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Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people

Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people as Israel continues its horrific bombardment of Gaza



“HAP is not a solution and if the government succeeds in passing it into law, it will have wide ranging negative effects on the future of housing in Ireland and our ability to tackle housing need in the years to come.”



Nuacht

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Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast, Gerry Kelly, following a meeting in which a Sinn Féin delegation led by Martin McGuinness met with Theresa Villiers over the issue of political unionism's calls for a commission of inquiry into the contentious Orange march past Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales in North Belfast stated:

“There has been much speculation and commentary surrounding what the British Secretary of State may present in terms of political unionism's call for a commission of inquiry to examine parading in North Belfast. 

“At the meeting between Theresa Villiers and Sinn Féin we were not presented with any proposition. 

“Ultimately the resolution to the controversial North Belfast parade will be found locally though engaging in dialogue. Sinn Féin has been consistent in its support for this approach.

“There should be no proposition from any quarter, least of all the British government, which could have the effect of undermining the Parades Commission, the Haass proposals, or attempts to find a solution through local dialogue." 

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Speaking today on the release of the latest Live Register figures, Sinn Fein's Spokesperson on Youth Affairs, Senator Kathryn Reilly said:

“While the government will spin the latest fractional drop in Live Register figures as a good news story, the reality is the number of young people under 25 and unemployed has gone up. According to the seasonally adjusted figures today, the number has crept up from 61,448 to 62,082. Another 634 young are unemployed as the month of July ends.

“What this is spelling out loud and clearly is that the much heralded Youth Guarantee scheme for the 'under 25s' is not being implemented or is not working. The very group the scheme sets out to target is being left behind. The question has to be asked, who is the Youth Guarantee helping then?

“The mandatory element instilled into job schemes for under 25s is wrong and counterproductive. This is at a time when there are not enough case workers to provide sufficient support and guidance to facilitate adequate choices or options. Compulsory work for less than minimum wage on the likes of JobBridge in an area or sector that provides no future prospects is not an opportunity. It is discriminatory and exploitative. Using a stick to force young people onto compulsion work programmes to massage number on the Live Register is wrong and disingenuous.

“When this government talks of recovery, it obviously doesn't include young people under 25 into that bracket. Evidently, as today's figures show, the Youth Guarantee scheme is not proving to be any kind of a solution to youth unemployment. It's another case of smoke and mirrors.”

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The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD met with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle in Belfast this afternoon to discuss the current political situation.

Martin McGuinness was accompanied at the meeting by Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilin MLA and North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly.

Following the meeting Martin McGuinness said:

"Today's meeting with Minister Flanagan was both useful and positive.

"During the course of the meeting I made the case that the minds of the Irish and British Governments and the US Administration need to be focussed on the political way forward in the North of Ireland.

"This means talks involving all the political parties here.

"I made clear to the Minister for Foreign Affairs that the parties who are part of these institutions need to recognise that any approach which is about merely satisfying the demands of the combined unionist and loyalist parties and the Orange Order will not work and is a mistake.

"What is needed is an approach in which there is meaningful dialogue at both political level and at a local level and where all the political parties work together, supported by the Governments, to find agreement"

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Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has confirmed that the Palestinian ambassador to Ireland Ahmad Abdelrazek will address the National Hunger Strike Commemoration at Derrylin on Sunday 3rdAugust.

Ms Gildernew said; 

“In the darkest hours of the 1981 Hunger Strike the Palestinian people stood in solidarity with Irish republicans as ten young men died in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.

“Today the Palestinian people are the victims of a genocidal attack from the Israeli government so it is important that we repay that solidarity by standing in support of their cause.

 “The Palestinian Ambassador has accepted and invitation to address the National Hunger Strike Commemoration on Sunday in Derrylin and we are calling for all Irish Republicans to turn out in support of the Palestinian people.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has condemned a gun attack on a PSNI vehicle in Derry. 

Speaking after shots were fired at PSNI vehicle on Westland Street in the Bogside area of the city in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Foyle MLA said; 

"This gun attack in a built up area such as the Bogside was totally reckless. 

"Westland Street is a busy thoroughfare and this attack put the lives of many people at risk. 

"Thankfully no one was injured in this incident but we could have been faced with a tragedy 

"Those behind this attack have nothing to offer society and are not representative of the people of Derry. 

"They need to immediately desist from these futile actions.

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Speaking in relation to the first meeting of Dublin City Council's Moore St. Advisory Committee since the local elections, Sinn Féin Councillor and Committee member Mícheál Mac Donncha said the campaign to save historic Moore St. must be stepped up. He said:

"The campaign to save the National Monument 14-17 Moore St. and to prevent the destruction of the rest of Moore St. and the 'lanes of history' inextricably linked to the 1916 Rising, has gained national and international support.

"The future of this quarter of our City must not be left to a NAMA developer, Chartered Land, which plans to engulf the National Monument in a giant shopping mall. The granting of consent by the last Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs Jimmy Deenihan for the developer to proceed with works on and around 14-17 Moore St. is by no means the end of the matter. The consent of City Council planners and Councillors to further steps is required before the developer can proceed.

"We in Sinn Féin, as the largest party on Dublin City Council are very clear. We will do all in our power to prevent the Chartered Land plan from going ahead. Instead we want to see Moore St. and the 'lanes of history' developed as an Historic 1916 Quarter. The campaign to save Moore St. must be stepped up in the months ahead and we intend to be to the fore in advancing that campaign."

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A Sinn Féin delegation consisting of Justice Spokesperson, Raymond McCartney, Jennifer McCann MLA, Seán Lynch MLA and Rosie McCorley MLA met yesterday with the republican prisoners in Roe House, Maghaberry and also with senior governors in the Prison.

Commenting following the visit Raymond McCartney said:

“The visit is part of the ongoing work carried out by Sinn Féin in respect of ensuring prisoners are treated with dignity and respect and that this is reflected in their daily regime and particularly during family visits.

“It remains our belief that the agreement reached in August 2010 provides the basis on which all issues can be resolved in a meaningful way.

“Yesterday we raised our concerns over controlled movement, visits and how these have a negative impact on a regime which should be based on dignity and respect.

“Sinn Féin will continue in our efforts to have all these issues resolved and will not be deflected by baseless rhetoric.

“The party will be seeking a meeting with Justice Minister, David Ford to reinforce our views on all these matters.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan has condemned a vandalism attack on a church near Dungannon. 

Speaking after graffiti was daubed on the church on the Killyman Road overnight, the Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA said; 

"I condemn this attack on the Church of St Patrick's in Killyman. 

"The PSNI have said they are treating this graffiti attack as hate crime. 

"All places of worship, regardless of the denomination, should be treated with respect. 

"I'm sure the entire local community will condemn this attack and I hope that it won't impact on the positive community relations in the area." 

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Speaking following the Barnardos Back to School Costs Survey published for this year, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the new Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan to look at the results and address them as a matter of urgency.

Deputy O’Brien said;

“The results of this survey show that average sized families with two or three children are being hit with costs of thousands to send them to school.

“The idea we have free education in Ireland is a myth.

“Parents are either buying school books or paying for book rental schemes which charge high amounts.

“The previous Minister didn’t lift a finger to introduce rules to allow for generic school uniforms despite having the power to do so.

“Children from lower income families are missing out on school trips and extra-curricular activities that are the norm because their families simply cannot afford them.

“We have called for the regulation of voluntary contributions and the fact is, regardless of rules already in place, children are excluded when their parents can’t pay by having lockers withheld and being prevented from accessing after-school activities and so on.

“Ultimately, voluntary contributions must be eradicated; schools should not be forced to plug the funding gap from the state by pressuring parents for extra cash.

“We have previously called for the removal of 23% VAT on school ebooks and the government ignored it.

“The Minister has a responsibility to address all of these issues and I am calling upon Jan O’Sullivan to do so as a matter of urgency.”

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Demand for Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled reiterated


Photos

Michael Colreavy TD & Cllr Darren O'Rourke