulties and other conditions, or their parents, contacting me having been refused reasonable accommodations in their Leaving Cert exams despite having had them for their Junior Cert.

“Many of these students have dyslexia and were refused scribes and readers to assist them in their exams even though they are integral to them being put on a level playing field at Leaving Cert level with students who don’t have dyslexia or other conditions.

“I am asking the Minister for Education, the Department, and the State Examinations Commission to review the procedures that are in place for allocating assistance through the Reasonable Accommodation Scheme at Leaving Cert level.

“It should not be excessively difficult for students to access supports needed and the application process at Junior Cert and Leaving Cert should be the same.

“Further to this, it is completely unacceptable that the SEC leaves it until so late in the day to make decisions and appeals, these must be dealt with earlier in the year.

“I am hopeful that the Minister will take heed of this and address this scheme as a matter of urgency.”


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