Be Part of Building a New Republic

Latest Statements


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has stressed the need to include provision for extra beds and nurses in the supplementary budget. To highlight the dire need for additional resources, Deputy Ó Caoláin has announced a weekend of action on the trolley crisis, with Sinn Féin activists participating in towns and cities across the state.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The nurses’ decision to resort to industrial action was the inevitable consequence of this government’s failure to address the real crisis in our health services, most particularly the fact that we have a totally under-resourced accident & emergency department across this state.

“We have the loss of some 2,000 nurses, we have the contraction in terms of bed capacity and we have the intolerable trolley figures that are coming in day after day and while there is a greater media attention when it gets up to a certain level, the fact of the matter is, that some 300 or more every day find themselves on trolleys or other inappropriate settings across our hospitals.

“It’s critically important that this Minister Leo Varadkar and this government engage directly with INMO and that they also take action. We have not yet seen the publication of the Supplementary Estimate for 2015, we know that one is in the offing – some €600 million at least talked about.

“I’m telling Leo Varadkar – you have got to provide in the immediacy for additional nurses to be employed, for additional bed capacity to be created, and for address of the intolerable conditions that apply across our accident and emergency units throughout the hospital network in this state.

“You’ve got to take action now. Long term promises are of absolutely no use in terms of the immediate problem that is growing by the day. Sinn Féin will be campaigning across the state this weekend for the government to galvanise and address this issue that they have been shamefully inactive on for so long.”

Note – venues where campaign is taking place across the state below. 

Cavan: Friday, Cavan Town centre 2pm 
Clare: Saturday, protest at the O'Connell monument in Ennis 11am
Cork City: Saturday. Protest Mercy Hospital 12 noon
Donegal: Saturday, street campaigning in Letterkenny, Ballybofey and Inisowen 12 noon
Dundalk: Friday, protest Town Centre 2:30pm
Galway City: Sunday. Protest at Eyre Square 1pm
Kerry: Friday, Protest at Kerry General Hospital 5:30pm
Kilkenny: Street stall outside Town Hall on Saturday from 11am
Limerick City: Saturday, street campaigning at the Milk Market and Bedford Row 11am
Offaly: Saturday: Protest at Tullamore Hospital 1-3pm
Tipperary Town: Street stall in main street with Seamie Morris on Saturday 12am.


Sandyford: Saturday, street campaigning, Balally Centre 11-12 noon
Dundrum: Saturday, street campaigning, Lidl shopping centre 11-12 noon
Mater Hospital: Saturday, protest 1pm
Blanchardstown: Saturday, protest, Shopping Centre, 1-2pm
Tallaght Hospital: Saturday, 1-2pm




Statement of the solicitors attached providing information on the legal steps the family intend taking.

Sinn Féin Louth TD and Party Leader Gerry Adams today met the family of Seamus Ludlow to discuss their plans to step up their campaign for truth and justice.

Seamus Ludlow was shot dead in May 1976 by unionist paramilitaries. His body was found near his Thistle Cross, Dundalk home.

Gerry Adams said:

“I want to commend the steadfastness and courage of the Ludlow family, including those family members who have since died, in their determination to pursue justice for Seamus Ludlow.

“For 40 years the Ludlow family have valiantly campaigned for a public inquiry to establish the truth surrounding his murder.

“In the immediate days after his killing by a unionist paramilitary gang, linked to the Red Hand Commando/UVF and which involved two serving officers in the Ulster Defence Regiment, the family have been faced with resistance to an inquiry from the political and policing authorities on both parts of this island. 

“Their treatment by An Garda Síochána in the aftermath of the killing was appalling. This included suspending the investigation, accusing members of the family of being involved in the murder, claiming that Seamus Ludlow was killed by the IRA as an informer, and not informing them of the inquest.

“Subsequently the Final Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow which was published in March 2006, accepted that collusion had occurred; and it recorded its disappointment at the lack of co-operation for information by the British authorities.

“Crucially it also recommended that the Irish government establish two commissions of investigation to examine aspects of the murder of Seamus Ludlow. One was to investigate the conduct of the investigation by An Garda Síochána and the second was to look at the withholding of documentation. Nine years later the Irish government has ignored this recommendation and there have been no commissions of investigation.

“The British government continues to refuse to hand over documents relating to the killing.

“This will surprise few given the recent British government decision in the Stormont House negotiation to use the ‘national security’ excuse to deny all victims of British state violence information and truth and closure.

“The Ludlow family refuse to be deterred. With their legal representatives they have mapped out a legal course of action that will challenge those who have tried to suppress the truth of what happened to Seamus Ludlow.

“Sinn Féin will do all we can to assist them in their endeavour.”

Seamus Ludlow family and solicitors

Meeting with Ludlow family as well as Kevin Winters and Gavin Booth, the solicitors for the family.


Sinn Féin will be holding a demonstration on Saturday 28th November to highlight the growing crisis in the A&E system, increasing numbers on trolleys and the pressure on Healthcare Staff.

Sinn Féin members will be holding a protest at the roundabout at the Blanchardstown Centre beside the Ice rink, between 1-2pm.

We will also be handing out thousands of leaflets calling for active support for the nurses and all healthcare staff


Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has said the Irish language can play a key role in promoting reconciliation. 

Mr Kearney said; 

"The Irish language, belongs to everybody and threatens no one.

"There is no contradiction in unionists seeking to learn or speak Irish, or for republicans to be interested in orange culture and traditions.

"Just last week Sinn Féin held a successful Slógadh which was attended by more than 100 Irish language activists, academics, public representatives and was addressed by Linda Ervine among others. 

"All cultural expressions and identities should co exist and deserve to be respected.  That means mainstreaming equality, and demonstrating parity of esteem for the Gaelic, orange and other traditions.

"Already the Irish language has shown its potential as resource for helping to develop reconciliation.

"How we view and treat the language and the status conferred upon it by the states north and south, will be a benchmark of actual commitment to legislate and commit support for a multicultural society going forward in Ireland, and ensure respect for ethnic and linguistic diversity.

"The Stormont House Agreement Implementation Plan must now be maximised as a ‘fresh start’ for the future of the Irish language on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

"Sinn Féin will continue to play its part by garnering support for an Ghaeilge in the political institutions; in Europe, Leinster House, the Assembly, North/South Ministerial Council, cross border bodies, and within local councils."


Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has raised serious concern over reports that the EU have given confidential papers on TTIP negotiations to oil and gas companies.

Speaking on the issue, Deputy Colreavy said:

“It is alleged that the EU has given papers to oil and gas companies that have been deemed too confidential to make available to the public or to sovereign governments.

“It is also alleged that the EU has asked oil and gas companies to contribute to the section of the negotiations that deal with energy.

“This would support the view of many that there are significant negotiations with multinational companies on TTIP, but very little with the public or representative organisations.

“This is a serious situation that further undermines the TTIP negotiations.

“It is effectively handing power for the energy section of TTIP over to oil and gas companies to shape in their favour.

“This could have serious implications for governments such as the Irish government.

“Hydraulic fracturing is a very controversial issue in energy at the moment, and if oil and gas companies are allowed a free hand to write the energy section of TTIP, they could use this power to force the Irish governments hand on the issue.

“It also has serious implications on renewable energy development as oil and gas companies would surely seek to protect their own interests as part of any TTIP deal.

“Irish government ministers, especially those whose portfolios will be affected by TTIP, must demand answers from the EU on this controversy.

“Such actions in effect hand power away from the democratic will of the people and into the hands of multinational companies.” 


Parents can now apply for a pre-school place for the 2016/17 academic year.

Application forms are available from all pre-school providers and should be returned by 12 noon on Wednesday 13 January 2016. 

Last year, 85% of children were placed in their first preference setting, while 99.8% of children whose parents engaged fully with the admissions process to the end, were allocated a funded pre-school place.

Commenting on the value of pre-school education, Education Minister John O’Dowd said: 

“Research consistently confirms the importance of pre-school education. The early years of a child’s life are a time of significant physical and mental development and involving them in a pre-school environment can enrich that development not only in learning terms, but also socially and behaviourally.

“While pre-school is not a compulsory element of education, I would strongly encourage parents to take up this opportunity to apply for a pre-school place and enable their children to benefit from what many parents recognise is a valuable experience.

”The Pre-School Education Programme funded by the Department of Education provides one year of education for children in their immediate pre-school year. Like primary and post primary schools, pre-school settings publish admissions criteria which parents should read carefully as they consider pre-school settings and assess their likelihood of being offered a place.

The admissions process covers entry to statutory settings such as nursery schools and primary schools with nursery units, as well as non-statutory settings delivered by voluntary and private providers. All settings follow the same curricular guidance and parents should therefore consider all providers in their area when applying for a pre-school place. 

The process is in two stages and if a child is not offered a place at the end of stage one, 15 April 2016, parents are notified and encouraged to submit further preferences for stage two when additional offers will be made.

Speaking about the application process, Minister O’Dowd continued: 

“I would urge parents, to list all settings they believe are suitable for their child. Every pre-school setting that is funded by the Department, regardless of how it is managed, has been accredited and delivers the same curriculum. All are subject to inspection by pre-school education experts from the Education and Training Inspectorate. 

“Only through the official process are pre-school providers allowed to enrol children, so parents should ensure they complete an official form, even if they believe their child is on an informal list with a provider.”

Advice and support for parents making an application is available from the Education Authority. There is also information available on nidirect:


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson is to be the main speaker at an event at the Guildhall in Derry on Sunday at 5pm to mark International Day of Solidarity with Palestine.

Speaking ahead of the event, Ms Anderson said,

"The continuation of the Israeli occupation and its persistence with colonial settlement activities, cruel arrests and detention of civilians, affirm Israel's arrogance and intransigence, its violations of international law, its rejection of peace and its adherence instead to the ideology of colonial expansion, subjugation and greed.

"Ending the injustice inflicted on the people of Palestine is a moral and humanitarian responsibility. The international community should compel Israel, the occupying power, to abide by international law to put an end to its violations and its illegal, aggressive and destructive practices.

Chair of the Delegation of Relations with Palestine in the European Parliament, Ms Anderson continued,

"The status quo under occupation and the Israeli iron fist is unsustainable as it keeps the region in a constant spiral of violence, bloodshed and conflict.

"The Palestine people have the right to enjoy freedom, dignity, sovereignty and independence in their Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Similar to the north, peace is their ultimate goal.

"In the run up to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people I would like to reiterate my call to place Palestine and its people under international protection. The occupiers will not protect the occupied.

"I am hoping you can join me in Derry at 5pm on Sunday, as we stand in unity with the Palestinian people, as we send a strong message of support to them and their struggle.

"Israel's blockade of Gaza must end. Israel's settler activity and terror must end. The collective punishment of Palestinian youths must end and in order to secure peace & stability in the region the occupation must end." ENDS


Sinn Féin’s National Chairperson, Declan Kearney, has slammed those behind a racist attack on an Indian family in Antrim Town.

Speaking today Mr Kearney said:

“This racist attack against the Philips family is a disgrace. I condemn it in the strongest possible way. Our thoughts and support are with the family at this time.

“This family were lucky to escape without injury as their car was set alight at the side of their home. 

"There can be no place for racism or racist hate crimes in our society. 

 "Those who carried out this attack have nothing to offer the community.

"I would urge anyone with information on this attack to bring it forward to the PSNI to ensure those responsible can be brought to justice and taken of our streets."


Sinn Féin MEP and member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development committee, Matt Carthy, has said that Commissioner Phil Hogan is failing farmers in Ireland and across Europe.  Mr. Carthy’s comments come in the week that the President of the European Milk Board, Mr. Romuald Schaber, call for Commissioner Hogan’s resignation.

Carthy said,

"It took just a single year in office for one of the major EU farm bodies to call for Phil Hogan’s resignation.  The call will be of no surprise to Irish people who are well aware of his disastrous legacy as government minister.

“This weeks pronouncement from the European Milk Board must be seen in the context of the huge challenges facing the Dairy sector and Phil Hogan’s failure to respond adequately. 

“For months the situation of dairy farmers has been deteriorating, yet Commissioner Hogan is in complete denial.  Last September he declared ‘I don't think that many farmers are producing at below the cost of production. They say that they are, but at the end of the day they continue to produce’.

“This not only shows incompetence on the Commissioner's part, but also ignorance.  Ignorance of the situation of dairy farmers producing at below 25c/L and ignorance of the policy measures required to rectify it.

“The €500m package offered by the Commission in September has done little to stabilise prices with the real issue being due to the imbalance between supply and demand.  Despite this, Commissioner Hogan as recent as last week championed these measures to EU Agriculture Ministers in the AGRI Council meeting declaring, ‘the milk market is becoming more stable’.

“His failure to act on the dairy crisis and the subsequent call for his resignation from such a major farm body simply confirms the fact that he was an unsuitable nominee as Commissioner.

"Irish farmers and the agricultural community deserve better.  For the unique position of the dairy industry to be realised and supported, there needs to be a change. With the top agricultural voice in Europe denying the existence of a problem, this change cannot happen.

"To prevent further suffering of the dairy industry, Commissioner Hogan needs to seriously consider his position.”



Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has condemned those responsible for a gun attack on the PSNI in west Belfast. 

Mr Maskey said 

"Tonight's gun attack on the PSNI in the Rossnareen Avenue area of west Belfast was totally wrong and I condemn it outright. 

"This attack happened in the early evening in a busy area and could have killed or seriously injured anyone in the area at the time. 

"Thankfully no one was injured but it was a frightening experience for people in the area. 

"I spoke to people living nearby following this attack and they are rightly angry at what happened.

"Those responsible have nothing to offer the community, they do not speak for local people and need to end these reckless and futile actions immediately. 

"We will not allow them to drag us back to the past." 


Sinn Féin MEP for the six counties, Martina Anderson has welcomed the renewed commitment of the EU to label products from illegal Israel settlements.

Speaking after a chairing a special meeting of the Delegation of Relations with Palestine on the labelling of settlement products, Martina Anderson said;

"Illegal Israeli settlements remain one of the largest obstacles to peace in the region.

Over 800,000 settlers live illegally in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The EU, as it stands, contributes directly and indirectly to the occupation via trade in settlement products, financial support for Israeli institutions in the occupied territories and investment in Israeli military infrastructure

Compare this with the attitude of the EU to other nations engaged in occupation and breaches of human rights and their inaction over Israel become perplexing

However, at this morning's meeting representatives from the European Parliament and the European External Action Service renewed their commitment to the labelling of settlement products and provided details on how this would be achieved.

This development is most welcome.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Martina Anderson continued,

"It is estimated that Israel exports around €200 million worth of illegal settlement products to the EU every year.

The introduction of labelling on these products will inform consumers and allow them to make a conscious decision when purchasing goods the profits of which directly or indirectly contribute to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

The EU needs to do more though. Trade with the EU is worth an estimated €13 billion to Israel. Therefore the EU has huge potential to act as a partner in peace and put pressure on Israel to reverse its regressive military aggression in Palestine.

At the moment Israel can access preferred trade tariffs with the EU on goods produced within the 1967 borders. This is unacceptable - the occupation must cost Israel.

The fragrant disregard for the rights of Palestinians must be challenged in every way possible

The EU has placed Restrictive Measures on trade against other countries that have abysmal human rights records, and rightly so, but is rewarding Israel with favourable tariffs.

National governments and the international community should consider every possible action in order to advance a sustainable peace in the region. Israel must be put under pressure until they accept the Oslo Accords, end the occupation and begin genuine peace talks aimed at a lasting peace and the two-state solution." ENDS


Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey, who is also the chair of the Social Development Committee, has said that the withdrawal of the Regeneration Bill will allow the space for serious engagement with the sectors affected.

Speaking today Mr Maskey said:

“The withdrawal of the Regeneration Bill by the Minister is the right move. This will allow time for serious engagement with the community and voluntary sector and local government.

“Given concerns raised by many sectors over the progress of this legislation and indeed the need to address issues of regeneration and disadvantage on the basis of objective need this is the right decision.

“Powers will continue to reside in the department allowing a level of certainty for the coming months for these sectors.

“It is vitally important that when the powers for regeneration are transferred to local government it is on the basis that local government must address social need and that the proper amounts of funding are allocated to ensure this can happen.

“I would urge the minister to use this window to ensure that these measures are included and we get the full buy in from all those affected.” 


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will speak at an event in Derry tomorrow on what is being done to help Syrian refugees coming to the North. 

Speaking ahead of the event, which has been organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Ms Anderson said; 

"The harrowing images of families fleeing conflict in Syria and elsewhere have touched people across the world. 

"I have seen at first hand the misery of refugees when I traveled to reception centres in Lampedusa and refugee camps in Jordan. 

"The people of the North have responded to the humanitarian crisis and we are now preparing to welcome the first Syrian refugees before Christmas. 

"Sinn Féin have been to the fore in supporting the rights of refugees and working to ensure that proper structures are in place to welcome them into our community.

"As an MEP, I will continue to put pressure on the international community, and the European Union in particular, to prioritise supporting refugees and tackling the growing humanitarian crisis throughout Syria, the Middle East and Europe."


Speaking this evening on the need for more adequate aftercare facilities for children, Sinn Féin Children’s Spokesperson and TD Sandra McLellan has said children leaving care are possibly some of the most vulnerable children in our state and that current services do not go far enough in protecting these children.

The Cork East TD said:

“Aftercare programmes play an integral play in the care system in Ireland. They are a vital part of a young person’s life on their exit from care. They set out an important foundation to enable them to cope with the difficult time of leaving care, and in some cases, embarking on a life of their own, with their own independence and responsibilities.

“This Bill (Childcare Amendment Bill 2015), although welcome, does not go far enough in protecting these children.

“Children leaving care are possibly some of the most vulnerable children in our state, and in many cases are leaving care on the back of some very traumatic experiences.

“These children deserve the opportunities and access to enable them to live both happy and productive lives. They are the future generations of our nation and should be treated equally, being cherished and nurtured in a way that allows them to realise their full potential.” 


West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said Sinn Féin will be holding a protest at the Blackmountain Quarry Site (177 Upper Springfield Road, BT17 OLU) tomorrow morning, Friday at 10.30am.

The West Belfast MP said:

“This protest is to highlight Whitemountain Quarries applying for planning permission to use the site to dump 300 tonnes per year of asbestos as well as an extra 2,400 tonnes of toxic waste.

“This will have a hugely detrimental effect upon west Belfast.

"These plans would allow for 2,400 tonnes of toxic waste along with 300 tonnes of asbestos to be dumped on the doorstep of West Belfast each year. 

"The west of the city already features highly in terms of health inequalities - this move can only compound that. 

“In environmental terms it will impact on the Black Mountain, its wildlife and environment as well as damaging the mountain’s economic value and potential for the city

“The Belfast Hills is a popular walking destination for people from all over the city as well as the many tourists that flock to Belfast.

“The waste will have to be transported through west Belfast to reach its destination, posing dangers to its residents. I would encourage all to attend the protest.

“This is totally unacceptable and we are calling on Whitemountain Quarries to withdraw their application and remove this threat to the local community and our environment.”


Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has strongly criticised the Labour Party over its role in Government, as European statistics show higher than average child poverty rates in Ireland and 33.9% of children here at risk of poverty.

Liadh Ní Riada said;

“One in every three children in Ireland is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. According to the figures published by Eurostat, Ireland is well above the EU average when it comes to children at risk of poverty.

“When we look at the statistics for severe material deprivation amongst children, we see again that Ireland is above average, with at least one in eight children unable to access goods and services that would be considered ordinary or necessary by society.

“In 2013, 12% of children in Ireland were living in consistent poverty, and given the continued cuts to social spending by Government and the ongoing housing crisis. The rate of child poverty has doubled under the current Government, and despite their talk of recovery it is clear that more and more families are finding themselves in real hardship and are struggling to cope.

“Anecdotally, we know that support services and charities are feeling the pressure. 1,500 children are living in emergency accommodation across the State and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are reporting that they are dealing mostly with families with children, who are experiencing poverty.

“The Labour Party in particular have a lot to answer for. They entered Government claiming that they would protect working people, families and the vulnerable. Instead they have implemented an agenda of cuts that have hit low and middle income families the hardest.

“Cuts to child benefit, to lone parent payments, to the health service and in education, all of which the Labour party have stood over, have created untold hardship and deprivation.

“Ireland needs a fair recovery. A recovery that puts the needs of children ahead of bankers, speculators and politicians.”


Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called on the government to end exploitation of migrants in the workforce. Speaking following the launch of All Work and Low Pay, which looked at the experience of migrant workers in Ireland, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“This is a timely report from the Migrant Rights Centre.

“In the coming years, Ireland like other EU countries will experience ongoing in migration by people seeking to improve their lives.

“This raises significant issues around labour market participation and workers rights.

“As our society becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, issue to do with racial stratification of the labour market, xenophobia and exploitation will come to the fore.

“The report shows a significant number of at-work migrants receive less than the minimum wage of €8.65 an hour.  

“The data also highlights the fact that large numbers of migrants are required to work extra hours without pay and that they do not have contracts of employment.

“Clearly, these issues are not unique to immigrants and are present across the labour market.

“Nonetheless, as group migrant workers may be more prone to exploitation, discrimination and exclusion in terms of their labour market participation due to their immigration status, race, and general vulnerability.

“Exploitative working conditions are bad for workers, bad for the economy and bad for business.

“Government must take the lead in dealing with this issue and ensure that robust legislation backed up with strict enforcement becomes the norm.” 


Improving the health and wellbeing of our farmers and rural dwellers requires cooperation right across government. 

That was the key message from Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill when she delivered the opening address at the ‘Rural Health and Well-being; A Call To Action’ conference in Cookstown. 

The aim of the conference, jointly hosted by Rural Support and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, was to highlight and address the increasing challenges facing service users in rural areas. 

The conference examined ways to achieve positive health and well-being outcomes for the rural and farming community.

During her keynote speech to delegates at Loughry College, Minister O’Neill highlighted the difficulties faced by rural dwellers. 

She said: 

“Looking after the health and well being of farmers and rural dwellers is a challenging task due to the diverse nature of the services required. Coupled with the challenges that living in isolated rural areas can bring, this makes our task more difficult. Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us, particularly the many statutory organisations involved in the provision of health care, to work collaboratively with the common goal of facilitating a better service for all our rural dwellers.”

However, she acknowledged the excellent partnership arrangements which have developed between her department, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), Public Health Agency (PHA) and other organisations such as Rural Support.

The Minister said:

 “Through my department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme, we fund a number of initiatives which are definitely having a positive impact on the health and well being of rural dwellers. 

“Initiatives such as the MARA Project, the Farm Families Health Checks Programme, the work which Rural Support undertake, the Health in Mind Project, support of energy efficiency measures in rural homes, the Rural Challenge and Rural Micro Capital Grants Programme, and the Assisted Rural Travel Scheme have helped in no small way address health and well being issues as well as bring solutions to rural poverty and isolation issues”

Minister O’Neill emphasised her personal commitment to addressing the issues pertaining to rural health and well being.

She added: 

“This conference has in its title suggested that it is a time for ‘A Call to Action’. I therefore want to assure you all of my continued personal commitment to working with other departments, agencies and organisations and supporting initiatives which have a positive effect on the health and well-being of rural dwellers.” 


Education Minister John O’Dowd has met with the Welsh and Scottish Education Ministers to discuss areas for cooperation, during a two day visit to Wales and Scotland this week.

Minister O’Dowd met with Welsh Government Minsters Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills and Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology to discuss a range of issues before making a visit to Fitzalan High School in Cardiff to see the nurture unit and extended school facilities.

Minister O’Dowd then went on to Scotland to meet with Angela Constance, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.Speaking during the visit, Minister O’Dowd said: 

“The challenge faced by the Welsh and Scottish education systems are challenges that we face also. While my priority is to provide an education system that meets the needs of our young people, I do think there is value is sharing our experiences and understanding how others, in particular those with synergies to our own, are progressing on issues like the development of qualifications and the curriculum. 

"In particular, tackling educational underachievement is a priority for me and I am keen to hear the views of others and benefit from any shared learning. 

"My visit has identified some areas that might lend themselves to practical cooperation between the north of Ireland and Wales and Scotland and my officials will now take this forward.

“I would also like to thank the teachers and pupils at Fitzalan High School for their hospitality, in particular the nurture and extended school teams. Getting out to schools and meeting young people is the most enjoyable aspect of my job as Minister and it is always of interest to see how schools bring the curriculum to life within their classrooms.”


Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said the British government should fund legacy investigations and inquests. 

Mr McCartney said; 

"There is a state obligation on the British government to fund investigations into the past and legacy inquests. 

"The cases being investigated happened during the period of direct rule so it is logical that the British government should pay the costs, not the Executive. 

"That is not just our view, it is also shared by Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights. 

"The British government cannot continue to use cost as an excuse to continue to deny truth and justice to families, some of whom have been waiting for up to 40 years. 

"It is long past the time that the British government lived up to its responsibilities on dealing with the legacy of the past."

Connect with Sinn Féin

Edentubber 2015 An Phoblacht Ad


Martin McGuinness, Caitríona Ruane, and Rev Roy Taylor, a former student of CS Lewis at the launch of the portraits.


Carthy attends EU “Secret Reading Room” to access US trade deal documents

Like us on Facebook

Sinn Féin Shop