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Sinn Féin budget supports fair and sustainable recovery - Pearse Doherty

Sinn Fein’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said Sinn Fein’s alternative Budget would repair communities, rebuild the economy and renew society. The budget lays out how Sinn Fein would abolish the local property tax and water charges and our programme for investing in disability services, health and education.

Download Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget 2015 here




Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh last night addressed the annual conference of the Bloco de Esquerda party on the unification of European parties on the left against austerity.

Sharing the stage with prominent European Left party leaders in Lisbon, Ó Clochartaigh said:

“In the last number of years the Irish people have been relatively quiet about the impact of austerity measures. However, in recent times the sleeping giant has been awoken. A couple of weeks ago one hundred thousand people marched on the streets of Dublin. This was the largest demonstration against austerity in Ireland since the crisis began.

“It was, on the face of it, a march against an unjust water tax being brought in by our government, at the behest of the troika. But in reality this move by the government was the last straw for Irish citizens sick and tired of the taxes, charges and cuts imposed by the Fine Gael and Labour government, to repay the debts of corrupt bankers.

“These protests are an expression of the anger that people feel against a Government without any sense of fairness. After six long years of spending cuts and tax hikes, of unemployment and emigration, of bank bailouts and golden handshakes – people are saying ‘no more’.

“Sinn Féin believes that a better, fairer, more equal and prosperous Ireland is possible. But that cannot be achieved on the basis of the policies our government is following.

“I am conscious that the impact of austerity on people in Portugal and Greece in particular have been probably even more cruel than in Ireland. But Irish people are suffering unnecessarily also when Irish society continues to privilege the few over the many. Poverty, homelessness, health and education inequalities, unemployment and emigration will still be the daily reality for tens of thousands of people.

“But the political landscape in Ireland is changing dramatically. We must now work together, with other GUE/NGL partners, to strengthen coordination among the forces of the European Left. We must build on our common aims and not lose sight of who the political enemy is. Their most popular tactic and our most common challenge is divide and conquer. We as parties must not be distracted or overcome by this at home, or in Europe.

“Our vision for Europe is of national democracies working together, respecting each other’s sovereignty and having self-determination. The actions of the EU since the beginning of the financial crisis have shown that it is not a force for a positive social Europe.

“Left parties across Europe must now work primarily in their own country but also at a European level to bring about real reform.”

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD, speaking at the party’s Ard Comhairle meeting today, said the Government’s latest manoeuvre on the Water Charges issue will not work as it does not address the concerns of the hudreds of thousands who have taken to the streets on the issue. 

 Gerry Adams said: 

“As with every other issue, Fine Gael and Labour have failed to listen to citizens on the Water Charges. 

“The Government's latest policy is all about giving themselves a lifeline to run their full term. It's not about easing the pressure on those who cannot pay Water Charges. 

“What we got on Wednesday was a PR offensive - a desperate attempt by Fine Gael and Labour to cling to power for the next year. 

“Water charges have not been scrapped, the water metering programme will continue, metered charges are coming in, they will only go up, and there is still no constitutional right to water. 

“This cynical Government manoeuvre will not work. The people are not stupid. It fails to address the demands of the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have taken to the streets on this issue. 

“Sinn Féin is a central part of the Right2Water campaign and I am calling for the maximum possible turnout in protest against Water Charges on December 10th  to deliver a strong message that Water Charges must be scrapped.”

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Robinson playing to conference gallery – Murphy  

Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy has said comments by DUP leader Peter Robinson on Sinn Féin are patently incorrect and pitched at the party faithful on the eve of a deeply divided conference.

Conor Murphy was responding to comments by the DUP leader on the state of play in the all-party talks.

Conor Murphy said:

“Peter Robinson’s assertion that there are divisions in the Sinn Féin leadership is clearly another piece of wishful unionist thinking.

“Sinn Féin decides on party policy collectively and we continue to do so. That’s the approach we take on all policy matters including our submissions to any talks process.

“Sinn Féin is prepared to discuss all issues including reducing the costs of the Assembly and departments. 

“However there is no agreement and no growing consensus on these issues.

“Any agreement on these issues is interlinked with other areas of the negotiations particularly the North South implementation bodies, which if agreed could reduce duplication of services on the island and provide greater efficiencies and savings.

“All this and the toxic issues of flags, parading and the legacy of the past need to be fully explored.” 

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has welcome today’s statement by the National Executive of SIPTU that the organisation will now work with those in the Right 2 Water campaign.

Deputy McDonald said;

“The announcement is very welcome. It is an extremely positive development. SIPTU will add further weight to those of us working in the Right 2 Water campaign. 

“It is essential that any campaign against water charges is as broad and as inclusive as possible and should include SIPTU.

“The SIPTU National Executive has clearly seen that the Government’s announcement this week is not a progressive step for the future of water services in Ireland.

“I am calling on the leadership of SIPTU to work with us in the build up to the Right 2 Water rally on December 10th and to work to achieve the stated aims of the campaign.

“Water charges must be scrapped. There must be a constitutional provision guarding against the privatisation of our water supply.

“As the Right 2 Water campaign affirms – Water is a human right and water charges should be scrapped.

“I am calling on everybody to do what they can to make the demonstration on December 10th the most colourful, peaceful and powerful expression of public opposition to water charges.

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Sinn Féin councillor Niall O Donnghaile has said he is taking his complaint against the BBC over its treatment of Irish speakers to the BBC Trust. 

Speaking after the BBC attempted to defend its treatment of the Irish language on an episode of 'The Nolan Show,' councillor O Donnghaile said; 

"I made a complaint to the BBC over the disrespect shown to me and the wider Irish language community on 'The Nolan Show' on November 5. 

"The programme discussed the offensive remarks on the Irish language made by Gregory Campbell in the Assembly. 

"My complaint centred on the fact that the presenter repeated the remarks on numerous occasions with the intention of getting a cheap laugh. 

"This was not a laughing matter and should not have been treated as such. The remarks were grossly offensive to the Irish language community and bordered on racism. 

"I challenged the BBC on this and called on it to apologise. 

"Instead the BBC has sought to defend the remarks, bizarrely claiming they were 'editorially justified' and that no offence was intended. 

"In response, the BBC have claimed that I 'introduced a lightness of tone' into the exchange. 

"I not only reject that assertion but also the inference that it could be used to justify the unacceptable and offensive behaviour of the presenter which followed. 

"As well as repeating my call for the BBC to apologise I have also lodged a complaint with the BBC Trust as the governing body of the organisation and the arbitrator for all complaints."

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has challenged the Government on failure to support a Sinn Féin Bill amending the Domestic Violence Act debated today in the Dáil. 

Deputy McDonald criticised the Government for going against the legislation which would enable victims of domestic violence to obtain social housing.   

Deputy McDonald stated:

“This Bill was tabled by Sinn Féin in order to give those fleeing domestic violence, access to social housing. It was opposed by the Government and for no good reason.

 “The Government claimed that we were amending the wrong legislation. This is untrue. This Bill was designed to strengthen existing legislation and Sinn Féin sought legislative advice before submitting the Bill.”

“Current legislation prevents victims of domestic violence from seeking social housing if they are co-owners of a home with their abusive partner. Our Bill recognises the rights of victims of domestic violence to seek rehousing.

“It is a modest Bill but represents a small and important advance in securing victims’ right to housing.

“Minister Paudie Coffey is engaging in spin. The Government has dragged its feet in producing comprehensive reforms and consolidated domestic violence legislation.


“The right to housing needs to be underpinned in domestic violence legislation and all consequential guidelines to local authorities.”

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Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, spoke on Sinn Féin’s Domestic Violence Bill in the Dáil today and raised issues concerning the protection of domestic violence victims and their families in Dublin South West.

Crowe said that there was already an enormous financial burden on the Saoirse and Cuan Álainn refuges and that it is a scandal that any of these facilities should be facing closure at a time when demand was clearly growing

Deputy Crowe said:

“The Bill that Sinn Féin introduced would address the gap in existing legislation where a victim of domestic violence, who is living with the abuser as a joint-owner of the property, is currently prohibited from being considered or included by the local authority for social housing.

“It is important that this gap is filled with adequate and robust legislation.

“It also important the women who are victims of domestic violence can access safe refuges when they need protection.

“In Tallaght the future of the Cuan Álainn women and children’s shelter is under threat unless they get immediate funding from the Government.

“The Government should accept this bill to close this anomaly in existing legislation, provide much needed resources to refuges and shelters across the state, and commit to doing more to tackle the scourge of domestic violence in our communities.

Crowe continued:

“1 in 5 women and many men across the state are impacted by domestic violence.

“We need to change our domestic violence legislation and make it more victim friendly. Changes need to happen urgently with power and rights shifted from the abuser to the victim.

“Our amendment deals with access to housing, which is only a small step, but it is a significant one. It will give extra options to vulnerable victims and their families seeking alternative accommodation.”

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Sinn Féin Councillor Jim McVeigh has stated that there is no space for armed actions in our society today and that those who represent groups who follow that path must come forward and explain to the public their flawed rationale.

Speaking today Cllr McVeigh said:

“The discovery of weapons in a car last night on the Grosvenor Road ensures that these weapons are taken off the street.

“Those behind such attacks have no support at a community level. They need to stop. 

“Armed actions will not in any way bring a united Ireland any closer. These are yesterdays people who need to realise that there is a democratic way to achieve these goals.

“The political representatives of these groups need to come forward and explain their flawed rationale for the continuation of these acts and what they hope to achieve.

“They stand for elections in which they are rejected by the electorate, they appear on TV to speak about threats on the upgrades in water service in West Belfast, they utilise some offices in west Belfast but when it comes to attacks such as that in Ardoyne during the week, last nights arms find or the countless punishment shootings and intimidation including last night in Derry they are invisible.

“If they are so confident that their actions are justified, which they are clearly not, they need to come forward and put themselves up for scrutiny in the media and to the public.”

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Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on the Diaspora has given a cautious welcome to President Obama’s announcement regarding undocumented immigrants in the US.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“Taking undocumented immigrants out of the shadows is a step in the right direction.

“However it is unclear how many Irish people will actually benefit from the new measures.

“Like all immigrants the undocumented Irish in America are not a homogenous group.

“Some people have been in the US for over twenty years and are settled with families and American born children.

“On the other hand, there are people who left Ireland as a result of the recent crash and it remains to be seen how and if they will benefit from the new measures.   

“Nonetheless Sinn Féin will continue to work on this issue with members of Congress in an effort to secure full recognition for all undocumented Irish people in the US.”

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