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Some sights and sounds of the Right2Water National Assembly outside the Dáil December 10

Some of the sights and sounds of the Right2Water National Assembly outside the Dáil on December 10.  Includes Gerry Adams address to the crowd and Damien Dempsey's rendition of the ballad James Connolly

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has stated that government policy is making the richer even richer and the poor even poorer.


The passing of this motion, in conjunction with the passing of similar motions in Parliaments across the EU, is an important act of solidarity with the Palestinian people.



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Campbell said prisoners in Maghaberry should be treated with dignity and respect and called for the August 2010 agreement to be implemented. 

Speaking after a Sinn Féin motion commending the work of the Independent Prisons Assessment Team was passed at the monthly meeting of the Derry and Strabane super council, councillor Campbell said; 

"Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring that all prisoners and their families are treated with dignity and respect. 

"The recent 'stocktake' exercise carried out by the Independent Prisons Assessment Team is a welcome renewal of focus on the conditions for republican prisoners in Roe House in Maghaberry. 

"It also reinforced the principle that everyone; prisoners, their families and prison staff have the right to live their lives in a hostile free environment. 

"The council has now backed the recommendations of the 'stocktake' on the issues of full body searches, relaxations on controlled movement and a review of education provision for prisoners. 

"We are now calling on Justice Minister David Ford and the Prison Service to ensure that the agreement reached in Maghaberry in August 2010 is implemented in the timeline agreed." 

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed a declaration from 126 signatories to the Geneva Convention expressing concern at Israel's failure to implement human rights law.

Speaking after the declaration was signed in Geneva, Ms Anderson said;


"The recent Israeli bombardment of Gaza which killed more than 2,000 people outraged the international community.


"Now 126 countries who have signed up to the Geneva Convention have backed a declaration expressing concern over Israel's lack of implementation of international human rights law over Palestine.


"The declaration states that Israel must uphold international human rights legislation which prohibits indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on and targeting of civilians.


"It also expresses deep concern about the impact of the illegal Israeli settlements and the ongoing blockade of Gaza.


"It was also welcome that Palestine attended this meeting in Geneva with the same status as the other countries for the first time.


"The international community have a responsibility to ensure human rights of the Palestinian people are upheld and that Israel is held to account for breaching international human rights legislation."

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Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey has stated there should now be a fresh start to ensure that the development of Casement Park goes ahead.

Speaking today following the decision by a Belfast court to quash the current planning application Mr Maskey said:

“The decision by the High Court is a set back for the re-development of Casement Park. However the ruling presents an opportunity for a fresh approach to this project.

“What we need to see now is a fresh application being properly processed in order to see this valuable site, which presents huge economic opportunities for West Belfast, proceed.

“I welcome the fact the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín has stated that the money for this project is now ring-fenced. The minister has stated that this remains a Programme for Government commitment.

“West Belfast has suffered from years of neglect and under-investment. The potential of a multi-million pound state-of-the-art GAA stadium would be a great boost to the local economy and beyond.

“This can be achieved. All parties involved must now do all that they can to reach a resolution to ensure this project is delivered upon.”

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said there will be no end to the pension levy for many workers despite the government spin that the levy will end next year.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Over the last number of weeks I have been approached by a number of retired workers in private pension funds who have been informed that because of the pension levy, their pensions will be cut until the end of their lives. These companies are large companies with hundreds if not thousands of employees who now face an annual reduction of up to 2.3%.

“For these pensioners and workers who have not yet retired the levy is another austerity tax that will not end in any recovery.

“On its introduction, Minister Noonan stressed that this was a temporary measure but now, years later, it is becoming apparent that for many workers this levy will mean a permanent reduction in their pensions. When the levy was mooted Sinn Fein called for extra safeguards to make sure this levy wasn’t simply passed onto pensioners and workers. Our proposals were rejected and now years later that bitter fruit is ripening.

“There may be an element of pension trusts using the levy as an excuse to inflict cuts and if so the government must examine this issue and make sure pensioners are not being treated unfairly.

“I am calling on the Minister and the Finance Committee to call in the pensions industry and the Pensions Ombudsman in to sort out what is permissible under the legislation and to ascertain the full rights available to pensioners.”

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Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed the EU's recognition, in principle, of the state of Palestine. The compromise motion was carried by an overwhelming majority, 498 votes to 88

Ms. Boylan spoke on the resolution in Strasbourg yesterday stating that:

“I am proud to vote in favour of this resolution. It is a step in the right direction for Palestinian statehood. Although it is well overdue, resolutions such as this one are part of a growing movement across Europe to support a Palestinian state. This month the Dail added its voice to this growing movement by agreeing to the adoption of a Sinn Féin motion which called on the government to respect Palestine’s right to self-determination and to recognise the state of Palestine.”

The EU vote follows symbolic votes recently by several national parliaments – including the UK, Sweden and France and Luxembourg to recognise a Palestinian state.

Ms Boylan also stated:

“With Israeli actions including the recent war in Gaza and the accelerated illegal settlement expansion in the West Bank having a serious impact on the progression of talks, I welcome the growing international support for Palestinian statehood.

This resolution, though watered down, should send a strong signal that Palestinian statehood is essential to progress a meaningful peace process.

I would like to reiterate calls made by Sinn Féin on all parties to refrain from any activities which would undermine the viability and prospects for a two-state solution.”

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Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said his sympathies and those of his party lie with the family of the pregnant woman who is clinically dead but is being kept alive to sustain her baby.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Caoláin said;

“This is an absolutely heart breaking set of circumstances.  My sympathies and those of the Sinn Féin party lie with the grieving family. 

“We should be mindful that the full details are not yet available. 

“This case and others highlight that there are issues with the current constitutional arrangement that need to be addressed.

“The Government needs to come forward and resolve these issues. As a political party we are in the process of doing this.

“Sinn Féin’s current policy would require an amendment of the Eight Amendment to the Constitution.  We believe that all these matters should be considered by a second Constitutional Convention.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Michaela Boyle has stated that a new law applying in England and Wales with regards to controlling and coercive behaviour in abusive relationships should be examined and extended to the North of Ireland.

Speaking today Ms Boyle said:

“There is very much a hidden dimension to the ways in which abuse occurs in domestic relationships. The fact is one partner may excerpt controlling or coercive behaviour over the other which can have a hugely detrimental impact on the victim.

“Controlling movement, friendships, associations, work commitments or even right down to what time a person can eat or use the toilet is unfortunately for some a terrible reality.

“The new law in England and Wales can strengthen laws on domestic abuse and should be examined and extended to the North in order to make our legislation more robust when dealing with this everyday issue.

“I will be speaking to my colleagues on the Justice committee and raising this with the Justice Minister to see what provisions can be made in the future for this.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has welcomed news that a record number of farmers will receive Single Farm Payments in December.

The East Antrim MLA said;

"More farmers than ever before have received their Single Farm Payments in December with around 95 per cent of the North's farmers already getting their money.

"This is great news for farmers in economically challenging times.

"Over £234 million has already been paid out to farmers across the North and the remaining farmers will receive their payments in the near future.

"Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill is to be congratulated for this record performance, which will be welcomed by farmers everywhere.

"This has been achieved because improvements to the inspection system and the increasing numbers of online applicants.

"This is a yet another example of Sinn Féin standing up for farming and rural communities."

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Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín today accused the Tánaiste of peddling a myth on Labour and Fine Gael’s record on job creation since entering government. The Meath West TD noted that the government has fallen far short of its own target on job creation and many of the jobs coming on stream are low paid and temporary. 

The Sinn Féin Jobs Spokesperson said:

“True to form the Tánaiste has ignored the facts and run instead with spin on Labour and Fine Gael’s record on job creation. For every job this government has created 5 people have emigrated, and there are 48,500 less under-35s in employment since Labour and Fine Gael entered government. Youth unemployment remains unacceptably high at just over 23%. Numbers in the labour force are still in minus figures when compared to the peak of 2007.

“New jobs coming on stream are of course welcome but this is happening at a glacial pace, and many of the jobs being created are low paid and temporary. Ireland has the third highest rate of underemployment in the EU and the second highest rate of low pay across the OECD countries. 

“Yesterday the Toiseach told the Dáil government had delivered between 80,000 and 100,000 jobs, however the most recent CSO figures tell a different story. There has been an increase of 58,600 in employment since Q2 2011. It is worth noting that 25,560 of those attending activation schemes are classified as employed. 

“The ESRI’s most recent research into the distributional impact of 2015 tells us that those on the lowest incomes have lost the greatest amount of household income. Add low pay and underemployment to the mix and you have all the ingredients of an insecure and uncertain recovery.

“Unemployment has been falling slowly but if we add those attending activation schemes and who are underemployed the rate of unemployment rises to a figure closer to 20%, and that’s without including emigration. If government refuses to acknowledge the scale of the challenge then they will continue to fail to implement the policies necessary to secure a fair and prosperous future for Ireland.”

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Adams proposes all-island process to deal with issue of abuse


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Senator David Cullinane speaks to media