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Sinn Féin Westminster 2015 Election Broadcast

Sinn Féin stands for equality and protecting the most vulnerable. Our progressive politics and commitment to the rights of citizens is the only alternative to the extreme austerity agenda of the British government. A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for real and lasting positive change.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said Sinn Féin's progressive politics is the only alternative to austerity.


Some of the sights and sounds of today's massive Right2Water rally on Dublin's O'Connell Street this afternoon (March 21).  Reports that up to...



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin Councillor Jim McVeigh will be making a formal complaint to the PSNI tomorrow after he was verbally abused and his car attacked by loyalist protestors at the gates of Belfast City Hall.

Jim McVeigh said:

“As I tried to enter the back gates of City Hall my car was surrounded by a crowd of loyalist protesters.

“My car was kicked, bounced and struck with sticks.

“I was verbally abused, and several of the crowd were shouting insults about the murder today of Gerard Davison. Their behaviour was despicable.

“I intend to make a formal complaint to the police tomorrow and ask that the people responsible be investigated.

“Sinn Féin will not be intimidated by thugs, we will continue to pursue our equality agenda in Belfast City Council.”

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the government’s long awaited “Living City Initiative” must be approached with caution and is a far cry from the original initiative announced in Budget 2012. Deputy Doherty expressed concern that some elements of the scheme hark back to old style property tax breaks.

Deputy Doherty said:

“It is almost three and half years since this initiative was first announced. Then it was limited to Waterford and Limerick and only Georgian houses qualified.  Today we see announced a very different scheme in which four more cities have been added, any pre 1915 dwelling qualifies and a whole new “commercial element” has been added to. The maps presented today also seem to cover the entire city centres of the six cities.

"When this initiative was first announced I expressed concern that the scheme was just another old style property tax break.  The way the scheme has been expanded and the rules loosened has done nothing to soothe my fears.  The delays due to EU State Aid concerns have now ended but what has come out of those delays is a very different creature. 

"I am particularly concerned that the requirement for any sort of refurbishment of a residential space has been dropped in some cases. This is something I raised in great detail during the passing of this legislation.

"We all know the issues in many of our cities and towns where economic decline has hit the main street. I remain to be convinced that this scheme in either its original format or new format will solve any of those issues. A property tax break in the State’s main cities is a road that should be very carefully approached. I will be quizzing Minister Noonan on why this plan has changed so much and monitoring its implementation.”

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called for a respectful and compassionate debate on the marriage equality referendum. 

Teachta Adams was speaking at a Sinn Féin-organised public meeting in Maynooth, County Kildare this evening as part of its campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote.

 Teachta Adams said:

  “I would ask those opposed to this referendum not to introduce into the debate, matters that are not related to this issue at hand. Let's deal with this issue in a logical, reasonable, respectful, and compassionate way.

 “If you are not gay, the right to marriage equality will not affect you. It will merely give the same rights to all citizens. Nothing in this referendum affects existing adoption legislation or the rights and entitlements of children.

“A vote in favour of marriage equality can only make this state a better place. Sinn Féin has always campaigned on issues that can bring about positive change for all the people living on this island, and that why we are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in this referendum.

 “This is an exciting opportunity to say that we value all of our relationships equally, that we value all of our citizens equally. I believe that fairness & equality can triumph over intolerance on May 22nd, but we cannot be complacent.

 “There is a possibility that some citizens who are so angry at this government will see this as an opportunity to hurt Fine Gael and Labour. I would appeal to them not to do this. This referendum is not about those parties it is about the rights and entitlements of our family members, our friends, our neighbours and workmates.

 “Nor should those who support these referendums be lulled by the opinion polls into believing that these referendums will easily succeed. This is not a time for complacency. Every vote will count.” 

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Speaking following a demonstration of English language students that took place in Dublin today, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien, called on the government to do more to address the problems faced by these students.

The Cork North Central TD said,

“This is not a new problem and we have seen numerous English language schools close over the past few years.

“This might not seem like a big deal to the government with their Ministerial wages, but a student coming from Mexico and losing over €1,000 when their school goes bust may end up in complete poverty as a result.

“Many of the staff in one particular school have not been paid for weeks and yet these colleges are allowed to continue to operate.

“The government’s response when schools previously closed was to offer them reduced cost courses at other colleges which is of little to no use for students who have saved for years and invested all their savings in getting in to the first course.

“Where are they meant to get the extra money from?

“This government cannot continue to allow cowboy language schools operate in this manner.

“If they are going to continue to operate the myth that Ireland is one of the greatest places to study English, they have a responsibility to ensure that this is true.”

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Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said that the government’s plans to build just 600 social housing units this year are pathetic. He made his comments following the announcement by Minister Alan Kelly that an average of just 100 million euro will be spent building council houses over the next 3 years despite record homelessness numbers and severe housing need.

Deputy Ellis said;

"These figures are scandalous and the Minister expects people to congratulate this government, it’s an embarrassment and very frustrating when you are working with homeless families and people struggling to keep the roof over their heads.

“We have well over 100,000 people on housing waiting lists across the state, we spend nearly half a billion subsidising the private market every year and we have 1000 homeless children in emergency accommodation, but this government will only build 600 homes this year. This is simply not good enough.

“Even in the worst times of the crisis, Dublin city alone was building a third of the government’s state wide target. We need to be moving back to building thousands of social housing units every year. Until then we are not doing nearly enough to tackle the crisis.

“Instead over the next three years the government intends to plough a further 1.2 billion euro into subsidising private landlords while it builds a meagre 1700 homes through local authorities. The councils are best placed to tackle this crisis and housing shortage and should be at the forefront of the solution.

“The government must refocus on funding the construction and refurbishment of council homes. The homes needed will not be found on the private market, where developers operating as landlords are making handsome sums in extortionate rents due to the shortage of rental properties.

“Sinn Féin have called for this refocus for a long time as well as an immediate 1 billion investment of additional fund from the Strategic Investment Fund which would build at least 5400 homes. We also need rent controls now to stop the flow of renters into emergency accommodation right now.

“Social housing construction through local authorities is the only solution to our housing crisis."

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Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has hit out at the shocking rate at which homes are being repossessed and the government's failure to address the issue.

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament's Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee stated:

“According to figures from the Courts Service, the rate at which homes are being repossessed has increased by more than 500 per cent since last year. The figures reported that some 586 repossession orders were granted by the circuit court in the first three months of this year, compared with 95 in the same period last year. Of these some 383 were for family homes.

"All the Government's talk of an economic recovery is of no comfort to the thousands of families facing legal action across the state.

"The Governments response to this crisis has been woefully inadequate and has instead served only to escalate the housing crisis.

"Finance Minister Noonan has always Pontius Pilate style refused to intervene with the Central Bank.

“The government of which the Taoiseach is the head has removed the legal protection of the family home and voted against a Sinn Féin Bill which was moved in order to replace it. It has also provided the banks with a veto in the insolvency process. The current mortgage targets allow a bank to classify legal actions as ‘solutions’.

“Furthermore, the government has caved on in every issue and deferred to the banks and as yet we have no evidence that that is going to change.”

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Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the announcement by the Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly of funding for new build housing units in Louth as “inadequate and derisory”.

Teachta Adams said:

“The announcement by the Minister of funding for local authorities for social housing is part of a planned government funding strategy that has already been announced twice.

The funding allocated to Louth is significantly short of what is required and will not dent the housing waiting list in the constituency.

Louth County Council has not yet been told by the Department how much of this current tranche of money it will receive but we already know that it will be part of the overall €57 million to be allocated to Louth for housing provision until 2017.

Presently there are 4636 households on the Louth housing waiting list. The overall funding package allocated for new house build will, according to government figures, provide at most for 288 new units.

I have submitted Parliamentary Questions to the Minister asking how many new builds he expects to construct in Louth from the money he has allocated today.”

The Louth TD concluded:

“It is clear from today’s announcement and the government’s Social Housing Strategy 2020 announced last year and of the Social Housing Targets for local authorities announced a month ago that at least two thirds and more of social housing is to be provided by the private sector.

The Minister’s reliance on the private sector is at odds with his position only six months ago when he warned that the privatisation of social housing “was wrong and it was more than wrong, it was simply unacceptable and we are going to change that.”

Today the Minister has reinforced again a strategy that is entirely reliant on the private sector for the majority of social housing provision at a time when landlords prefer the open market to social housing tenants. The Minister’s approach to the provision of social housing is deeply flawed.”

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the huge increase in repossessions taking place is “a disaster created by government” and that the buck stops with government TDs who have accepted the policies that created the crisis.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The shocking figures of family homes now being repossessed is down to government policy. They have created the environment where the hundreds of repossession can take place and no amount of hand wringing can change that fact.

“Since 2011 when this government was elected, they have rolled out policy change after policy change that has allowed the repossession crisis to come to a head.  They are responsible for allowing the banks to repossess so many homes. They facilitated the changes to the Code of Conduct in Mortgage Arrears, oversaw the weakening of services like MABS and the Civil Legal Aid Board which could help borrowers, brought in insolvency laws which gave the banks a veto, allowed banks to count repossessions as ‘solutions’ and ,worst of all, removed the protection of the family home in law.

“Government TDs and Ministers can take their crocodile tears elsewhere- the buck stops with them. Opposition TDs and groups working with those in debt have been calling stop for years yet the government has simply ploughed ahead doing the banks’ bidding.  I tabled legislation which the government voted down that would have protected the family home and have proposed fair solutions and an independent body to force banks into accepting reasonable arrangements.

“We hear now as we approach the election that the government is going to take action.  Empty promises are of no use to the hundreds who have lost their homes and the thousands more who fear it will be their home next. This government must accept that it has caused this crisis- the buck stops with them.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said threats will not deter his party’s representatives from serving the entire community. 

Speaking after a series of bomb warnings at Sinn Féin offices and homes of representatives in the city, Mr McCartney said; 

"A series of threats and bomb warnings have been made against Sinn Féin offices in Derry as well as to the homes of elected representatives. 

"The PSNI is aware of all of these incidents.

"This comes after threats against my party colleagues Mickey Brady and Conor Murphy in Newry and Armagh and the cowardly attack on the home of Martin McGuinness here in Derry. 

"Clearly the people behind this are intent on intimidating our party activists and disrupting the services we provide to all the public.  

"It is an attempt by negative elements to disrupt what has been a positive election campaign, highlighting all that is positive in the city. 

"Sinn Féin will not be intimidated by these threats and we have continued with our work of providing first-class constituency services to all in the community.” 

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Sinn Féin the only party in the North firmly opposed to austerity - McGuinness


Photos

campaign trail with Raymond McCartney, Padraig MacLochainn, Maeve Mclaughlin and Pearse Doherty.