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No alternative to dialogue and agreement , says McGuinness in major statement on 20th anniversary of IRA cessation

Delivering a keynote address in Derry on Sunday morning on the 20th anniversary of the IRA announcing “a complete cessation of military operations”, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness said there is a real threat to the political institutions in the North from political stagnation and the absence of progress.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD in a keynote statement today has warned that the “political process faces its greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement negotiations in 1998.”


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



Latest Statements

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Speaking at a conference on the housing crisis organised by Impact trade union, Sinn Féin Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh, chair of Dublin City Council's Housing Committee, said there must be immediate Government action. 

She said:

“Our current housing crisis is a man-made crisis. It could have been avoided had the right choices and policies been made. Instead the responsibility for providing social housing was abandoned by Government to the speculators, the private developers and unaccountable landlords.

“By drawing €1 billion from the Strategic Investment Fund an additional 6,600 local authority homes could be built within 18 months. These would be additional to the homes which the Government have already committed to providing. If 6,600 rent supplement recipients were housed it would represent a saving of €29 million on the scheme based on the average payment.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin’s newly elected Councillors from across Dublin are on the campaign trail in Tallaght today to help Cathal King become TD for Dublin South West.

Speaking from the canvas in Killinarden by-election candidate Councillor Cathal King said that the biggest issues for people in this community are housing, unemployment and water charges.

Councillor King said:

“Fine Gael and Labour don’t have a clue.  They have no idea what it is like for the vast majority of families out there who are struggling to survive.  Many are living on less than €10 a week after bills are paid, they cannot afford to pay €500 a year for water.

"Sinn Féin has made our position clear.  We are opposed to water charges and we will reverse them in government.  We have a strong track record on this issue.  It was Sinn Féin Minister Conor Murphy who blocked domestic water charges in the North.

“There is no acceptable reason for water charges to be included in this year’s budget.  The government has a choice. They can either continue to help those at the top or they can ease the burden on struggling families.  Sinn Féin has produced detailed costed proposals to prove there is an alternative to water charges.”

ENDS

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Speaking in Roscommon today at a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle, Party Leader Gerry Adams TD said;

"Despite the result, the Scottish Independence referendum will mean profound change for the Union and have major implications for the North of Ireland.

"Sinn Féin will seek to ensure that the British PM follows through on commitments to transfer significant powers to the Executive.

"We will also hold the British Government to account in relation to its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement and will defend the all-Ireland and power-sharing political institutions.”

In relation to the forthcoming by-elections Gerry Adams said:

"Sinn Féin is out to win the vacant seats in Roscommon/South Leitrim and Dublin South West.

"Voters have a clear choice between candidates that represent the 'Consensus for Cuts' of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour or the fairer alternative being put forward by Sinn Féin.

"A vote for Martin Kenny and Cathal King is a rejection of water charges, property tax and the continued penalisation of those on low and middle incomes.

"It is a vote to defend services and communities in rural Ireland.

"I believe voters in both constituencies are responding to Sinn Féin's message and that there is growing and widespread support for a fairer way of doing things."

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has congratulated Kevin O 'Malley on his appointment as US Ambassador to Ireland.

Gerry Adams said:

"I wish to congratulate Kevin O'Malley on his appointment as US Ambassador to Ireland.

"I look forward to welcoming Mr O'Malley in person and to working with him on the many issues of mutual interest between Ireland and the United States of America."

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has said that the involvement of 16 and 17 year-olds in the Scottish Referendum has shown that the voting age should be lowered.

 The  Newry & Armagh MLA said; 

"It is important that the voices of young people are heard and lowering the age to sixteen would be an important step in allowing more people to participate in the democratic process.

"Scotland has shown that young people are eager to participate in the democratic process.

"In other countries, such as Austria, where younger people have the vote the indications are that they are more likely than other age groups to vote.

“It is now time that young people were given the right and responsibility to vote."

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said that Alex Salmond will be a loss to Scottish politics and the Scottish people after he announced his intention to stand down as First Minister.

Martin McGuinness said:

“I have been privileged to work with Alex Salmond over the last number of years.

“I found him to be a successful and inspirational leader of the people of Scotland.

“He has been a giant in the political life of Scotland and its people.

“He stood shoulder to shoulder with me in meetings with David Cameron in opposing Tory welfare cuts.

“I send my very best wishes for whatever the future holds for him.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has urged victims of domestic abuse to report their abusers to the police or a support group.

Ms Ruane made her call after PSNI figures showed there had been 27,000 domestic abuse incidents in the last year.

Caitríona Ruane:

“Campaigners representing victims and survivors of domestic abuse believe this figure greatly under-represents the total number of cases of domestic abuse, which occur every year.

“I believe the majority of cases of domestic abuse go unreported as evidence suggests that one in three women has been a victim of abuse in their own homes.

“The only way to end this disgraceful cycle of violence is to report the offenders.

“The silent victims of domestic abuse need to be aware that there are support services available to them and should feel no fear in speaking to someone.” ENDS/CRÍOCH

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Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness has called for a border poll in the North following the Scottish independence referendum. 

Mr McGuinness said; 

"The debate around the referendum ensures that things will never be the same again for Scotland or elsewhere. 

"It showed that it is possible to discuss important constitutional issues in a spirit of respect for all sides. I believe we could do that without opening up divisions which would be detrimental to the institutions. 

"We also need to get our approach to working those institutions right. We have many challenges to face and it is clear that there is a rump within the DUP of between nine and 12 powerful individuals who have been blocking progress in the Assembly. 

"But with agreement and a united front we can overcome those challenges. 

"We have huge budgetary challenges facing us and Peter Robinson and I are in agreement that the decisions taken by this Conservative-led administration has amounted to a gutting of the block grant. 

"There is agreement on a number of issues. All of the parties are agreed that we should have the power to set our levels of corporation tax. 

"We will also be calling on the British government to transfer full fiscal powers to the Assembly. 

"We have to find agreement on what extra powers would benefit the people we represent. 

"There is a debate to be had and I enter into that in a spirit of positivity and constructiveness to find an approach we can all agree on." 

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Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has criticised the British army's decision to stage large scale war games at a county Derry beauty spot.

The East Derry MLA said; 

"Bringing 500 heavily armed British soldiers to Binevenagh to conduct a large scale military exercise is an insensitive and backward step. 

"Binevenagh is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and attracts visitors from across the world who come to visit the park for its commanding views of Lough Foyle. 

"It should not be used for war games. 

"The last time Binevenagh was used for a British military exercise they left piles of rubbish on the mountain which caused anger in the local community. 

"This is also an area that has suffered from British military aggression in the past and local people do not want to be reminded of that. 

"Given the current difficulties facing the political process, the sight of heavily armed British soldiers on our roads could be interpreted as provocative. 

"The British army will be using this exercise to train for imperialist wars that have no popular support in this area."

Videos

Peace and Reconciliation discussed at Féile


Photos

Mary Lou McDonald and Cathal King