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Sinn Féin President elect Mary Lou McDonald TD gives her first major speech to party activists


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‘Irish Government fails to apply for EU Transport Revision despite PfG commitment’ - Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has accused the government of breaking its commitment to address the transport shortfalls in rural Ireland including through a revision of the TEN-T CORE network to include a reinstatement of the Western Rail Corridor which Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had removed while being the Minister responsible.

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee, revealed this week that he has received confirmation from the European Commission that the Irish government has not sought to review its TEN-T priorities despite a commitment to do so in the 2016 Programme for a Partnership Government.

Speaking following correspondence with the European Commission, Matt Carthy said:

“In the 2016 Programme for Government Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Independent TDs supporting the arrangement agreed:

‘In the first three months the new Government will apply to the European Union for the revision of the TEN-T CORE Network, including applying for the reinstatement of the crossborder Western Arc’.

“My contact with the European Commission has confirmed my suspicions that the Irish government has not applied for a review, in any shape or form, of Ireland’s TEN-T CORE Network.

“The commitments made to rural communities by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil at the time of the formation of the confidence and supply agreement obviously count for little.  

“When I sought information from the Commission relating to the application, which was promised within three months of the formation of the government, the European Commission informed me that has been no moves to seek a review on the part of the Irish government.

“Ireland’s current TEN-T CORE map excludes the cross-border Western Arc, meaning that these regions are excluded from even applying for any substantial transport funding from the EU.  This exclusion is, of course, a direct result of Leo Varadkar’s intervention to remove the Western Rail Corridor from Ireland’s TEN-T map in 2011.

“That Fianna Fáil continue to engage with the confidence and supply agreement despite the failure to address key provisions of the Programme for Government, especially those relating to rural communities makes them complicit in this scandal of neglect.  Of course, both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have a record of decades of underinvestment in transport provision especially in the Border, Western and Midlands regions.

“The European Commission does not intend to carry out a review of the TEN-T core network until 2023.  With the inaction of the current government that could mean that EU transport funding will be closed off to the Irish regions that need it most for the next five years.  

“That is not good enough.  A strong Irish government position could force a review earlier, despite Commission reluctance.

“I, and my Sinn Fein colleagues in the European Parliament, the Dáil and the affected council areas will continue to demand for TEN-T funding to reach rural Ireland and in particular for the Western Rail Corridor to be developed.”

NOTE: Correspondence from European Commission to Matt Carthy MEP attached.

https://www.mattcarthy.ie/irish-government-fails-to-apply-for-eu-transport-revision-despite-pfg-commitment-matt-carthy-mep/

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has welcomed Mallaghan Engineering Limited’s announcement that it is creating 210 new manufacturing jobs in Dungannon. 

The Fermanagh South Tyrone MP commented, 

“In the context of ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit, this creation of jobs is a very welcome development. 

“This announcement is very positive news for the local economy and a great boost to Dungannon. 

 “I am also delighted to see Invest NI offering grants towards developing Mallaghan Engineering Limited’s new products. These are the type of investments we need in order to sustain our local economy and support our local businesses.

"The engineering sector in south and east Tyrone is going from strength to strength. There are many opportunities for young people to gain skills, training and secure employment with career progression and I encourage young people making choices this August to consider engineering as a career option."

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Carthy welcomes adoption of Medicated Feed Regulation

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has welcomed the recent adoption by the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee of a new regulation on medicated feed.

Carthy commented this week:

“This is a positive conclusion to what is another important step in the battle against antimicrobial resistance. As the shadow rapporteur of this file, I worked to ensure that this it was congruent with the Antimicrobial Resistance and Veterinary Medicated Products files.

“The regulation will cover the manufacture, placing on the market and use of medicated feed for animals.  It will also update and harmonise existing rules.  We need to be very careful that animals do not build up a tolerance to antibiotics through overtreatment, if we want antibiotics to be effective for both animals and humans.  The only way to do this is though effective regulation of the products that contain antimicrobials, such as medicated feed.  

“A lot of debate occurred during the negotiating stage on existing conditions in a herd before use is authorised, this concluded with the banning of what is known as prophylaxis, treating groups of animals as a preventative measure, when no symptoms are detected.  Farmers will continue to be allowed to treat groups of animals when the spread of infection is high, due to an animal in the group being infected.

“In all cases, only a veterinarian will issue prescriptions for medicated feed containing antibiotics and only after a proper physical examination and diagnosis.  The rules will also extend to top dressing prepared by farmers and medicated water.

“Throughout these discussions I have been mindful how delicate this balance must be, the regulation must provide very technical rules to deal with issues such as cross contamination, but we do not wish for such technically to become a barrier to farmers taking immediate steps to treat infected animals.

“Irish farmers will have a genuine concern that animals being imported into the EU will be subject to the same rules as here.  The is particularity relevant given the EU continues to seek a free trade deal with Mercosur countries which includes Brazil, a country where long term preventative use in animals has been reported to be commonplace.

“The agreement negotiated between EU institutions confirms that non-EU farmers will respect conditions relating to antimicrobial resistance if the animals are to be exported to the EU.  This is, of course, a welcome development.

“This regulation will now be voted on at a full plenary session of the European Parliament in the Autumn.  It is likely to secure the requisite  endorsement of MEPs and in turn provide the clarity necessary for farmers and vets and also assist in the battle to deal with increased resistance to antibiotics which could potentially cost millions of human lives worldwide”.

ENDS

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The DUP cannot dismiss the fact that its MP Ian Paisley lobbied in defence of a regime that carried out mass murder, war crimes and gross human rights abuses, Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has said.

The North Antrim MLA was commenting after the DUP’s Sammy Wilson appeared to rule out any further sanction against his party colleague who is facing an unprecedented suspension from Westminster and a possible by-election over his links to the Sri Lankan government.

Phillip McGuigan said: “Much of the focus of the Ian Paisley scandal has revolved around his failure to declare two lavish family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

“That is understandable given the focus on integrity in government following the DUP’s involvement in a number of scandals including RHI, Nama, Red Sky and Dark Money for Brexit.

 “These have all severely damaged public confidence in the political institutions but this latest scandal also calls into the question where the DUP stands on fundamental questions of human rights.

“Amnesty International has said that serious human rights abuses were committed with impunity by the Sri Lankan regime during the conflict there.

“Yet, after receiving his gifts from the Sri Lankan government, Ian Paisley actively lobbied the British Prime Minister to oppose a United Nations resolution to establish an international investigation into the human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.

“Does the DUP leadership really believe that it is acceptable to dismiss the fact that one of its MPs lobbied in defence of a regime that carried out mass murder, war crimes and gross human rights abuses?

“This is a litmus test for the DUP leadership and If Ian Paisley does not do the right thing and voluntarily resign, his party should compel him to do so.”

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Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney today, urging them to make practical investments in defence of Irish citizens in the North. Senator Ó Donnghaile’s letter reiterated his call for a dedicated “citizenship hub” that could provide services to people on their legal rights, protections and entitlements in the run-up to Brexit.

Speaking today Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:

“The Taoiseach recently announced the need for a thousand new customs and veterinary jobs at ports in preparation for Brexit; this same kind of advance planning must be put in place, not just for goods and cattle but for citizens too. 

“Currently there is massive uncertainty around the rights and entitlements of Irish citizens, resident in the North, after the Brexit fallout. People are deeply concerned and unsure and need practical support and assistance from government in this regard. 

“These concerns have manifested themselves among civic nationalism, community and voluntary groups, the legal profession, academia and indeed certain sections of the media too.

“Government should also now actively consider recruiting legally trained staff who can guide and direct citizens, unsure about their status and situation as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

“The Taoiseach has stated publicly that people here will never again be abandoned by an Irish Government; at such a crucial crossroads in the Brexit negotiations, it’s past time that statement was put into action. 

"I have previously raised the idea of a dedicated hub where support services can be centralised, using existing Irish Government facilities and infrastructure in Belfast. I have again put that suggestion to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste in letters this morning. 

“While the hub isn’t a resolution to these concerns, the government must take the firmest of stands in defence of rights, citizenship and the Good Friday Agreement at the negotiations and afterwards. A hub can act as an important support mechanism at a time of great demand and need for engagement from many thousands of Irish citizens. 

“The government knows this is a rational call, they have the means, they should live up to their promises and show their own citizens they are standing with them.”

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Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform Jonathan O’Brien TD has today warned that the issue of pay inequality is contributing towards recruitment and retention problems throughout the public sector.

The TD for Cork North Central was speaking in response to continuing recruitment problems in the health and education sectors.

Jonathan O’Brien TD said:

“The growing problem of recruitment in our schools and hospitals poses a serious threat to our public services.

“Recent plans by the Department of Education to convert primary school teachers to second-level education in light of demographic pressures and a teacher supply crisis will not solve the problem.

“Paying €800,000 daily on hospital agency staff in the absence of directly employed nurses will not solve the recruitment crisis in our health service.

“Issues in recruitment are exacerbated by the pay cuts that were exacted on the public service in the era of austerity. Reversing pay inequality would begin to challenge these crises in recruitment. 

“Over 60,000 public sectors workers receive less pay than their colleagues for equal work. This includes over 20 percent of workers in our education sector, and a quarter of the workforce in our health services. Today, 10,000 nurses receive less pay for equal work while fighting on the front line of an underfunded and health system. This is unacceptable.

“Pay equalisation can be achieved within the period of the current Public Service Stability Agreement, and should be. Sinn Féin  has committed to achieving this within two years, with post-January 2011 entrants attaining equal pay with their colleagues, for equal work, by the close of 2020.

“It is imperative that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail reverse this austerity measure to ensure public sector workers receive equal pay for equal work, and remove a significant impediment to recruitment in our health and education services.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd has expressed his and his colleagues deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the young boy killed in a car accident on the Augnacloy road yesterday evening.

The Upper Bann MLA said:"As a father of young children myself my thoughts and prayers go out to the young boys parents and family."This terrible accident has also left several other people seriously injured and they too are in our thoughts and prayers. "I have no doubt the local community will rally around the bereaved at this time.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has called on the Irish government to show leadership by recognising the State of Palestine and expelling the Israeli ambassador immediately. 

Addressing a solidarity rally outside the Israeli embassy in Dublin, Pat Sheehan said:

“The current situation in Gaza is nothing short of a massacre. Another four people have been killed over the last 48 hours by Israeli forces. 

“The Irish people cannot stand by and ignore the abuse of human rights, we have a proud history of standing against apartheid and occupation.

“We need to continue to build momentum by protesting against the continued slaughter of Palestinian men, women and children by the Israeli military.

“The Irish government have a responsibility to stand up and be counted, they should gave the Israeli ambassador a one-way ticket home and give full recognition to the State of Palestine.” 

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Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has expressed condolences following the death of former Minister and Fianna Fáil TD Martin O Donoghue.

Teachta McDonald said;

“I want to express my sympathies, and those of Sinn Féin, to the wife, children, wider family, and friends of Martin O’Donoghue at this sad time.

“As a Minister, TD, and as a Senator, he was a dedicated public servant and committed representative of the people of Dún Laoghaire.

“Both as a politician and as an academic, he demonstrated a great depth of ability.

“I have no doubt that he will be deeply missed by those who loved him and by those he worked hard to represent.

“Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam.” 

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Sinn Fein’s Anti-Poverty spokesperson Alex Maskey MLA has hit out at the DUP after obtaining evidence that funding to tackle severe deprivation which was supposed to be 'additional' is instead covering budget cuts.

£20m was provided as part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement which stated that any financial support would be “additional”. The agriculture department received £1.8m for its Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) scheme. 

Having received confirmation from the department that the TRPSI budget hasn't been increased, Alex Maskey said:

“In 2017/18 the budget for TRPSI was £4m. 

“An additional £1.8m from the Confidence and Supply Agreement was supposed to be allocated this year, bringing the budget to £5.8m.

“However the budget for TRPSI in 2018/19 is £4m, the same as last year. This proves that the Confidence and Supply money isn’t additional at all. Instead it is covering cuts from the Tory government still wedded to austerity, now supported by the DUP.

“I have also written to the Departments of Education and Health to check whether the money they received to tackle severe deprivation is additional or compensating for cuts.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Sinéad Ennis and Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile will meet OfCom to voice opposition to the ‘geo-blocking’ of major sports events for viewers in the north. 

Sinead Ennis said:

“We will be raising directly with OfCom the frustration felt by sports fans throughout the north who are blocked from watching major sports events online. 

“I believe there is an onus on sporting organisations and broadcasters to ensure there is equality of access to sports coverage for citizens across the island of Ireland.

“RTÉ have cited that “different IP addresses” are the source of the problem. However, they negotiate deals with Satellite TV stations, they should speak up for the interests of citizens in the north. 

“We will be meeting with OfCom to seek clarity on this matter and to seek a resolution that benefits citizens right across Ireland and that includes the north, because we are Irish citizens too. 

“Sinn Féin recently launched the Fair Play for Ulster Gaels campaign to address inequalities and to pursue an end to the digital partition of Ireland.”

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Sinn Fein’s Anti-Poverty spokesperson Alex Maskey MLA has expressed concern that £20m in funding, which was earmarked as 'additional' money to tackle severe deprivation may instead have been used to cover budget shortfalls.

The money was provided as part of the Supply and Confidence Agreement which stated that any financial support would be “additional”. However, £16.5m went to the Department of Education, DAERA received £1.8m for its Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation scheme, and the Department of Health received £1.7m for Child Partnerships.

Alex Maskey said:

“We know that the Tory/DUP budget imposed real term cuts on many Departments.

“In this context it is important to know whether the £20m was actually added to programmes tackling deprivation or whether it was used to compensate for cuts to those programmes”.

“I have written to the three Departments concerned to check whether this money is adding to anti-deprivation programmes or merely making up for cuts.”

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Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has today joined with striking Lloyds’ workers on the picket line in Bray.

Speaking in support of the workers, Deputy Brady said:

“It is to the shame of the management at Lloyds, who are owned by the largest pharmaceutical company in the world with revenues of €169 billion in 2017, that they seek to deny their workers the most basic of rights.

“Today makes the sixth strike by Lloyds’ workers across 40 stores as they continue their fight supported by their trade union, Mandate. 

“Lloyds’ management are yet to adequately address key issues such as union recognition, the elimination of zero hour contracts, the introduction of a sick-pay scheme, and pay increases. 

“The company are also continuing to ignore a Labour Court recommendation from 2017 stating that the company should allow their workers union representation.

“I was proud to stand with Lloyds’ workers in Bray today and I commend them for the brave stance they are taking. They are taking this stand not only for themselves but for all workers who are mistreated by management.

“I know that Lloyds’ workers are determined to continue with strike action until the company treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill MLA has welcomed comments today from EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier on the EU 27’s insistence on a “legally operative backstop” – an "all-weather insurance policy" to protect the island of Ireland against the consequences of Brexit and to preserve the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts.

“The Tories’ disorderly Brexit chaos, which has been marked by Theresa May changing positions, stalling, and making and breaking agreements cannot continue.

“The Irish Government and the EU 27 must stand firm in the face of this dangerous agenda and defend our citizens’ rights, our economy and our peace and political process by securing cast-iron guarantees on the ‘backstop’, which all party leaders, with the exception of the DUP, have agreed is our bottom line.”

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Matt Carthy MEP seeks explanations on Castleblayney Mart Closure

Local MEP Matt Carthy is seeking answers from the Minister for Justice regarding details of events leading to the closure of Castleblayney Mart.  Carthy who met with regional representatives of the IFA recently said he was concerned by reports that Castleblayney Mart was operating without a PSRA licence since March 2017 but this was unknown to patrons until after its closure of  in April this year.  It now appears that dozens of farmers have been directly affected in a time of already heightened uncertainty with issues like Brexit, Fodder shortages and unpredictable weather making life  difficult for those making a living through agriculture.


It is believed that some farmers are owed as much as €200,000, whilst over €300,000 is allegedly owed to to people who have paid deposits, including on agricultural land.


Speaking on Friday, MEP Carthy confirmed that he was written to the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, seeking answers.  He has also called on Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, to intervene on behalf of those farmers owed monies.

Matt Carthy stated:

“Castleblayney Mart has been a staple of the farming community here in Co. Monaghan and further afield for many years, established in 1963, the mart has held thousands of livestock auctions over the years.  Alongside the popular livestock mart a real estate sales, letting and valuation business was also in operation with plant and machinery auctions held.

“Unfortunately Castleblayney Mart began to experience difficulties, and their PSRA licence was removed in March 2017. Unknown to their customers the mart continued to operate without a licence until eventually going into liquidation.  The closure has had severe consequences for the customers who continued to trade in Castleblayney Mart unsuspectingly putting their faith in the PSRA whose main function is to control and regulate Property Services Providers including Auctioneers/Estate Agents, Letting Agents and management Agents.  

“I have worryingly been informed by the IFA locally that farmers who sold livestock in Castleblayney Mart are owed as much as €200,000, with amounts owed varying from around €300 to as high as €8,500.  The IFA have also indicated that in excess of €300,000 is owed to people who placed deposits on property with the auctioneering company.

“The Minister must explain how and why the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) licence was removed from Castleblayney Mart and, more importantly, why patrons were not informed of this fact.  

“This is clearly a worrying time for all involved; it goes without saying that Castleblayney Mart’s customers feel extremely let down by the PSRA and feel that more could and should have been done swiftly in order to protect them.  

“It is therefore vital that the answers are provided and that the government intervenes to find mechanisms by which the farmers affected can receive a return of their monies.  There is an obvious need also for the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to personally intervene on behalf of the farmers affected.  I will be continuing to monitor this issue and to work on behalf of those who have unwittingly found themselves embroiled in this debacle”.

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD today welcomed the publication of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2018, but said that the resources of the industrial relations machinery of the state must be increased to meet the rise in demand this Bill will bring.

Speaking today, the Limerick City TD said;

“I welcome the publication of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2018, which aims to give members of the Gardaí access to the industrial relations mechanisms of the State.

“This is a step in the right direction, but we believe the government should go further and allow members of the Gardaí and Defence Forces to have full trade union rights.

“My colleagues David Cullinane TD and Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD have published a Bill that would allow for this, as the continued ban on trade unions within An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces is a violation of the fundamental rights of those employed in these sectors.

“I look forward to the government bringing their Bill before the Dáil, where we intend to introduce our own amendments to strengthen the rights for Gardaí and members of the Defence Forces.

“In addition, if this Bill passes through the Oireachtas, it will give over 13,000 members of the Gardaí access to the WRC and Labour Court. Although this is very welcome, the labour relations institutions are already under strain due to the high number of cases it is handling.

“Constituents of mine have previously expressed frustration with the length of time a case can take in the Workplace Relations Commission or the Labour Court, so it is clear additional staff are needed now to ensure cases can be heard in a timely fashion.

“Minister Humphreys must now set out her plans to reduce current case waiting times, and outline what additional resources will be provided to these institutions to deal with extra Garda cases.”

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Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris following media reports that specialist cladding inspectors have been brought in to investigate Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and four other hospitals following the Grenfell fire in London.

Teachta Adams said:

“People were horrified by the disastrous fire in June 2017 in London which killed 71 people. The fire was linked to cladding used on the outside of the block of flats.

"The news that the HSE has confirmed that Our Lady of Lourdes is one of five hospitals in the "highest risk” category is a matter of great public concern.

"I welcome the fact that the HSE has now decided to initiate this investigation, following an evaluation process, but I am concerned that this is only taking place now over a year after the Grenfell fire occurred.

"I have written to the Minister asking for detail about the on-site inspections that have taken place; what remedial action, if any, has been taken in respect of hospitals in Louth; and when he expects to complete the investigation into Our Lady of Lourdes and the four other hospitals.”

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Sinn Féin Leader Mary McDonald TD said today that British Prime Minister Theresa May had visited the north to pick a fight with Ireland and the European Union.

Teachta McDonald said: 

“We were told that the British Minister came to Ireland to listen and to reassure. It is clear that she is not listening to community and business interests and seeks only to reassure the DUP. 

“Her approach today has been provocative, to set aside her agreement with the EU from December and to walk away from a backstop.  

“Theresa May claims to want to avoid a hard border in Ireland, while pursuing a policy that will deliver a hard border. 

“She told us that the north must be treated the same as Britain in Brexit, while continuing to deny the right to marriage equality, to coroner’s inquests and language rights - rights that are available elsewhere in Ireland and in Britain. 

“The British Prime Minister has demonstrated a willful misreading of the Good Friday Agreement. She spoke of respecting consent while imposing Brexit in the north against the will of the majority. 

“She told us that an agreement cannot be imposed, while refusing to implement agreements that have been made. 

“Right across society; business, farming and community interests north and south are dismayed at Theresa May’s hard Brexiteer rhetoric, designed for a Brexiteers at home in Britain and within the DUP. 

“Theresa May is not acting in the interest of the people here or our economy - she is acting in self interest. 

“She might not be listening but civic society and business interests, our farmers need to make their voices heard in Dublin and Brussels.

“There is an onus on the Irish government to stand up in the interests of all Ireland and Europe needs to make good its commitment that Ireland comes first.

“The backstop is the contingency plan. It was agreed and should be honoured.

“What is required now is that the issues pertaining to Ireland be solved at an EU level. We need clarity and certainty for our people and the economy.

“That requires immediate talks and very clearly unless the Irish issues are resolved there can be no withdrawal agreement and no talks on future relationships.” 

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Dúirt urlabhraí Gaeilge Shinn Féin, An Teachta Peadar Tóibín gur gá breathnú go géar ar shlite chun tacú le hearnáil na foilsitheoireachta. Tá Cois Life, an comhlacht foilsitheoireachta saothair liteartha agus taighde le scor ag deireadh na bliana seo chugainn, gan gíog ná míog as an rialtas ina leith.

Dúirt an Teachta Tóibín:

“Is ábhar mór díomá é a chloisteáil go bhfuil Cois Life lena doirse a dhúnadh ag deireadh na bliana seo chugainn. Bhí seirbhís d’ard-chaighdeán á soláthar acu agus leabhair den scoth á gcur ar fáil acu agus ba mhian liom an fhoireann a mholadh go mór.  

“Ní hamháin gur foilsíodh ábháir léitheoireachta as Gaeilge ach dhírigh leabhair de chuid Cois Life isteach ar réimse leathan de ghnéithe d’Éirinn – ár stair shosialta, chultúrtha, cursaí trádála agus téarmaíochta agus a leithéid.

“Níor thug an Aire Joe McHugh ná Josepha Madigan aitheantas ar bith ar an gcailliúnt mhór seo cé gur buille uafásach é seo d’earnáil na Gaeilge agus don chultúir Gaelach. Is léir nach dtuigeann siad an tábhacht atá ag baint le Cois Life.

“Agus 77 aistritheoirí á n-earcú ag an Aontas Eorpach tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbeadh corpas na Gaeilge briamhar, inbhuanaithe againn. Bhí ionchur díreach ag Cois Life air seo.

“Níl foilsitheoirí seanbhunaithe eile ar thalamh slán ach oiread faoi láthair agus is ábhar mór imní é seo. Tá ciorruithe móra déanta ag an rialtas le deich mbliana anuas atá tar éis dul i bhfeidhm ar an earnáil. Tá sé níos deacra - agus i gcásanna dodhéanta – d’fhoilistheoirí teacht ar dheontais ón gComhairle Ealaíona mar shampla.

“Níl tada luaite sa Phlean Gníomhaíochta don Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge chun tacú le foilsitheoirí. Tá sé seo scannalach.

“Tá Sinn Féin tiomanta d’ábhar léitheoireachta don phobal agus spás cruthaíochta d’údair a sholáthr. Creidmid go bhfuil sé riachtanach go leanfar ar aghaidh ag cur le tionscnamh Chorpas na Gaeilge agus beidh mé féin ag lorg cruinnithe leis na hAirí cuí le seo a phlé.”

ENDS/CRÍOCH//

Government silence as major Irish language publisher ceases trading – Peadar Tóibín TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Irish language, Peadar Tóibín, has said that it’s necessary to look at ways to support the publishing industry. Cois Life, a publishing company of literary works and research, will be dissolved at the end of next year without comment from the government.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“It is very disappointing to hear that Cois Life will be closing their doors at the end of next year. They offered a high quality service and provided high quality books and I wish to highly praise the work of the team.

“Not only was it that reading material published in Irish, but the books of Cois Life were directed at a broad range of aspects of Irish life – our social, cultural and commercial history as well as the history of our nomenclature.

“Ministers Joe McHugh and Josepha Madigan gave no acknowledgment of this big loss despite it’s being a big blow to the Irish language sector and to Irish culture. It is clear that they do not understand the importance of Cois Life.

“With 77 translators being hired by the European Union, it is very important we have a vibrant, sustainable Irish language corpus. Cois Life had a direct input into this.

“Long established publishers are currently not on safe grand either and this is a big cause for concern. The government have made large cuts  in the past ten years which have affected the industry. It is harder, and in some cases impossible, for publishers to get grants from the Arts Council for example.

“There is nothing mentioned in the Action Plan for the 20 Year Language Strategy to support publishers. This is scandalous.

“Sinn Féin are dedicated to providing reading materials for the community and creative spaces for authors. We believe that it is vital that the the Irish Language Corpus is continually broadened and I will be seeking meeting with the relevant Minister to discuss this.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has demanded answers and reassurance for those affected by a massive security breach that saw the personal details of hundreds of people passed to loyalist paramilitaries.

The party’s Victims spokesperson described the breach as shocking and is now seeking an urgent meeting with the PSNI Chief Constable and the Police Ombudsman.

“This scale and nature of this breach is shocking and will cause huge concern to those affected,” Linda Dillon commented.

“I am seeking an urgent discussion with both the Chief Constable and the Ombudsman and I will be demanding a rigorous investigation into this scandal.

“People deserve answers and they need to know that measures will be taken to ensure this never happens again. Those affected also need reassurance that whatever steps are required to ensure their safety are put in place.”

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