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A Fair Recovery Is Possible

Sinn Féin has launched a state wide campaign for a Fair Recovery. The campaign will involve a series of public meetings and the distribution of close to one million leaflets door to door.

This campaign is about setting out some of Sinn Féin’s priorities and to start a debate about the future, about what type of country and society we want to live in, about equality, and the type of recovery we want.

Visit our special web section A Fair Recovery Is Possible here

A Fair Recovery is Possible logo

Some sights and sounds from the Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare on June 21, 2015. Main speaker Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD. During the course of her speech she talked about the need for a fair economic recovery north and south; demanded the British to come clean about collusion; and expressed solidarity with the people of Greece.


Martin McGuinness speaking at Stormont said that Sinn Féin's conditional support for the budget bill will create the space to resolve outstanding issues and ensure the executive has workable and sustainable finances and see the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.



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Ardaíonn teip iarratais Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ar aitheantas a fháil ó chlár idirnáisiúnta duaiseanna cothromaíochta ceisteanna tromchúiseacha arís eile maidir le cur chuige an choláiste sin maidir le láimhseáil ceisteanna pearsanra áirithe sa gcoláiste, dar leis an Seanadóir, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar – Maigh Eo Theas inniu:

‘Arís agus arís eile, nuair a bhí OÉG ag iarraidh iad féin a chosaint ar líomhaintí maidir le gearáin atá déanta ó thaobh cothromaíocht inscne di, luafaidís go raibh siad ag lorg aitheantais ó chlár aitheantais Athena Swan.  Níor éirigh lena gcuid iarrachtaí, mar cloiseann muid nár bronnadh an duais cré umha ach ar dhá institiúid ardoideachais in Éirinn, Coláiste na Tríonóide agus Ollscoil Luimnigh. Diúltaíodh iarratais ó cheithre iarrthóir eile nach n-ainmnítear.

‘Tuigtear dom gur cuireadh tuairimí chun cinn thar ceann na fóirne chuig Athena Swan maidir le h-iarratas OÉG ó thaobh na ceisteanna leanúnacha atá ann maidir le Cúrsaí Inscne sa gcoláiste agus go bhféadfadh sé go raibh baint acu sin leis an gcinneadh a glacadh.

‘Níl tacaíocht ag an Tascfhórsa a cheap bainistíocht na hOllscoile féin ó cheardchumainn, ná ionadaithe fóirne, atá ag diúltú comhoibriú leo agus iad ag lorg fiosrúchán neamhspleách maidir leis na líomhaintí atá ann go bhfuil Éagcothromaíocht Inscne forleathan san Ollscoil.

‘Cuid mhór den fhadhb anseo ná go bhfuil bainistíocht na hOllscoile ag diúltú glacadh leis go bhfuil cur chuige fabhtach acu chun dul i ngleic leis na deacrachtaí atá tagtha chun cinn.

‘Táthar fiú ag rá liom go bhfuil treoir tugtha ag an ardbhainistíocht don fhoireann margaíochta agus preasa gan comhfhreagras áirithe a chur chuig áisíneachtaí meáin áirithe a thug clúdach do mhíreanna a bhí criticiúil faoi OÉG maidir lena gcur chuige ar na ceisteanna cothromaíocht inscne seo. Má tá sin fíor, is comhartha a bheadh ann go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh glórtha atá criticiúil faoin gcur chuige atá acu a choinneáil ina dtost  agus ní bheadh aon ghlacadh agam leis sin.

‘Tá mé ag iarraidh ar an Aire Oideachas arís eile, ath-mhachnamh a dhéanamh ar a cinneadh gan a cuid cumhachtaí  faoi Achtanna na hOllscoile 1997 a úsáid chun fiosrúchán neamhspleách a ghairm faoin gcás seo, i bhfianaise an buille is déanaí seo ó thaobh cur chuige ardbhainistíocht OÉG.’

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Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has called on the administrations north and south to work together to prioritise all-Ireland economic development.

The Newry Armagh MLA was speaking after he and party colleagues Peadar Toibín TD and Phil Flanagan MLA took part in a series of meetings today with business and trade union representatives in Belfast. 

Conor Murphy said:

“We met today in Belfast with the Chamber of Commerce, Trademark, CBI and NIC-ICTU as part of a review by an OireachtasJoint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation into the island economy.

“My party colleague Peadar Toibín TD is Rapporteur for the committee and is carrying out a review on the challenges and opportunities of island wide trade.

“Sinn Féin believes there are no advantages for an island nation of 6.4 million people on the edge of Europe having two separate tax regimes, two currencies and legal systems, two public service systems and two separate competing economies.

“A single island economy would provide the opportunity for fair and harmonised progressive taxation, regulation and trade.

“It would provide the tools to create greater opportunities for growth, harmonise workers’ rights and create a better business climate for advancement of entrepreneurial spirit north and south.

“Currently island-wide trade generates £3billion annually with significant potential for growth. Already we have a number of cross-border initiatives, which could provide the foundations on which to build a vibrant all-island economic model.

“The advantages of greater integration of services, structures and bodies on an all-Ireland basis is glaringly obvious, particularly in the present economic climate of reducing budgets and threats to frontline services.

“It is imperative both administrations work together to prioritise economic development and to address the challenges facing businesses and the social economy across the island.” 

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Sinn Féin Belfast Councillor Mary-Ellen Campbell has welcomed confirmation that there will once again be a very strong Sinn Féin representation at this year’s Belfast Pride Parade.

Councillor Campbell said:

“Sinn Féin will be represented at the Belfast Pride Parade by, Minister Carál Ní Chuilín MLA, Junior Minister, Jennifer McCann MLA, Megan Fearon MLA, Councillor Jim McVeigh (BCC party group leader), Councillor Mary Clarke (BCC), Councillor Patrice Hardy (Party group leader Mid & East Antrim Council), Councillor Jonathon Graham, Councillor Catherine Seeley (ABC council) and myself among a large contingent of party members.

“Belfast Mayor, Cllr. Arder Carson will lead the parade and I would encourage as many people as possible to join us on what promises to be a colourful and enjoyable occasion.

The annual Pride parade is a fantastic occasion that has become a real fixture in the city's calendar. 

"It is a great celebration of equality, tolerance and diversity. 

 "The Pride Parade recognises the huge contribution the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community make to our society."

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Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan will be in Egypt this weekend to meet with the EU permanent representative in Cairo and to attend Ibrahim Halawa's court hearing, if possible.

Ibrahim has been detained in Egypt for two years and is facing trial this Sunday, the 2nd of August, after numerous postponements.

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the decision letter from Eurostat to the CSO on Irish Water shows the government has been misinforming on the true nature of the decision and reveals an extraordinary level of incompetence in government assumptions. He said that Sinn Féin’s prediction that the nod and wink bluff of the so-called Water Conservation Grant would be called by Eurostat has been well and truly proven to be correct and that Irish Water is at only 27%, not 48%, of the required 50% revenue being realised independently.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The Eurostat letter shows that Minister Noonan and other government Ministers have been blatantly misinforming about the true nature of the decision. In contrast to the government spin that Irish Water is at 48% of the required 50% test for revenue raised independent of government backing, Eurostat states clearly: ‘Finally, it is underlined that, if more realistic or prudent capital costs were considered, the ratio would then fall to 27%, which is a very low ratio…’. This is a hugely important statement that shows Irish Water falling far short of being considered ‘off book’.

“Eurostat also drive a horse and cart through the government’s attempt to pretend that the €100 so called Water Conservation Grant is independent of the Irish Water decision. Again unambiguously Eurostat says: ‘The intention of the grant of €100 per year is clearly to partially compensate for the new domestic billings….Eurostat therefore considers that the 100 euro grant should be netted from Irish Waters customers’ revenue…’. As Sinn Féin predicted, the EU accountants were not fooled by the nod and wink approach of this incompetent government.

“Contrary to government spin, Eurostat are clear that Irish Water is a long way of reaching any sort of ‘off book’ status. This report is a damning attack on the Irish government’s incompetence and once again shows that their sums simply don’t add up. It also exposes their misinformation.  27%, not 48%, is the relevant figure as far as Eurostat is concerned.

“The Eurostat letter is a brutal critique of a failed, misconceived and stupid ploy to get Irish Water through its first couple of years. Government incompetence has sunk that prospect now. Following the release of the Eurostat decision it is time the government stopped the spin and admitted defeat and abolished both water charges and the failed entity that is Irish Water.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said Theresa Villiers should familiarise herself with the policies of her own government before attempting to lecture others.

Mr Murphy said;

"After following Martin McGuinness to the United States, Theresa Villiers has claimed that the British government would not fund a more expensive welfare system in the North than anywhere else.

"She would do well to check with her cabinet colleague George Osborne who has already announced plans to provide additional special rates for London.

"Perhaps she should familiarise herself with the policies of her own government colleagues before attempting to lecture anyone else.

"Theresa Villiers continues to talk about her government's obsession with reducing the deficit but never makes any mention of the fact they are planning to spend more than £20 billion on replacing Trident submarines and aircraft carriers and millions on a museum to Margaret Thatcher.

"Instead of spending billions on making war, the British government should ensure the Executive has sustainable and workable finances to secure the progress made as part of the peace process over the last two decades."

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Sinn Féin Seanad leader, Senator David Cullinane, is supporting a recall of the Seanad in order to discuss the very serious consequences arising from the failure of Irish Water to pass the Eurostat test

Senator Cullinane said:  

“Sinn Féin and other members of the Opposition are calling for a recall of the Seanad on foot of the Eurostat test which determined that Irish Water will not be able to go off balance sheet.

“The gravity of this ruling cannot be downplayed – it has serious consequences for government water strategy and for Irish tax payers.

“Sinn Féin has always been critical of the government’s rationale for the setting up of Irish Water. It is a service we are already paying for. Irish Water have given us little more than a masterclass in mismanagement where precious millions are being spent and squandered with nothing to show for it.

“We pointed out last year that Irish Water could not be kept off the state’s balance sheet for numerous reasons, with the ‘conservation grant’ being nothing but a ruse to convince Eurostat that Irish Water was a viable commercial enterprise. Irish Water was not operational long enough to go off balance sheet either according to Eurostat.

“What is more, the figures are simply not adding up, especially with the huge levels of non-compliance by Irish people. We are in a situation where the level of non-payment means that the cost of the water conservation grant will actually exceed money returned by the payment of domestic water charges.

“This means that the government will have to either increase water charges or scrap the conservation grant if they wish to fulfil the plans they set out. This would leave the Irish people at a financial loss either way.

“It is an embarrassing set-back and has real consequences for the funding of our water services. However it is ultimately the Irish people who will carry these costs. Government Ministers are speaking from both sides of their mouth and should scrap these water charges once and for all.”

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has reiterated his deep concerns at a potential crisis in health services in County Louth following a meeting with INMO representatives.

Mr. Adams again made a call for an independent, root-and-branch investigation into all care facilities in the State for citizens with intellectual disabilities.

Gerry Adams said:

“I held a very informative meeting with INMO representatives on Tuesday at which serious concerns within the health services in Louth were made clear.

“There are serious concerns over patient safety in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Emergency Department in Drogheda.

“These problems were evident under the previous Fianna Fáil-led government and now we see failure by Fine Gael and Labour and Health Minister Leo Varadkar to address the issue.

“There are considerable frustrations that after a decade of overcrowding we still have patients lying on trolleys.

“The resulting stressful working conditions in the Emergency Department is having a major impact on staff at Our Lady of Lourdes with resilience training recently undertaken at the hospital.

“The issue of acute beds is being directly and adversely impacted by a lack of resources in care for older people, in particular the lack of fully staffed step down beds.

“INMO representatives confirmed that Louth and its environs are the most underfunded and under resourced regions in the state in terms of the provision of services for older citizens.

“An ageing population, lack of cohesive or long-term policies, and years of underfunding under the current and previous Governments have seen long term care/respite beds and services reduced.

“The HSE appears focused on reducing staffing levels, meeting fiscal targets and implementing budgetary constraints, rather than ensuring the provision of quality care to patients. This is been driven at a national level and co-ordinated by HSE so called Service improvement teams.

“A failure to operate the Fair Deal scheme effectively and the lack of staffed stepdown beds has led to significant delays in patients been discharged from acute hospital beds. This is compounded by failure to allocate funding to follow need rather than budget schedules.

“Enabling more people to stay at home, requires that the serious deficits in Home Care packages are immediately addressed, as well as having sufficient funding ring fenced for housing adaptations all year round.

“Last month, members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation at St Mary’s, Drumcar, balloted for industrial action over budget cuts and inadequate staffing levels which required the intervention of the Labour Relations Commission.

“A HIQA report in June into the unit in St. Mary’s, which has 16 patients with intellectual disabilities, raised very serious concerns and highlighted major non-compliance in nine of the 10 outcomes inspected.

“Lack of sufficient funding is having a huge impact at this facility.

“While there may be longer term plans for moving people with Intellectual Disabilities into community based settings, there are also concerns as to what this will mean if sufficient funding does not follow the patient.

“Quick-fix plans based on firefighting problems as they come to light are not in anyone's interests .

“I also discussed with the INMO representatives wider concerns that exist around facilities for people with Intellectual Disabilities in light of several critical HIQA reports.

“In this regard, I wish to repeat the calls I have previously made for an independent, root-and-branch investigation into all care facilities in the State for citizens with intellectual disabilities.” 

Note: Currently there are beds closed in Louth co Hospital (11 beds) and Boyne View House in Drogheda (4 beds) due to nursing shortages which is becoming a massive problem.

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Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on the government to resist any attempts by the European Commission to put rail services out to tender.

Speaking this morning Ms Boylan said:

“Iarnród Éireann, like Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus provide vital public transport services across the country.

“All attempts to privatise these services must be resisted.

“In Britain rail services were privatised in the 1990s with promises of greater investment, better services and a better deal for the tax payer.

“Unfortunately all of these pledges have proved to be false.

“Rail fares have increased, competition has not reduced fares, tickets have increased on average by 24 percent.

“Any upgrades to services have come at the expense of the taxpayer, with up to 90% of new investment financed by Network Rail.

“The government must push hard to secure a derogation for Ireland from these Commission proposals.”

Videos

Sights and sounds from Bodenstown 2015


Photos

Gerry Adams