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Adams dismay as Kenny again rejects European Debt Conference

"The financial and economic crisis in this State was caused by a small, unrepresentative, wealthy elite. €62 billion in bank loans were in the hands of just 190 borrowers. 50% of the Irish loan book of Anglo Irish bank was held by just 20 individuals.  Ordinary citizens cannot understand the Taoiseach’s refusal to pursue options that could make our debt sustainable and fair." – Adams

I have been made aware of a warning put through my constituency office that stated that there is a bomb planted outside of my home. The cowards behind the threat and their accompanying actions are beyond contempt.


An increased role for pharmacists is essential for the future of Irish healthcare. The western world needs radical change in the way it deals with health care provision. We currently see up to 1 in 7 attendances at GPs and 1 in 12 at Emergency Departments that could and should be dealt with by pharmacists.



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Sinn Féin Spokesperson for the Environment Brian Stanley has urged all those opposed to water charges to come out in their masses tomorrow in peaceful protests across the country.

The protests, which will be held in local communities across the country, offer a vital opportunity for people to voice their dissent against Irish Water and the imposition of unfair water charges.

Deputy Stanley said:

"There is a series of events organised by Sinn Féin which are taking place across Ireland as part of a day of action against water charges. We are encouraging anybody who is opposed to the introduction of these unfair, regressive charges to take part in their local protest or march.

“Sinn Féin is committed to campaigning against water charges until they are stopped. The Government's handling of this unfair water tax has been shambolic.  Along with the Local Property tax, this has become a staple of this government's austerity agenda.

“It’s time to tell this Government that concessions are not enough. These concessions came after an immense show of will from the Irish people. Labour and Fine Gael may have reacted, they didn't listen. They offered introductory offers and caps as bribes for silence, but we are demanding abolition. Water is a human right, not a commodity to be controlled and traded.

“This is why it of such importance that the people come out and make their voices heard tomorrow. It is time that Labour and Fine Gael are told in no uncertain terms that either water charges go - or they do. Sinn Féin is committed to scrapping water charges and to reversing this legislation if in government."

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson and MP Michelle Gildernew today officially launched the countdown to an Anti-Fracking Conference, taking place on Friday 20th Feb.

Speaking from the launch at the Lough Erne Resort, Michelle Gildernew MP said:

“Three weeks from today the first-ever anti-fracking conference to be held in Europe is going to take place right here in Fermanagh.

“I cannot express the importance of this conference and I thank Martina for choosing to host it here in Fermanagh.

“The Scottish government's recent moratorium on fracking proves that more and more people across the world accept that fracking has a devastating impact on the environment, agriculture, health and tourism.

“A number of experts on these fields are addressing the conference. These include a key note address from Andy Gheorghiu, author of the Friends of the Earth Fracking Frenzy report.

“Sinn Féin has stood firm in our opposition to fracking.

This conference will highlight how we will continue to oppose it.

“I would encourage those wishing to highlight their opposition, express their concerns or simply learn more to attend the conference. To register e-mail nathan_mcglinchey@outlook.comENDS

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Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has today attacked the government for moving ahead with plans to open up ten per cent of public bus routes to the market.

Speaking in Dublin today Ms Boylan said:

“Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann provide vital transport links for citizens around the city and country. Privatisation will inevitably lead to some of the non-profitable routes being discontinued and some areas being deprived of essential transport services.

“The fact that the government is forging ahead with these plans despite vehement opposition from unions representing transport workers, demonstrates its indifference to those who depend on the Dublin Bus service to get to the shops, to school, college and work.

The privatisation of public bus services will ultimately lead to higher bus fares and poorer working conditions. The Irish Government in its arrogance has refused to learn lessons from mistakes made abroad on this issue.

For example when the Tory government privatised services in the UK. At the time it claimed that privatisation would lead to greater investment, improved services and fare reductions.

The biggest losers were those who worked in the bus industry. Bus driver’s hourly wage ranked 7% above the average blue collar worker but within ten years of privatisation had fallen 14% below.

Passengers also lost out, as fares have risen consistently above inflation.

Many other right- wing governments have attempted privatisation policies in this industry and have failed. The cherry-picking of the most profitable routes by private operators and the financial burden of subsidising the less lucrative routes inevitably leads to a reversal of privatisation policies.

The government should re-think its stance on this issue now before it will have to make another embarrassing policy U-turn.”

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Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly has expressed dismay and anger at new figures from a Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2013, which shows that 63% of one-parent family households in Ireland suffer deprivation.

Senator Reilly stated:

“The report showed that those living in households with one adult and one or more children had a 63% deprivation rate in 2013, and this grouping also had a 23% consistent poverty rate. The report is extremely upsetting, but I am not surprised at its findings. The austerity measures perused by Labour and Fine Gael over the past four years have been the cause of this. It is shocking that as a nation we have become so accustomed to such reports on poverty and deprivation. The unfortunate reality is that they just serve to reinforce what we already know to be true.”

“I have continuously raised the issue of poverty, deprivation, and inequality in the Seanad, using the Order of Business and Commencement Matters as a platform to voice my concerns on such problems. Indeed in December I put it to Deputy Simon Harris that Ireland has become a deprivation nation where one million people are living in deprivation and nearly one-in-three children is suffering deprivation. I quoted Michael Taft when I told Deputy Harris that this is an economic, social and moral indictment of the priorities of a government that privileges tax cuts over poverty-reduction.”

“Such points were recently reiterated by Karen Kiernan CEO of One Family when she too outlined that the SILC results were just reinforcing and amplifying what they have been saying for some time now.  She stated how people parenting alone are consistently telling One Family that they live on the knife edge of poverty. Naturally she was also highly critical of a government who ignore the reality of life for these one-parent families.”

 “What will further extenuate this crisis is the moving of over 39,000 lone parents off their One-Parent Family Payment and onto Job Seekers Transitional in July. The consequences of this will be even more hardship and a further increase in the numbers of one-parent families suffering deprivation.”

“While the immediate situation is deplorable and needs to be addressed, the long term implications for the children in these situations are equally worrying. The government has not only shown utter contempt for one-parent families, they have also shown disregard for children’s future life chances.”

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Letter from Uisce Éireann attached

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has revealed that a letter from Uisce Éireann has confirmed that “daily testing has not identified any risk to the public water supplies to Dundalk.”

Teachta Adams said:

“A recent Sunday Independent story sparked unfounded fears in the south Armagh and north Louth areas of serious pollution from a fuel laundering plant.

“Residents of the Dundalk area will be reassured by the confirmation from Uisce Éireann that there is no risk to their drinking water.

“The behaviour of some politicians, who deliberately heightened fears and ran scare stories of water having been poisoned, and who for purely electoral purposes sought to blame republicans and Sinn Féin, now stands exposed as irresponsible.

“Of course, none of this takes away from the fact that there are criminal elements who are exploiting the differential between agricultural and non-agricultural diesel to make money and are prepared to recklessly pollute our environment through the dumping of diesel sludge.

“Every effort must be made to ensure that they are arrested and are brought before the courts.

“I have submitted a detailed range of questions to the Minister for the Environment on this issue and have specifically asked if the government is planning to introduce legislation to end the differential in diesel thus removing the ability of the criminal gangs to make money.”

The Louth TD added:

“I welcome Uisce Éireann’s diligence in deciding to carry out additional tests and to introduce other measures to protect our water system.

“However none of this can detract from the fact that baseless claims were made in the media about the water system being poisoned and the genuine fears of citizens were cynically exploited by some politicians whose only interest was in attacking Sinn Féin.”

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Sinn Féin chairperson Declan Kearney has called for formal discussions to build a left wing alternative alliance in Ireland. 

The South Antrim Westminster election candidate said; 

"There has been unprecedented upheaval in Irish politics in recent years. It would be premature to say the ongoing flux represents a permanent political realignment, but the status quo nationally has shifted, creating the potential for more change.

"Those on the progressive and republican left need to make that change irreversible by altering the current balance of forces to create a new political realignment.  

"That will only come about through popular support for a credible political alternative which can effectively challenge the conservative power blocs and their policies.

"It is no coincidence that Syriza had such success in the Greek general election, or Podemos has become the largest party in Spain, and, the SNP is on the rise.

"Stark ideological differences now exist over how Irish society should organise itself.  There is a growing polarisation between the interests of citizens’ rights and community, and those of international banks and capital.

"A new critical mass for change is essential.  Political engagement needs to take place among all those genuinely committed to democratic control of the economy, social justice and an agreed, united Ireland.  

"As new international political forces move towards governmental power, formal political discussion should begin in Ireland on how to forge consensus between Sinn Féin, progressive independents, the trade union movement, grass roots communities, and the non-sectarian left, which will ensure the future election of a left coalition in the south dedicated to establishing a new national Republic." 

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Dublin Sinn Féin councillor Cathleen Carney Boud has called for the paths and roads in urgent need of repair throughout the Finglas East to be dealt with immediately.

 Speaking today from the area Cllr Carney Boud said:

 “Over the last few months I have put in many requests for repairs to paths and roads around the constituency. I have been consistently told by the Executive Engineer, that the repairs will take place “when a maintenance crew is in the area”.

 While it is understandable that there is funding issues, it should still be possible to give an indication of when the necessary works will take place.

 In January, I submitted a motion to the council area committee requesting that a more detailed schedule be put in place. I was initially unhappy with the response to my motion but after some debate, it was then agreed by the manager that a time-frame would be given in future replies.

 There are many paths and roads in the Finglas East area which need resurfacing or complete re-instatement. It’s all well and good saying yes it will be done in the future, but how long is a piece of string? I have now requested a time frame be given for each previous request and I will update residents on when the works will take place.”

Dublin Sinn Féin councillor Cathleen Carney Boud has called for the paths and roads in urgent need of repair throughout Finglas East to be dealt with immediately.

Speaking today from the area Cllr Carney Boud said:

“Over the last few months I have put in many requests for repairs to paths and roads around the constituency. I have been consistently told by the Executive Engineer, that the repairs will take place “when a maintenance crew is in the area”.

While it is understandable that there is funding issues, it should still be possible to give an indication of when the necessary works will take place.

In January, I submitted a motion to the council area committee requesting that a more detailed schedule be put in place. I was initially unhappy with the response to my motion but after some debate, it was then agreed by the manager that a time-frame would be given in future replies.

There are many paths and roads in the Finglas East area which need resurfacing or complete re-instatement. It’s all well and good saying yes it will be done in the future, but how long is a piece of string? I have now requested a time frame be given for each previous request and I will update residents on when the works will take place.”

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Gerry Adams TD, speaking in Dundalk today, after a National Officer Board meeting of Sinn Féin, has rejected a claim by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett that Sinn Féin is attempting to undermine him.

Gerry Adams said:

“I reject the claim made by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett on RTÉ radio this morning that Sinn Féin is attempting to undermine his position.”

“What happened in the Dáil around the motion to establish a commission of investigation into claims of Garda malpractice was a farce.”

“A Standing Order was imposed in an entirely unprecedented way by the Ceann Comhairle to shut down debate of extremely serious issues by the Dáil.”

“Ramming the terms of reference for the commission though the Dáil, particularly on such an important issue, without debate was a serious and disturbing development.”

“Sinn Féin, along with the rest of the Opposition, correctly withdrew ourselves from proceedings which were absurd.”

“Sinn Féin has asked Sean Barrett to convene the Committee on Procedures and Privileges early next week to discuss his decision to disallow the scheduled debate on Wednesday on the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry into the findings of the Guerin Report into Garda malpractice in the Cavan/Monaghan area.”

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Speaking on the final day for submissions to the Working Group on Seanad Reform, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on political reform David Cullinane has called on the government to respect the will of the people. 

Senator Cullinane said:

“In October 2013, the government’s referendum proposal to abolish the Seanad was rejected by the people. All participants and parties involved in the referendum campaign acknowledged that, in its current form, the Seanad is undemocratic and elitist.” 

“Since then, no steps have been taken toward reform and its business as usual in the Seanad.”

“This is not acceptable in a functioning democracy. The Seanad must become a fully inclusive, representative, relevant and accountable institution.” 

“In its submission, Sinn Féin is calling on the government to introduce direct elections to the Seanad for all Irish citizens on the same day as the Dáil elections.”

“Reform must also include northern and diasporic representation, fifty percent representation of women, and representation of traditionally marginalised groups.”

“There can be no place in a modern democracy for an elected institution to which only a small minority of people have the right to vote. To best represent the general public interest and reflect the priority of public accountability the Seanad must become a functioning and relevant democratic forum for all our people.”

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