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


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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy today spoke in the European Parliament debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade negotions between the EU commission and the US government. Mr. Carthy warned of negative consequences for agriculture and hit out at those that gave up the Irish veto which could have protected the interests of Family Farmers.

Mr. Carthy said:

"The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has the potential to devastate our environment and the rights of workers, producers and consumers.

"One of my primary concerns is for the future of Agriculture in countries like Ireland. It is clear at this stage that the unique standards and production systems that apply on Irish family farms, for example, are to be compromised in negotiations. Irish farmers are rightly demanding that their livelihoods and their communities are protected.

"One of the reasons Sinn Féin rejected the Lisbon treaty was because of the loss of Ireland's veto on such matters.

"So there is a responsibility, on the Irish government and on MEPs in this chamber who campaigned in favour of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland on the promise that it would create jobs, to stand with Sinn Féin and progressive voices across the European Union in opposition to TTIP.

"And, the European Commission must hear this message today. We will not let you sell out Irish and European farmers for the sake of what is a bad trade deal for everyone else".

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Sinn Féin MEPs Martina Anderson, Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada will travel to Luxemburg on Thursday to explore opportunities for investment with the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor.

Martina Anderson said:

“I recently took the opportunity to discuss with Johnathan Taylor, the possibility of funding opportunities such as coupling of projects such as Magee, Altnagelvin, C-Tric for Research and Development and roads and rail infrastructure.

“I then arranged a further meeting with him for this Thursday 17th July along with party colleagues Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada in Luxemburg to discuss a number of propositions with him.

“The EIB lends money on low-interest, long-term deals for big infrastructure projects.

“However, the British government blocks the Executive from accessing EIB funding for major projects such as the A5 and A6 and the development of a modern rail network.

“It is a crazy situation that councils and deevelopment bodies do have access to the fund while the body charged with job creation and structural projects can’t at this time.

“The new super councils are due to come on stream with increased powers and responsibilities. So it’s an opportune time for me to explore the possible benefits of this source of low-cost finance for essential development projects.

“The University of Ulster’s new Belfast Campus is an example of a project that has benefited from a £150 million loan facility from the EIB, which was crucial in order for the project to proceed.

 “We intend to establish exactly what projects qualify for financial assistance and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB, what type of cross-border projects could access funding?”

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North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has condemned the overnight attack on a GAA club in Ballycastle.

He said:

"This attack was abhorrent and mindless. People in Ballycastle have no time for this behaviour, which serves only to negatively impact on the town.

"These attacks need to end now and anyone with information should bring it forward to the police.

"It is 2014 and it is time such attacks and the raising of tensions over the summer was dealt with once and for all.

"We need to see a situation develop in North Antrim where all elected representatives and all parties unequivocally condemn hate crimes and incitement to hatred towards any part of the community.

“The sectarianism that resulted in attacks in this area in recent weeks can only be effectively dealt with through consistent political and civic leadership, which shows sectarianism will not be tolerated in any form."

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Speaking today on the Strategic Banking Corporation Bill 2014 at second stage, Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly said that the Bill could have been much stronger.

She said:

“We believe this Bill could have been much stronger and better designed. It is six years into this economic crisis and three years into the life of this government, yet suddenly, we are told this Bill needs to be rushed through the Dáil and Seanad before the summer break.

“My party objects strongly to this abuse of the guillotine and believe this Bill is important enough to merit proper scrutiny. In the Dáil, they only reached the first couple of amendments before the guillotine was used.

“Sinn Fein has been arguing for a stimulus package consistently as part of our vision for bringing about a real and sustainable recovery. To that extent we welcome this shift to our way of thinking even if it has come very late in the day.

“We have very serious concerns about the content of this Bill, however. The Programme for Government very clearly stated that the government would establish a “Strategic Investment Bank”. Where stands that commitment now?

“Instead, what we are getting is a company which will lend from a German Bank, then lend to Irish banks in the hope they will lend to SMEs and others.

“The government line seems to be to trust the banks. That’s unrealistic given events of the past few years. There should be strong safeguards in place. Banks not passing on cheaper credit in an equitable way should be punished.

“The Bill also allows for billions of taxpayer’s money to be spent as a guarantee without Dáil approval. A more accountable method needs to be put in place.

“The Bill rightly focuses on the SME sector; the most important sector in terms of employment. Prominent economists have speculated on the likely outcome of the unravelling of SMEs overburdened with debt. The Central Bank has set targets for the banks to deal with this issue but unlike the Mortgage Arrears targets the SME debt restructuring targets are kept secret. That should change. They should be published and banks who are not doing enough named and shamed.

“As a firm believer in stimulus and state led investment my party is disappointed in the lack of ambition behind this project and the lack of detail in the Bill. What we need is a State Bank lending to the real economy. Nevertheless, I welcome the shift in thinking that this Bill will hopefully help bring about.”

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Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education and Skills, called on the Government to ensure that fee waivers were made available to community education providers.

The Cork North Central TD said;

“There is a well-founded fear among many community education providers mean new QQI rules mean that they will have to have to pay fees of up to €5,000 to QQI.

“This will mean many of these not-for-profit providers will not be in a position to maintain the range of courses they are providing that have been very successful across communities in helping learners meet their needs.

“Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to introduce a waiver scheme for community education providers that operate on a not-for-profit basis to enable them to continue the good work they do.

“Community education should be valued and enhanced by this Government not pushed to the pin of their collars because of relentless cutbacks to funding and increases to fees.”

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Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has congratulated Heather Humphreys on her appointment as Minster for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Joe McHugh as the Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs. He says however that their first priority must be to ensure no further cuts are made to the Irish language and Gaeltacht elements of the department's brief.

Ó Clochartaigh said:

“The Irish language and Gaeltacht budgets have had a disproportionate amount of cuts under this FG and Labour coalition. That was on top of cuts imposed even during the boom years by the previous government.

“Before his demotion Jimmy Deenihan was planning another 7% cut to the budget this year and I am calling on Heather Humphreys & Joe McHugh to ensure that doesn't happen.

“They also need to ensure the immediate and full implementation of the '20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language' and must ensure cabinet colleagues give it the priority it deserves.

“I understand also that the Sinn Féin Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure in the North Carál Ní Chuilinn was in favour of increasing funding for the Irish language through an Foras Teanga, but that a reciprocal gesture from Dublin was necessary to do so. I hope that Minister Humphreys will re-examine this approach and come up with the funding necessary to support the sector and allow it to maintain services to Irish speakers across the island'.

“She could also take a leaf from Minister Ní Chuilinn's book and set up a programme such as “Líofa' to encourage politicians and other public and private figures to improve their knowledge of Irish. Perhaps, Minister Humphreys and her deputy might lead by example on that one!”

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Caithfidh Humphreys & McHugh troid le maoiniú na Gaeilge a chosaint - Ó Clochartaigh

Tá comhgháirdeachas déanta ag an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh le Heather Humphreys as a ceapachán mar Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta & Gaeltachta agus le Joe McHugh atá roghnaithe mar Aire Stáit le freagracht do ghnóthaí Gaeltachta. Deir sé áfach gurb í an chloch is mó gur chóir a bheith ar phaidrín na beirte anois aici ná gan ciorruithe breise a dhéanamh ar na gnéithe gaeilge agus gaeltachta do bhuiséad na roinne.

Deir Ó Clochartaigh:

“Rinneadh ciorruithe éagcothrom ar bhuiséid na gaeilge & gaeltachta faoi rialtas seo Fhine Gael & an Lucht Oibre. Sin sa mhullach ar chiorruithe a rinneadh le linn blianta rachmasúla na tíre faoin rialtas a chuaigh rompu.

“Sular tugadh ísliú céime dó, bhí sé beartaithe ag Jimmy Deenihan 7% breise de chiorruithe a chur i bhfeidhm ar bhuiséad na bliana seo agus tá mé ag iarraidh ar an Aire Humphreys anois cinntiú nach dtarlóidh sé sin.

“Caithfidh sí féín agus an tAire Stáit cinntiú freisin go gcuirfear 'An Straitéis Fiche Bliain don Ghaeilge' i bhfeidhm ina iomláine, láithreach agus go dtabharfaidh a gcuid comhleacaithe ag bord an rialtais an tacaiocht dó is cóir a thabhairt.

'Tuigtear dom chomh maith go raibh Aire Cultúr & Fóillíochta Shinn Féin sa Chomhthionóil, Caral Ní Chuilinn, sásta breis maoiniú a chur ar fáil do chúrsaí Gaeilge trid an bhForas Teanga ach go raibh gá le maoiniú breise i gcomhréir ó rialtas Átha Cliath agus nach rabhadar sin toilteanach. Tá suil agam go ndéanfaidh an tAire Humphreys athmhachnamh ar seo agus go dtabharfaidh sí an maoiniú cuí leis an earnáil a chaomhnú agus leis sin seirbhísí do ghaeilgeoiri ar fud an oileáin.

“B'iontach an sampla a bheadh ann freisin dá leanfadh sí an treo a ghlac an tAire Ní Chuilinn ó thuaidh le bunú 'Líofa', clár a thugann spreagadh do pholaiteoirí, maraon le daoine aitheanta agus cuid nach bhfuil aitheanta chun feabhas a chur ar a gcuid gaeilge. B'fhéidir go dtabharfadh an tAire Humphreys féin agus a leathbhádóir an tAire Stáit McHugh ceannródaíocht ar an gceann sin'.

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Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called for the reversal of cuts to disability and health-related organisations. He stated:

“At the start of July the Irish Deaf Society was refused funding under the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO) and had to close its advocacy operation. It then came to light that 25 other health and disability-related organisations were also denied further funding.

“The SSNO is administered by Pobal under the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government. The current scheme runs from now until 2016.

“The Neurological Alliance Ireland (NAI) is facing closure after losing its core funding under the SSNO scheme. All 11 neurological organisations that were receiving support from the scheme have lost their funding. Various frontline and other important services will now be axed and jobs lost. In the NAI’s case, they will be forced to effectively cease operations by the year end unless an alternative source to replace lost funding of €60,000 a year is found.

“The other neurological organisations affected include MS Ireland, Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, the Migraine Association of Ireland, the Huntington’s Disease Association, Chronic Pain Ireland, ABI Ireland, the Alzheimer Society and Irish Heart Foundation Stroke Action.

“Overall some 26 disability and health and caring-related organisations have seen their funding revoked in the allocations for the 2014-2016 round of Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO), at a total loss of approximately €1.2m annually.

“The Disability Federation of Ireland has called on the new Cabinet to enact measures to restore this funding.

“These cuts are quite disgraceful. They are mean and penny-pinching but their impact will be far beyond their monetary value. Services and advocates and resources for people with disabilities and others are being lost.

“Before the Dáil summer recess commences at the end of this week the new Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly should over-turn these cuts and restore the funding.”

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has pressed the Taoiseach to meet symphisiotomy survivors to devise a comprehensive approach which meets the needs of all the victims of the barbaric practice.

Mr Adams made the call in the Dáil today after serious concerns were raised by the UN Human Rights Committee about the Government’s approach to this issue.

Gerry Adams said:

"This State’s policies towards women and children are currently being scrutinised by the UN Committee on Human Rights in Geneva.

"Committee members are being made aware of the results of a toxic political culture which existed in this State since its foundation, and in which women and children were denied their rights.

"This toxic culture is evident in a sorry saga of scandals which includes the Magdalene laundries, Bethany Home, the Mother and Baby homes, the illegal trafficking of children, child abuse in Church and State-run institutions, and the unequal status of women in the Constitution.

"The UN Committee will hear testimony on a range of other issues highlighting a dereliction of duty by this State towards its citizens including Travellers and prisoners.

"A 50-page report submitted to the UN by victims of symphisiotomy, will show how this State failed to protect more than 1,500 women who endured this barbaric practice and who still suffer, physically and psychologically, from its consequences decades later."

The Sinn Féin Leader reminded Mr Kenny that the Government had undertaken to right this wrong, and asked:

"Taoiseach, why then did you ignore the call from survivors for the Statute of Limitations to be lifted to allow them the choice of going to court?

"Why did you produce a Redress Scheme that denies acknowledgment of the grievous wrong done to these women?

"Why provide only a minimalist financial package?

"Why deny the women an independent medical board and the right to advocacy?

"Taoiseach, the UN Committee has asked why this State refuses to accept any responsibility for the clear abuse of the rights of Irish women over decades. Why is that?"

Mr Adams said the UN Human Rights Committee Chairman was deeply concerned about the fact  that symphisiotomy operations were involuntary.

He said:

"Fundamental questions have also been raised over the legality of the State’s plan for redress. The UN Human Rights Committee rapporteur has asked whether the scheme is compatible with the State’s obligations under international human rights treaties.

"Concern also has been expressed at the lack of judicial review, the absence of individual assessment and the fact that claimants would have to give up their legal rights.

"The scheme you have produced has upset the majority of the 350 surviving women and put them on a collision course with the Government.

"They deserve State acknowledgement of their ill-treatment.

"They need full and proper compensation commensurate with the trauma they endured and continue to suffer."

Mr Adams asked Mr Kenny whether, in light of the serious concerns raised by the UN Committee, it was incumbent on The Taoiseach to re-think the Government’s approach to this issue:

"Isn’t it time to meet with these survivors with a view to devising a comprehensive approach which meets the needs of all the victims of symphisiotomy?"

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Sinn Féin MEPs to explore funding opportunities with European Investment Bank Vice-Chair

Sinn Féin MEPs Martina Anderson, Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada will travel to Luxemburg on Thursday to explore opportunities for investment with the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor.

Martina Anderson said:

“I recently took the opportunity to discuss with Johnathan Taylor, the possibility of funding opportunities such as coupling of projects such as Magee, Altnagelvin, C-Tric for Research and Development and roads and rail infrastructure.

“I then arranged a further meeting with him for this Thursday 17th July along with party colleagues Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada in Luxemburg to discuss a number of propositions with him.

“The EIB lends money on low-interest, long-term deals for big infrastructure projects.

“However, the British government blocks the Executive from accessing EIB funding for major projects such as the A5 and A6 and the development of a modern rail network.

“It is a crazy situation that councils and development bodies do have access to the fund while the Executive - the body charged with job creation and structural projects can’t at this time.

“The new super councils are due to come on stream with increased powers and responsibilities so it’s an opportune time for me to explore the possible benefits of this source of low-cost finance for essential development projects.

“The University of Ulster’s new Belfast Campus is an example of a project that has benefited from a £150 million loan facility from the EIB, which was crucial in order for the project to proceed.

“We intend to establish exactly what projects qualify for financial assistance and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB, what type of cross-border projects could access funding?”

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Sinn Féin Councillor, Cara McShane, has condemned an attack on McQuillan GAC Ballycastle on Monday night.

Cllr Cara McShane said:

“In recent days there has been a heightening of tensions in this area which has served no purpose whatsoever other than to witness senseless acts of vandalism taking place on people’s places of worship and cultural centres.

“The latest attack on McQuillan GAC, which involved vandalising the walls of the clubhouse and gated entry to the grounds, is an attack on everyone in this town.  

"The club in Ballycastle has a long history of attracting cross-community support and participation in Gaelic games.  

“I would appeal to anyone who witnessed suspicious activity on Monday evening between 11.45pm-1am to contact the police or club officials.  

“I would also urge that people do not react to this.  Positive leadership must be shown by all community and political representatives to ensure that we will not be dragged down a sectarian or anti-social cul-de-sac.”

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Speaking following a report published by the Higher Education Authority yesterday on student progression rates in third level, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD has called on the Government to pay heed to their findings that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds find it harder to stay on at third level.

Deputy O’Brien said:

“We didn’t need a report from the HEA to show us that students are dropping out of college because they can’t afford to stay in it.

“But now that the HEA has published the report, which we welcome, the government needs to pay heed to its findings.

“Students from farming and higher socio-economic groups are more likely to remain in third level than those who are struggling with their financial situations.

“Universities have come a long way in recent times, through introducing access programmes for disadvantaged students but this simply isn’t enough.

“Students are being deprived of an education because they can’t pay their rent.

“Further to this, SUSI has a rigid set of rules with no element of flexibility meaning there are groups of students, such as those who are estranged from their parents, or in non-traditional family units, or who took a break in their education, meaning that they are assessed on the incomes of people they have no contact with.

“The grant in itself is completely insufficient but students are just desperate to hang on to it.

“I am calling on the Minister for Education to address the failures of this system in order to ensure that there is equality in our education system.”

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Sinn Féin MEPs have today voted against the EU Presidency bid of Jean-Claude Juncker.

Speaking after the vote, Sinn Féin’s Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan said:

“Jean-Claude Juncker appeared before the GUE/NGL group in which Sinn Féin is a member and offered no indication of a change of direction of the European Union’s austerity driven agenda.

“It is our belief in Sinn Féin that his candidacy represents a ‘business as usual’ approach to the future of the EU.

“The electorate in Dublin voted for me on the basis of change and a new, fresh approach to the stale and failed politics of old.

“During Juncker’s appearance before the GUE/NGL group he did not respond to questions on Ireland’s legacy debt and he continued to call for budget discipline which is further indication of his commitment to austerity.  

“It is for this reason that my party colleagues and I have decided to vote against his bid for presidency. We also opposed having a secret ballot as it is our firm belief that MEPs should be held accountable to the people who elected them.

“It is time for real, lasting and effective change for the ordinary people in Ireland and all across the European Union.

“Sinn Féin is committed to the delivery of such change.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and international recognition for Palestine. 

Speaking at a GUE/NGL press conference in Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said; 

"This recent Israeli onslaught has seen more than 190 Gazans killed, mostly civilians and children, and unfortunately that number will probably rise. 

"The Israeli bloodbath undermines the two-state solution and obstructs the potential Palestinian unity government. 

"We need to see an immediate de-escalation of violence and a ceasefire by all sides in this conflicts. 

"The Israeli government must recognise the Palestinian unity government and engage in dialogue in order to find a way out of the current situation. 

"It is clear from this latest series of attacks that Israel is attempting to drive a wedge between Fatah and Hamas." 

Ms Anderson also said the international community must become involved to help the people of Gaza. 

"Expressions of concern are not enough; what is required now from the international community is decisive action. 

"International recognition for the two-state solution would be a hugely important step. 

"All governments should grant full embassy status to Palestinian missions. 

"The UN must recognise that Israeli actions have violated international law. 

"For too long the UN and the wider international community has watched the blockade of Gaza; watched an apartheid wall being built; watched as road blocks were erected and segregated buses introduced. 

"We have witnessed Israel demolishing thousands of Palestinian homes and forces thousands of families from their land to build settlements. 

"All of this is in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accord. 

"The Palestinian people and their elected representatives cannot tolerate this nor should they be expected to."

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said today that, to be effective, any inquiry into the abuse of children at the Kincora Boys Home in the 1970s needs to be international and fully independent.

The Deputy First Minister said that the British state is unwilling and incapable of investigating its own agents and intelligence services.

Martin McGuinness said:

“There have been a number of scandals around the activities of the British intelligence services in Ireland, including the murder of human rights solicitor Pat Finucane and collusion in the killings of hundreds of nationalists.

“The British government has spent decades trying to cover up the activities of its intelligence services in Ireland.

“The British state is clearly incapable of investigating itself.

“Therefore, to be effective, any inquiry into the abuse of children at the Kincora Boys Home during the 1980s needs to be international, independent and have the powers to sub poena witnesses and access documents.” 

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Sinn Féin Councillor and Mayor of South County Dublin, Fintan Warfield, has welcomed support for his motion for the extension of equal marriage rights to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community in the upcoming referendum on marriage equality.

Speaking after the motion was passed by a majority of 34-1, Mayor Warfield said:

“I truly welcome the support for the motion on marriage equality.

“The LGBT community is still marginalised in the Ireland of today and we must work towards changing that.

“Support for marriage equality and for the passing of the referendum next spring is pivotal.

“Imagine for one moment the message a yes vote would send to those coming to terms with their sexuality - students in school who are afraid to tell their peers about their feelings for another person of the same sex.

“Imagine for one moment the message a yes vote in the upcoming referendum would send to those couples who have waited their whole lives to register on the books of this state, their love for one another.

“It would provide constitutional recognition and protection to LGBT families.  

“This referendum is about equality. It is about the LGBT community being afforded the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.

“This referendum is about love. It is about two people sharing in the ups and downs of life.

 “This referendum is about change. It is about changing people’s attitudes toward the LGBT people in their lives and to encourage of acceptance and understanding.

"These issues are relevant, they shape people’s lives and that is why a yes vote in the upcoming referendum is vitally important for Irish society".

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Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has announced that the National Hungerstrike commemoration will be held in Derrylin on the 3rd August.

 Ms. Gildernew said,

 “I am proud that Fermanagh has been selected to stage the National Hungerstrike Commemoration given the fact that Bobby Sands was elected to represent this constituency in 1981.

 “The annual commemoration is not only a dignified parade to honour Irish Hunger Strikers but a series of events including lectures, displays and youth events that allow people to remember the sacrifice made by these men.

 “The commemoration attracts up to 10,000 people so there is also an economic benefit to the local businesses as many people travel to the area.

 “The organising committee is already working with the local community to minimise any disruption during the parade and ensure that the event is successful.

 “The Hungerstrike was a pivotal moment in Irish history and it is right and fitting that it has now come to Fermanagh and I would appeal to local people to come out and support the event.” 

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Sinn Féin councillor Paul Fleming has condemned those responsible for a security alert in the Westlake area of Derry. 

Speaking after the discovery of a suspicious object in the Westlake area, councillor Fleming said; 

"This has caused nothing but disruption for people living in the community. 

"Several families have had to be evacuated from their homes early in the morning as a result of this security alert. 

"Whoever is behind this has caused distress and disruption to resident in the area who do not want to see this kind of thing happening." 

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Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí Doolan has welcomed Dublin City Council’s commitment to reducing the Local Property Tax by 15%.

Speaking during tonight’s City Councillor debate, Doolan said:

"Sinn Féin opposes the government's property tax. It puts an unjust tax burden on middle and low-income households.

"If elected to government Sinn Féin is committed to reversing this unfair tax. But in the meantime we aim to reduce it to the maximum we can here in Dublin.

“Our motion commits Dublin City Council to supporting the maximum cut of 15% for 2015. This will be putting money back into people’s pockets which will benefit the local economy.

"Consecutive governments have slashed funding for local government. This is unacceptable. The property tax cannot become another excuse for government to starve Dublin City Council of essential funding. We will be working with councillors from all parties here on City Council and on the other three Dublin local authorities to defend funding for local government. We are also calling on Dublin TDs to fight against any further cuts to local authorities’ grants.

“I firmly believe we can reduce the property tax and protect jobs and local services. It will require commitment and hard work but Sinn Féin is up for that challenge.”

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Sinn Féin’s Dublin spokesperson on Housing Councillor Criona Ní Dhálaigh has tonight stopped, a land grab of City Council land.

Speaking during tonight's housing debate, Ni Dhálaigh said:

"This city is facing a housing crisis of unprecedented proportions. The manager’s proposal amounts to nothing more than a land grab. It does not offer any solution only more of the same. The report reads like a private developers charter. There is no guarantee in this report that there will be any Local Authority housing built on this land.

“Sinn Féin will not support a return to the bad old days of private developers getting council land while thousands languish on housing lists. 

"We need a major house building programme for Dublin. This reports highlights the land banks in Dublin. Sinn Féin wants good quality homes built on this land. We want sustainable communities to flourish and our housing crisis solved. 

"If this report went out unchallenged this land could be lost to private developers forever.

"Sinn Féin has proposed that an independent City Housing Trust be established to develop a housing programme to meet the housing needs of this city. The trust will be allowed to borrow money from the EU to fund this programme."

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Responding to suggestions that the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny will determine junior ministry appointments on the basis of how they might impact on Sinn Féin, Party Leader Gerry Adams said:

“The Local Government and European elections in May confirmed that ever increasing numbers of citizens are responding to Sinn Féin's message that there is fairer way to make necessary deficit adjustments while protecting vital public services and social supports.

“That the Taoiseach would determine junior Ministries on how they might impact on Sinn Féin merely highlights the fact that the Government still doesn't get the message delivered by the voters.

“Sinn Féin is not the problem. It is that citizens have rejected the Government's agenda of relentless austerity and the unfair way it is penalising hardworking families and vulnerable people.

“It would suit Mr Kenny better to concentrate on changing the disastrous political direction his Government is pursuing than obsessing about the increasing electoral popularity of Sinn Féin.”

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