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Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has stated that politicians must demonstrate the backbone necessary to deal with the concentration of media ownership in Ireland.

She called on Communications Minister Denis Naughten to take steps to establish the multi-disciplinary commission of inquiry to look at the media landscape in Ireland as called for by the NUJ. 

Boylan made the comments as she launched a comprehensive legal report on the issue in Dublin today.

She said;

"This report has found that we have one of the most concentrated media markets of any democracy, with the two most controlling entities being the national state broadcaster, RTÉ and one individual business in the private sphere.

"This individual enjoys a dominant position in the print sector and a significant position in the commercial radio sector.

"New media merger guidelines, introduced by the Irish Government in 2014, copper-fastened the majority hold of the individual with the largest percentage of private media while simultaneously setting up new thresholds and barriers for anyone seeking to challenge his position.

"The individual in question is a 'serial litigator' who, since 2010 has taken out 12 cases against media organisations alone.

"However, it is not just media outlets who are afraid. Politicians seem to balk at the thought of effectively dealing with the issue. It is not acceptable for politicians to hide behind property rights contained in the constitution. It is the responsibility of public representatives to balance these property rights with constitutional rights regarding expression and freedom of the organs of public expression.

"An open and diverse media is crucial to the health of any democracy. We need a media that holds those in powerful positions to account, one that seeks the truth and ensures that the public has access to the truth.

"An EU funded report published by the European Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom in March found that Ireland is in the 'high risk' category for concentration of media ownership.

"It is time for Minister Denis Naughten to seize the opportunity, following on from this report, to address the thorny issue of media ownership in Ireland.

"I believe that it is now time to establish the multi-disciplinary commission of inquiry to look at the media landscape in Ireland as called for by the NUJ.

"The Minister and all politicians must now show the political backbone required to take on those in dominant positions."


Sinn Féin West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said that he welcomes the announcement from the GAA today on their next phase of the Casement Park development.

"There is no doubt that this is an exciting time for the GAA, all who have been involved with this project and the wider West Belfast community

"Today is a step forward that will allow a new stadium to be built.

"There will be more opportunities for residents, businesses, GAA supporters and all those who have an interest in Casement Park to have their voices heard.

“I would urge everyone who has an interest to take the opportunities to discuss these proposals with the development team on the dates set out today.

"I have no doubt that a new Casement Park will help the continued regeneration of west Belfast and with £25m already secured for a new Andersonstown leisure centre will see over £100m invested in this part of west Belfast.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that clear election commitments on the Living Alone Allowance made by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were quickly forgotten.

Teachta Brady said: 

“Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil pledged to increase the Living Alone Allowance on an annual basis in their election manifestos yet. This increase was nowhere to be seen in Budget 2017.

“Older people who live alone are among the most vulnerable in our society. Many of them rely solely on their State Pension for income yet, they face the same increased cost of living as all other households.

“We know that additional charges placed on older people such as the family home tax and increased prescription charges have placed a huge burden on our older people. At this time of year, older people see further increased costs with fuel as they try to keep warm in their homes without any increase in the fuel allowance. These costs are made all the more difficult to manage when a person is living alone and in many cases, relying on one source of income. This reality has been ignored in Budget 2017.

“While Fianna Fáil were busy tripping over to each to take credit for the parts of the Budget that were welcome an entire group of older people have been left behind. This is simply another U-turn by Fianna Fáil where yet again, they go against their own party policies.

“In our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin included an increase of €9 for the Living Alone Allowance monthly; this would make it double what the payment is now. At a time when TDs and Ministers are in line for huge pay rises, older people living alone will see no rise in their allowance whatsoever.” 


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has expressed sympathy at the death of US political figure Tom Hayden.

Speaking today Teachta Adams said;

“I heard today of the death of Tom Hayden with sadness and regret.

“Tom was a truly iconic figure who had a profound and lasting influence on the direction of American politics in the 60s and 70s .

“His identification with Ireland and his pride in his Irish roots are well documented particularly in his book Irish on the Inside published in 2001.

“He was a friend and an ally.

“He was outspoken about his support for justice and equality in Ireland and visited the north many times. His writings on Ireland showed his unequivocal solidarity with the efforts to bring about change, something that was at the core of his political work all his life.

“Tom was on the California State legislature from  1982 to 2000, serving as Assembly man and Senator.

“Our deepest sympathies to his family, to his wife Barbara Williams, his sons Troy Garity and Liam, his step daughter Vanessa and to his  circle of friends and colleagues world wide.”



Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said that the Governor of the Central Bank Philip Lane has confirmed to him in a letter that the Bank was not consulted about the merits of the proposed ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. It was only consulted on whether the Central Bank would accept any rebate in meeting the deposit requirement.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Last week, I wrote to Philip Lane asking him to put on record the Central Bank’s view on the proposed scheme. Today, in his response to me, he has confirmed that in fact the Central Bank was not consulted on the merits of the scheme before it was announced. Given that this scheme was mooted months ago, this is hard to explain.

“The Governor in his letter repeats the criticism of any such scheme stating ‘If there is an insufficient supply side response, raising demand in a given segment of the housing market will just tend to put upward pressure on prices, with the sellers of properties effectively gaining more than the recipients of the subsidy’.

“The refusal to discuss the merits of the scheme with the Central Bank flies in the face of the Programme for Government commitment to ‘work with the Irish banks, the European Investment Bank, industry bodies, the Central Bank and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to develop a new ‘Help to Build’ funding scheme for the development of affordable housing in the private sector’. Clearly, the government have simply decided not to ask the Central Bank about the effects of its proposal. The ‘Help to Buy’ scheme has quite rightly been attacked by almost all commentators with any knowledge of the issue.

“It is now time to drop this scheme before any permanent damage is done to the economy. I will be proposing a deletion of this scheme from the Finance Bill this week.  It is completely unacceptable that any political party who believe that this scheme could push up house prices would consider abstaining on this issue and thereby allowing it to pass into law; all the evidence points to the scheme increasing house prices, increasing debt on young families and increasing profits for builders.  I am calling all political parties to support my amendment when it comes before the Dáil to reject this scheme.” 

Note: The letter from Governor Philip Lane is attached


Sinn Féin MLA Seán Lynch has said today's ruling from the Court of Appeal is a victory for common sense and equality. 

The Sinn Féin equality spokesperson said;

"Today's decision from the Court of Appeal is welcome and makes sense.

"The original decision was the correct one and I'm glad it has been upheld.

"This is the right decision and represents another step forward for equality.

"Equality must be paramount and all forms of discrimination must be challenged." 


Commenting on a parliamentary question response from the HSE, which shows that children in Offaly are currently waiting for 38 months for appointments and assessments with the school age psychology service, Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan has said that the figures are an absolute disgrace.

Teachta Nolan said:

“The fact that vulnerable children are waiting for over three years for appointments and assessments with local psychologist services is an absolute disgrace.

“This clearly illustrates the impact of the ongoing lack of appropriate investment in our front line health services.

“The fact that young children are waiting sixteen months for so called early intervention is completely unacceptable and must be addressed immediately.

“Children with intellectual disabilities rely on prompt assessment in order to access the supports they need to achieve the best possible quality of life.

“The Disability Act 2005 legally requires the HSE to carry out an assessment of need for children who may have a disability within a six month timeframe.

“This is clearly not happening and a local parents’ group, the Laois and Offaly Families For Autism has been campaigning tirelessly to highlight this issue.

“I have raised concerns on this matter in the Dáil on a number of occasions and will continue to do so.

“I have also requested a meeting with the Minister of State for Disabilities in order to discuss this issue and I await his response.” 

Note: The PQ in question is attached


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has dismissed remarks made yesterday by Micheál Martin, in which the Fianna Fáil leader criticised Fine Gael, the party he put in power, as ‘political playacting and folly of the highest order’.    

Teachta Adams said:

“Deputy Micheál Martin’s comments yesterday, in which he criticised the right-wing agenda of Fine Gael and their focus on tax cuts for the wealthy during the general election, would be justified, and indeed welcome, if they amounted to anything more than the political playacting that has become the Fianna Fáil leaders’ forte.

“The Government’s failure to get to the grips with the chaos in health and housing, and to tackle the cost of living crisis, isn’t just because of bad Fine Gael policy, it’s equally because of bad Fianna Fáil policy, which has guided the Government’s approach since the general election.

“The fact is the Fianna Fáil leader knows the current partnership Government, the brainchild of two right-wing, conservative parties, is not going to address the big issues of concern to citizens and he’s attempting to put distance between himself and Fine Gael.

“The problem with such a gesture however, is that he’s the very one who put and is keeping Fine Gael in power, and his criticism amounts to nothing more than mere political playacting and folly of the highest order.” 


Speaking in response to the comments of British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in advance of the meeting tomorrow between the British Government and the leaders of Scotland, Wales and the Northern Executive Martin McGuinness MLA said:

“Theresa May cannot ignore the reality that the people of the North voted to remain in the EU or the enormous consequence of Brexit for the North.

“Any attempt to drag the North out of the EU represents a fundamental change in the constitutional position and an undermining of the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement. 

“I will make clear in the meeting with the British Prime Minister and the leaders of Scotland and Wales the democratic imperative to recognise and respect the vote in the north to remain in the EU in the upcoming negotiations process.” Crioch/ends


Sinn Féin’s South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney has condemned recent criminal damage at the Dunsilly GAA Centre of Excellence in Antrim - within days of its official opening.

In the week following the official opening of the site at Dunsilly, local GAA officials discovered that perimeter fencing had been ripped open with bolt cutters.

Mr Kearney said;

“Just one week ago, I joined with other County Antrim Gaels in celebrating the official opening of this flagship facility at Dunsilly, and watched as hundreds of young gaelic players lined out for their first experience of our county’s new centre of excellence.

“I am therefore bitterly disappointed that the centre has already fallen victim to opportunist criminals. It is not clear what their intentions were, but the damage they have caused is significant and is a terrible blow to those who have struggled over many years to see this ‘field of dreams’ realised.

“The use of bolt cutters indicates premeditation and planning by those involved. While damage was limited to the perimeter fencing on this occasion, I am concerned that the perpetrators may well have been preparing for an even more sinister incursion at a later date.

“It is clear from the points of access that they have entered the site from the adjacent railway line. I intend therefore to speak with NIR to explore what can be done to secure the line and mitigate the risk of further unlawful incursions at the GAA facilities.

“I also intend to follow up with the PSNI to ensure that they are doing everything possible to apprehend the people responsible. I would appeal to the general public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity directly to the police." 


Speaking following the latest fatally on the Hartstown Road Cllr Paul Donnelly said:

"First of all I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of the young man who died last night on the Hartstown Road. This is has been the latest in a number of accidents and fatalities on this stretch of road.

"Just last Friday week, a five year old child was critically injured. I have spent years fighting for effective speed measures along this road and recently proposed a plan for the road which was unfortunately rejected.

"There is huge anger in the community, with demands for a protest this week at our local area meeting growing to express their frustrations and sadness at the continuing loss of life.

"I am calling for an emergency meeting of Fingal County Council, Gardaí and local Councillors to implement road safety measures immediately, we cannot wait any longer".


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has this afternoon responded to remarks made by the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in respect of Brexit in Bodenstown today.

Teachta Adams said:

"I want to welcome some of Micheál Martin's remarks on the implications and challenges of Brexit today, however it's one thing to lambast the British Government - even though that's justifiable - the main focus has to be on what the Irish Government is doing, or what it's not doing.

"The Taoiseach has yet to clarify claims made by the British Secretary of State that measures have been agreed to put immigration controls at Irish ports and airports. That is totally unacceptable

"The Government's focus and the focus of all political parties has got to be an all-Ireland one and our vision shouldn't be limited to the interests of the southern State. The northern vote must be recognised, promoted and defended, and that the aim has to be to keep the entirety of the island of Ireland in the EU."



Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on the Government to urgently introduce reforms to the private rented sector, as many families simply "cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Lynn Boylan said:

"The private rented sector is not fit for purpose. It isn’t working.

"A litany of reports, including RTB, DAFT and the most recent Savills report have demonstrated that rent prices are rising rapidly and in many areas are now higher than they were at the height of the boom.

"Yet, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil continue to oppose rent certainty.

"Sinn Féin’s Bill on Rent Certainty, which would have linked rent increases and decreases to the consumer price index, was vote down by the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil partnership last June.

"This measure could have saved families up to €2,000 per year.

"Last week in the Seanad, Fine Gael, aided and abetted by Fianna Fáil, yet again voted against a Sinn Féin Rent Certainty Bill.

"The crisis in renting, in homelessness and in housing needs action.

"This is not complex. Tenants need certainty and security and at the core we need to build more homes.

"We need to turn the nearly 200,000 vacant houses across the state into someone’s home.

"We need to increase the supply of new builds.

"We need to reduce demand on the existing stock by increasing the supply of social housing.

"Sinn Féin will make a written submission to the Department of Housing on its strategy for the rental sector.

"In it we will include recommendations for rent certainty, security of tenure and to change the tax treatment of landlords.

"Minister Coveney has repeatedly said he is willing to listen to helpful suggestions from the opposition.  Hopefully he’s listening now. “



The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle is meeting today with the focus of discussions being the ongoing Brexit crisis.

Speaking before the Ard Chomhairle meeting Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said,

‘It is increasingly clear that the British Government have neither a plan for Brexit or a care as to how it impacts on Ireland.

"The British Government has claimed that an agreement has been reached, with the Irish Government, for immigration control into Britain to be in place in Irish ports and airports.

"I have twice raised this directly with the Taoiseach and on both occasions, he has failed to answer. This is unacceptable.  

"There is a need for the Irish Government, and all parties, to stand up for our national Interests in all discussions with the British Government and at the European Union.

"That means respecting and giving effect to the vote in the North to Remain in the EU.

"Sinn Féin has called for and supported the Taoiseach in developing an All-Ireland Forum on Brexit.

"The Taoiseach needs to make clear that the Civic Dialogue will identify and chart a course to ensure that the whole island remains within the EU and to minimise the impact on our nation of the British decision to leave the EU. “


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on the Irish Government to drop its campaign in favour the “toxic” Canadian-EU (CETA) trade agreement.

His call follows comments today by Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland that CETA negotiations had failed following rejection of the deal by the Walloon Parliament.

The southern region of Belgium blocked the agreement on Thursday meaning Belgium and the EU cannot sign it.

Matt Carthy said:

“I commend the Parliament of Walloon in rejecting this toxic deal.

"This is further evidence that CETA and TTIP have no popular support and shows what can happen when even small nations or regions are given a democratic say on the issue.

“CETA, like TTIP, is bad deal which would have serious negative implications for Irish farmers, workers and consumers.

“Through its provision for an Investment Court, it will undermine Irish democracy and our judicial system.

“The Seanad has already voted to reject CETA.

“Today's comments by the Canadian Trade Minister mean that CETA is dead in the water and the Fine Gael-led Government needs to face up to this and stop being cheerleaders for it."



Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on the Irish Government to drop its campaign in favour the “toxic” Canadian-EU (CETA) trade agreement.

His call follows comments today by Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland that CETA negotiations had failed following rejection of the deal by the Walloon Parliament.

The southern region of Belgium blocked the agreement on Thursday meaning Belgium and the EU cannot sign it.

Matt Carthy said:

“I commend the Parliament of Walloon in rejecting this toxic deal.

"This is further evidence that CETA and TTIP have no popular support and shows what can happen when even small nations or regions are given a democratic say on the issue.

“CETA, like TTIP, is bad deal which would have serious negative implications for Irish farmers, workers and consumers.

“Through its provision for an Investment Court, it will undermine Irish democracy and our judicial system.

“The Seanad has already voted to reject CETA.

“Today's comments by the Canadian Trade Minister mean that CETA is dead in the water and the Fine Gael-led Government needs to face up to this and stop being cheerleaders for it."



Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has demanded that the Minister for Health immediately confirm whether the additional €35 million announced in Budget 2017 for mental health services “is real or part of a dishonest attempt by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to put the best gloss on an otherwise lacklustre budget.”

The Louth TD was speaking today at the presentation of youth certificates in Muirhevnamor, Dundalk to young people who have successfully completed a four week course on mental health.

Teachta Adams said:

“I want to commend the Muirhevnamor Youth Project Partnership and the Camlough Community Association who organised and funded this course for young people. The course was designed to raise young people's consciousness about mental health in the community and is part of their Community Leaders training.

“Last week when launching Budget 2017, the government claimed that an extra €35 million was being allocated to mental health services. These services are the Cinderella of the health service and are seriously underfunded.

“However, it now appears that the €35 million is not in fact for next year’s budget but will be stretched over the coming years. The Minister of State for Mental Health confirmed on Thursday that just €15 million of this extra funding will be spent next year. This is a significant blow to all of those working on mental health issues. It amounts to less than 2% of an increase on the budget for this year.

“Last week, I visited the Ladywell mental health service in Dundalk where the staff do a remarkable job in old and unsuitable premises. They need new facilities to provide a more effective mental health service. They are only one of many across the state that desperately need additional funding.

“Also last week, the crisis in mental health services was highlighted with the publication by the National Office for Suicide Prevention of the number of deaths by suicide in 2013 in this state in 2013. It reported there 487 deaths by suicide. In the North in 2014 there were 268 deaths by suicide. And it is generally accepted that the real figure for the island is closer to 1000.

“The National Office for Suicide Prevention also recorded that at least 8,790 individuals presented with self-harm at hospitals around the state. Accident and emergency departments do not offer appropriate care or follow up for those in acute mental distress. The €35 million additional money could have helped provide additional services, strengthen existing services and provide for new facilities.

“The government needs to clarify how much additional funding there is for mental health services for 2017 and how they plan to spend that money.” 


Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has described the outcome of the trial of a teenager, who was involved in the protest against former Tánaiste Joan Burton in Jobstown two years ago, as completely absurd.

Deputy Crowe said;

"In my view, it is completely absurd to actually believe that the former Tánaiste was falsely imprisoned. I don’t think anybody really believes that.

"Yet, we have a teenager from my community who has been dragged through the courts on a spurious charge.

"It is a disgrace that such time and resources have gone into prosecuting this teenager.

"Of course all protests and political activity should be conducted in a peaceful manner but political representatives have to accept that at times the decisions we make may not be popular.

"The former Tánaiste and the state has been way over the top and chose to pursue course of action that could have serious consequences for this young man.

"Sinn Féin would like to express our solidarity with the young man and his family today."


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has this afternoon said the government is “failing in its attempts to address the growing number of industrial relations disputes to the detriment of public sector workers and the public-at-large.”

Teachta Adams said:

“Teachers, nurses, doctors and Gardaí have very legitimate issues with regards their pay and conditions.

“The government’s negotiating position has led to an escalation of industrial discontent and as a result we are facing the real prospect of school closures and streets without Gardaí in the coming weeks.

“Their strategy is clearly failing and has heightened confrontation with public sector workers.

“What is required is meaningful dialogue which lays out a clear, sensible path to the provision of full pay restoration for public sector employees, and which prioritises those on low and middle incomes.

“That’s not an impossible task. In our Alternative Budget proposals, Sinn Féin provided for the restoration of allowances for all post-2011 teachers and Gardaí - core demands of the ASTI and the GRA respectively.

“The issue of pay equality for post-2011 entrants also needs to be put in place before the scheduled end of the Lansdowne Road Agreement in September 2018 and any new pay agreement beyond that must set out a clear timetable for a single pay scale for public workers and the restoration of allowances - a timescale that prioritises workers earning below €65,000.

“The government’s current stance that such a timetable can only begin in two years’ time is not feasible in terms of the current industrial relations challenges and kicking the can down the road is not going to solve the problem.

“What public servants want and deserve is the fair and timely unwinding of FEMPI cuts and pay restoration. This can only be achieved through direct dialogue and the formation of a new pay agreement that offers a road map to full pay restoration.”


Sinn Féin MLA and equality spokesperson Sean Lynch has called for the immediate removal of any outstanding criminal records for gay men who were convicted over consensual same-sex relationships before decriminalisation in the North of Ireland in 1982.

Speaking today Mr Lynch said:

“The law regarding the criminalisation of consensual relationship between gay men was rightly removed in 1982. However the convictions prior to that date still remain on people’s personal records.

“This is unacceptable.

“The move in England and Wales to pardon those convicted posthumously is a welcome start to redressing this wrong.

“However, the fact that anyone living has to apply for outstanding convictions to be pardoned is placing a burden on the victim of an unjust law.

“We would much rather see the criminal justice system taking responsibility to examine any outstanding cases and enable a process to expunge records which are linked to these out dated laws.

“I will be contacting the Justice Minister to raise these issues and see the rights and entitlement of our LGBT community are upheld.” 

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