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Team Sinn Féin - Putting Ireland First

The largest gathering of Sinn Féin candidates in the history of the party took place in Drogheda, 350 local council election candidates contesting seats across all 42 councils in the 32 counties of Ireland joined with Sinn Féin's 4 EU election candidates for a final strategic planning day with the party leadership before the local council and EU elections on the 22nd May in the 6 Counties and the 23rd May in the 26 Counties.

Despite Government attempts at revisionism regarding his role in the recent series of controversies involving the Gardai, the Minister is in fact a central actor, and the author of a litany of catastrophes in this whole affair.


Sinn Féin is opposing cuts throughout Ireland because it is the right thing to do. The DUP need to be mature about this, face up to the consequences of the cuts on the people we represent and challenge the British government on their cuts agenda.



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Sinn Féin election candidate for Ballymoney Leanne Peacock has called on the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to make sure that homecare workers are paid expenses on time. 

Leanne Peacock said that she has been working with local Homecare workers employed by the Trust as they faced a crisis caused by underpayments over the last few days.  

Ms Peacock said,

 "I was approached by a group of local Homecare Workers who brought to my attention the serious issues that have been leaving them underpaid and without their travel expenses recently. 

“These workers provide a valuable resource assisting elderly people in their homes and as a result clock up substantial mileage in their role. 

"It is shocking that staff who work tirelessly in the community would have to go without the substantial sum that they are out of pocket in travel expenses incurred as a result of their work. 

“Indeed without the reimbursement of travel expenses many homecare workers have feared that they may be unable to carry out their job over the next few weeks as they cannot afford to pay for the fuel required. 

"Having pressured the Northern Trust to take urgent action in conjunction with my colleague Daithí McKay MLA I have received assurances that all outstanding travel expenses will be paid by 22nd April. 

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely. I would encourage any homecare workers who have not received their payments by the 22nd to contact me, or the Sinn Féin Constituency Office in Dunloy, so that we can take further action on the issue.” 

North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay added: 

"The Trust needs to ensure that this does not happen again. 

“Regardless of problems with a new payroll system workers are entitled to their pay and they must be paid in good time.

“We all know the problems and stress that missed standing orders and direct debits can cause, as well as meeting basic household overheads, and the Trust must ensure that staff are not one penny out of pocket."

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Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy was in Mayo this evening to host a public meeting on seaweed harvesting amidst concerns that the industry could be privatised.

Cllr Carthy was joined at the packed meeting by local councillor Rose Conway Walsh and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Speaking in Belmullet the Midlands Northwest candidate said:

“The scenic west coast of Ireland, including here in Belmullet, has much to contribute towards the revitalisation of the economy.

“There is great untapped potential along our coast for greater use of seaweed and for job creation by adding value to the potential harvest there. However, significant concerns have arisen for the future of the industry.

“It appears that a private company from Canada is bidding for the state-owned Arramara Teoranta and I am very concerned that this is another feature of our lives that this government wants to sell off for privatisation.

“The potential of this industry will only benefit our own people if the harvesting and processing is controlled by the communities living there by way of co-operatives or some similar community-based approach.

“I am calling on the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, to come clean on plans for the future of seaweed harvesting on the Western seaboard.

“The community here in Belmullet made their views known tonight. There is a great deal of concern along the west coast for the future of seaweed harvesting. Minister Hogan should not leave these communities waiting for an answer.”

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Tá litir scríofa ag Martina Anderson FE chuig an Aire Éireannach freagrach as cur chun cinn agus cosaint na Gaeilge, An tAire Gaeltachta Deenihan, dá ghríosú le cinntiú go gcuire Rialtas na hÉireann cás láidir ar aghaidh ar son chur ar ceal an mhaolaithe atá ag cur baic le haitheantas iomlán a thabhairt don Ghaeilge, aitheantas atá faighte ag na teangacha oifigiúla eile cheana. 

Dúirt Martina Anderson 

“Scríobh mé chuig an Aire Deenihan dá ghríosú chun gnímh phráinnigh le go gcuirtear an maolú  i leith na Gaeilge ar ceal agus go dtugtar an t-aitheantas cuí don Ghaeilge i measc theangacha oifigiúla an AE. 

“Ceadaíonn an maolú nach n-aistrítear doiciméid áirithe dlí go Gaeilge. Is cleachtas leatromach é seo agus níor cheart dó leanstan ar aghaidh.

“Athnaíodh an maolú seo i 2012 agus rachaidh sé as feidhm ag deireadh 2016. Caithfear cinneadh a thógáil ar an mhaolú roimh dheireadh 2015 mar sin tá sé riachtanach go ngníomhaí rialtas na hÉireann go práinneach chun an maolú a chur ar ceal. 

“Creidim go gcaithfidh muid gníomh cinniúnach a thógáil anois, má tá muid chun síneadh an mhaolaithe go Eanáir 2022 a sheachaint agus an brú ar aghaidh a choinneáil ar siúl.

“ Tá gné amháin ba cheart do rialtas na hÉireann bheith gníomhach air agus é ar a chumas fosta, sé sin EPSO. Tá na comórtais reatha EPSO rírighin agus cuspóir leo an méid iarrthóirí a ísliú i gcás na mórtheangacha cosúil leis an Fhraincis agus an Ghearmáinis. Níl an córas sin fóirsteanach do mhionteangacha dúchais mar an Ghaeilge. 

“Ós rud é go bhfuil breis agus 180 post tuartha dá gcuirfí an maolú AE ar ceal, tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbeadh an cheist seo ina thosaíocht ag Rialtas na hÉireann agus go gcuirfeadh siad bac lena athnuachan i 2016."

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 Sinn Féin Policing Spokesperson Gerry Kelly has that it is British Government that has the power to implement accountability mechanism for the National Crime Agency.

 Mr Kelly said,

 “What I did say was that the British Home Secretary Teresa May had the power with a swipe of a pen to allow accountability for the NCA, something that she has so far resisted to do.

 “I also stated that the Justice Minister David Ford had the power to set up a bespoke process that would allow for the seizure of assets gained through criminal activity across the North of Ireland.

 “The core of the Patten proposals is accountability something that was negotiated and agreed between all parties.

 “If members of the NCA are to get the powers of a constable then they must operate under the same accountability mechanisms as a constable in the PSNI.

 “We recognise the importance of co-operation between different agencies to combat organised crime and have met with the Justice Department and the head of the NCA Keith Bristle in order to discuss these issues.”

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Sinn Féin Chair of the Assembly Finance Committee, Daithí McKay commenting on ‘Clifford Chance Review’ into the treatment of Small and Medium Business (SMEs) by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Global Restructuring Group following the economic collapse said it is cold comfort to those SMEs who were forced out of business.

Mr McKay said:

“The Clifford Chance report is an internal review commissioned by RBS to examine practices by RBS. Regardless of findings it is quite clear that SMEs have been victim of, to put it mildly, ‘bad practice’ by Ulster Bank the North of Ireland subsidiary of RBS.

“So called default interest charges from a customer’s perspective did not just feel like an additional cost at the point when they were least able to afford it – it was reality.

“However I welcome the recognition by the bank that changes are needed and they must now work to rebuild trust between themselves and local businesses. While the proposal to afford customers a 30 day notice period of any change in fees will provide some space to explore alternative arrangements it will still put serious pressure on many SMEs.

“The decision to dispose of what was known as its West Register whereby RBS purchased clients property as part of debt restructuring is welcome. This practice was seen by many clients as a form of land grab by an institution that held all the cards and was clearly a conflict of interest.

“I will closely follow developments to see just how quickly RBS move to improve transparency in its dealings with customers particularly around charges and fees and how they justify these in reference to future restructuring cases." 

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has written to the Irish Minister responsible for promotion and protection of the Irish language, Gaeltacht Minister Deenihan urging him on behalf of Gaeilgoirí to ensure that the Irish government puts forward a robust case for the lifting of the EU derogation from affording the Irish Language full recognition in line with all of the other Official EU Languages.

Martina Anderson said:

“I have written to Minister Deenihan urging him to move as a matter of urgency to have this derogation lifted and have the Irish language take its rightful place among the Official Languages of the EU.

“The derogation allows for certain legal documents not to be translated into Irish. This is a discriminatory practice and should not be allowed to continue.

“This derogation, renewed in 2012, is due to expire at the end of 2016. A decision on whether or not to lift the derogation must be made by the end of 2015 therefore it is imperative that the Irish government move with the utmost urgency to ensure that it is lifted.

“I believe that if we are to avoid the regrettable situation where the derogation is extended to January 2022 and also to ensure we do not lose the momentum gained, we must be taking further decisive action now.

“One aspect I believe the Irish government could and should be pro-active on is that of the European Personnel and Selection Office (EPSO). The current EPSO competitions are incredibly rigid and designed to reduce the vast numbers of those applying for the ‘big’ languages such as French and German. Such a system is not appropriate when applied to minority indigenous languages such as Irish.

“Given that it is projected that the lifting of the EU derogation for the Irish language could create over 180 new jobs, it is crucially important that this issue is made a priority by the Irish government and immediate action taken to ensure that this derogation is not renewed in 2016."

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD, responding to the verdicts in the Anglo trial said there would be mixed emotions from the public in response.

He added however that there is still a long way to go before the Irish people feel justice has been served on all those culpable in the Irish banking crisis.

Deputy Doherty said:

“There will be mixed emotions to the two verdicts last night and today from the Irish people.

“Though Judge Nolan quite correctly pointed out that these men were facing technical charges and weren’t answering for the problems of the entire banking system, many people just saw this as a trial of the former bankers who contributed to the crash.

“We are still waiting for justice to be served on all those culpable in the Irish banking crisis.

“The failures in Irish banks, the reckless loans availed of by developers, combined with the policies of Fianna Fail, have caused great long term economic suffering for the Irish people.

“Austerity budgets, unsustainable debt to GDP level, emigration, poverty, unemployment and repossessions have been the sentence handed out to ordinary people.

“Meanwhile, those responsible for the crisis haven’t been held fully to account and the Irish public know that.”

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