Be Part of Team Sinn Féin 2014

Become an Online Supporter

Top Stories

Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people

Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people as Israel continues its horrific bombardment of Gaza



“HAP is not a solution and if the government succeeds in passing it into law, it will have wide ranging negative effects on the future of housing in Ireland and our ability to tackle housing need in the years to come.”



Latest Statements

Toggle

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Housing, Dessie Ellis TD, has today expressed his concern over the rapidly rising prices of property.

Responding to a report by the ESRI on the matter, Deputy Ellis said:

“Of course we must welcome the fact that less people are now in negative equity than before, but I am concerned over the alarming rate of rising house prices. We do not want the Irish housing market to revert back to Celtic Tiger levels of property prices, as it would lead to an unsustainable and destined to bust property bubble.

“The housing crisis in this state has been brought about by increasing rents, lack of social housing and a general lack of houses. These are issues that need to be tackled.

“Housing has to be affordable and accessible to people all across this state. We have a situation where homelessness is on the rise, where young people are unable to move away from the family home and where a social housing initiative is severely under-resourced.

“Not too long ago I had a constituent into my office in Dublin North West who told me that they had put a bid on a house only to find out not even a day later that the cost of the house had been put up by €20,000.

“This is a big concern and I am calling on the Housing Minister to immediately address this situation before it gets out of control.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has today repeated her call for the Irish government to finally sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention on combatting violence against women.

"The Istanbul Convention is a European treaty which would see important definitions and criminalisation of forced marriage, female genital mutilation and physical and sexual violence and would also set parameters to provide much-needed shelters, helplines and medical care for victims of rape and other forms of violence against women.

"I therefore find that, at a time when underfunded frontline services for women affected by domestic violence are struggling to cope with the high amount of cases and shockingly up to 38000 women are calling helplines every year in the south, the Irish government is unjustifiably dragging its feet on this issue. It must do more to demonstrate serious political will to address violence against women.

"Given that in recent weeks the UN roundly criticised Ireland for failing to adequately address past institutional abuses against women and children in institutions such as the Magdalene Laundries and the 'Mother and Baby' homes, it is clear that the Irish government must do more to redress victims of the past and protect victims of violence in the future.

"Irish women and victims of violence perpetrated against them deserve more than continued half-hearted excuses. The Irish government must immediately sign and ratify this convention to combat violence against women. "

Toggle

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called for the 72 hour humanitarian ceasefire that was called last night to be respected.

The Sinn Féin leader has expressed his deep concern at Israeli bomb attacks in the Rafah area this morning and urged all combatant forces to “fully observe the ceasefire and provide an opportunity for a more durable political agreement to emerge out of the talks due to commence in two days’ time.”

Mr. Adams has also described as ‘shameful’ Irish foreign policy on this issue describing its decision to abstain in the recent UCHRC vote “as a dangerous erosion of the independence of the Irish state's foreign policy”.

Mr. Adams said:

“The death toll in Gaza is now almost one and a half thousand, most of whom are civilians. Much of the Gaza strip has been reduced to rubble and almost half of this besieged region is now under the control of the Israeli military.

“I want to support the Palestinian call for Gaza to be declared an international disaster area and to appeal to the Irish government and the EU to support this humanitarian call.

“I am deeply disappointed with the Irish government’s response to the worsening crisis in Gaza. Their policy, as outlined by the Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan in his address to the Seanad on Thursday, represents a dangerous erosion of the independence of the Irish state's foreign policy.

“The government’s shameful decision to support the EU position of abstaining on the resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, which called for an International Commission of Investigation, is clear evidence that Irish government foreign policy is to be dictated from Brussels rather than Dublin.

“This stance adopted has done untold damage to the state's proud record of a progressive, independent policy on international affairs and its history of standing up for the colonised and the oppressed.

“The Taoiseach's continued refusal to recall the Dáil to discuss events in the Middle East makes no sense in light of Thursday’s reconvening of the Seanad. Thus far both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, 14 independent deputies, one Fine Gael TD and one Labour TD and six Seanadóirí have endorsed my request for a recall of the Dáil. The logic of such a move is now compelling.

“A Dáil debate would allow TDs to express their view on the unfolding horror in Gaza and to unite behind the United Nations demand for a negotiated end to the conflict and for urgently needed humanitarian aid to reach the people of that region.

"The Taoiseach should recall the Dáil.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann will meet with members of the Belfast Islamic Centre this evening to take part in celebrations to mark the end of Ramadan.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the West Belfast MLA said; 

"I was delighted and honoured to have been invited to the Ramada Hotel by the Belfast Islamic Centre to take part in the Eid al-Fitr celebrations to mark the end of the month of fasting during Ramadan. 

"This is a very important festival in the Islamic calendar and it's a privilege to be asked to share it with the local muslim community. 

"The muslim community make a significant and valued contribution to the cultural life and society in Belfast and across the North. 

"I also want to show my solidarity with the local Islamic community at this time when the people of Palestine are suffering as a result of the brutal Israeli onslaught. 

"Some members of the local Islamic community have friends and family living in Gaza and they are understandably very concerned for their safety. 

"I will be calling for an immediate end to the slaughter in Gaza and for a genuine and verifiable ceasefire to be put in place."

Toggle

In recent days Spanish Courts have rejected the appeal by Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi, and his four co-accused, against their convictions for which they were sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

The charges in 2009 were that they attempted to reconstitute the political structures of banned pro independence political party Batasuna, They will remain in prison.

This week the Spanish courts have also sentenced 20 Basque political activists to periods of up to 3 years imprisonment on allegations of being members of ETA in a large politically motivated show trial despite one of the three judges firmly stating that all of the accused should be acquitted. 

The 20 included several political leadership figures of the Basque independence movement including Rufi Etxeberria, who together with Arnaldo Otegi, spearheaded the Basque peace process.

Commenting on the rejection of the appeal and the recent convictions Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said:

"This is the latest in a wide array of obstacles placed in the way of the Basque peace process and aimed in particular at the leading advocates of the peace process in the Basque independence movement.

“It is impossible to draw any conclusion from this other than that the Spanish authorities are dedicated to the political defeat of those advancing the right to self determination through peaceful and democratic means in the Basque Country.

“It is an attempt to close down the right by many within the Basque Country to set political independence as a preferred outcome. 

“This is entirely unjust and anti-democratic. It denies the right to freedom of political expression. It is political folly and this policy should cease. The draconian laws which underpin this policy should be revoked."

Toggle

Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe, has said there is no conceivable reason why the Dáil shouldn’t be recalled after the Seanad debated the crisis in Gaza yesterday.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“People all over this island are marching in their thousands to protest against Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza. At this stage not even children and their refugee families sheltering in United Nations compounds are safe.

“The Seanad was recalled to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to listen to the Irish state’s response from the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Following yesterday’s two hour debate I can see no conceivable reason why the Dáil should not be recalled to discuss this on-going humanitarian crisis.

“I attended yesterday’s debate in the Seanad but obviously as a non-member, I had to sit the visitors’ gallery.

“As I was democratically elected to the Dáil by the people of Dublin South West, and as Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, I want to represent all my constituents including all Sinn Féin voters in debating this issue with the Minister. Surely that's what a democracy is all about

“It is long past the time for the Dáil to be recalled so all democratically elected TDs can directly speak to the Minister to reflect their views, and equally important, the views of the voters who elected them.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin’s Midlands North West MEP Matt Carthy yesterday (Thursday) visited the anti-fracking camp near Belcoo on the Fermanagh Leitrim border.   

The camp has been set up and maintained on a 24 basis following the erection of security fencing and the announcement that Tamboran plan to drill an exploratory borehole on the site. 

Carthy, who reiterated Sinn Féin’s opposition to fracking, was accompanied by Sligo Leitrim TD Michael Colreavy and Fermanagh MLA Phil Flanagan.

Carthy said: 

"Sinn Féin is completely opposed to any form of fracking.   Our representatives in the Dáil, in the Assembly, in Councils North and South and in the European Parliament are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure fracking is not permitted in Fermanagh or Leitrim or anywhere else in Ireland.   

"Sinn Féin has continually stood with the people of Fermanagh and Leitrim in opposition to fracking.  Fracking would be detrimental to the local economy and natural environment.  It would be particularly devastating for farming and tourism.   

“As a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee I am particularly concerned about the impact of fracking on farmers and the agri-food sector which are so crucial in this region.

"I wanted to visit the camp near Belcoo to extend my solidarity to all of those involved in campaigning against fracking who are sending a very clear message that fracking, or any of its preparatory works, are not wanted in any part of our country.

“Elected representatives from all parties in this region need to work together to use our combined strength to stand up for the local community against the might of Tamboran which is interested only in its own profits and not in the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the people of Fermanagh and Leitrim.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Councillor Deirdre Hargey has expressed her concern that a loyalist band parade commemorating notorious UDA members Joe Bratty and Raymond Elder was given the go ahead without any consultation with the local community.

"Last night a loyalist band parade involving up to 20 bands was held in the Ballynafeigh area to commemorate two notorious loyalists.

“It beggars belief that given the high public attention recently given to the flags issue in the area and dramatically changed demographics that this parade was not deemed as sensitive by either the Parades Commission or the PSNI.

“As I understand it this parade was applied for by a "Cultural and Historical Society". I must ask of the Parades Commission what consultation was carried out as to the rationale for this parade.

“I have been contacted by local residents  who are shocked that this parade was given the go ahead without restriction.

“The fact that the Ormeau Road was closed for an hour to facilitate this parade and reports that public money may have been used to fund a memorial to sectarian killers sends out a deeply insulting message to victims of loyalist murder gangs.

“I am also concerned to hear reports that the Orange Hall may have been used to facilitate this parade. I call on the Orange Order to clarify this.

“Ballynafeigh / upper Ormeau is a vibrant community which has changed dramatically in demographics over recent years. This fact has been acknowledged by the PSNI. This needs to be acknowledged and accepted by other agencies including the Parades Commission and other stakeholders.

“Sinn Féin will be raising these issues with the PSNI, Parades Commission and the Housing Executive.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has written to the heads of the European institutions calling on them to urge Israel to end its offensive in Gaza. 

The letter was sent to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, and the High Representative of the Commission's Union for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"I and a group of MEPs from across Europe have written the heads of the European institutions calling on them to do everything they can to secure an immediate end to the violence in Gaza. 

"A humanitarian disaster in Gaza has been unfurling before the eyes of the world. The EU cannot remain inactive. 

"An immediate verifiable ceasefire is needed that would put an end to the killing and the suffering of even more civilians, many of them children, that would allow immediate access of humanitarian aid to Gaza, particularly to provide for urgent medical needs. 

"The letter also reiterates that the European Parliament has called on Israel to halt the expansion of illegal settlements and a lifting of the Israeli blockade. 

"We are calling on the heads of these institutions to take action to demand that Israel ends all actions which threaten a two-state solution. 

"We also call for support for those voices within Israel, particularly writers and journalists, who are fighting against the policies of their government."

Videos

Demand for Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled reiterated


Photos

Michael Colreavy TD & Cllr Darren O'Rourke