Be Part of Putting Ireland First

Become an Online Supporter

Top Stories

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.



Latest Statements

Toggle

Speaking from Strasbourg after voting against a decision to continue to put the burden of bank debt on the taxpayers, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said:

 “In the aftermath of the financial collapse Billions of Euro were found to rescue the banks and speculators who caused the disaster while funds to put Europe’s 26 million unemployed back to work were miniscule in comparison.

 "This proposed banking union absolves the culprits responsible for creating the bubble while providing little protection to the taxpayers from a recurrence and does nothing to stimulate growth or provide opportunities for job creation. It does not do enough to separate banking debt from sovereign debt.

 “The enduring mentality among European Bureaucrats that many banks are deemed too big to fail remains a major problem facing the next Parliament. The same people denied that the deregulation of financial markets was a major contributor to the worst financial collapse in living memory.

 “Similarly, all the assurances given at the peak of the crisis that strict measures would be taken to ensure that a crisis of this magnitude would not be allowed to recur have failed to materialise. Any reforms have been minimal with insufficient relief from the burden being shouldered by taxpayers.

 "The banking union package proposes the creation of a European 'super central bank', which will set monetary policy and act as supervisor. The result is that the ECB will be the most powerful non-democratic institution in the world.

 “These additional powers will hand control of the entire financial system over to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats without any political accountability which means they will not be held responsible for any future bank failings.

 “This European Banking Union is typical of the "one size fits all" approach to dealing with the economy. What's best for Germany is not always best for Ireland.

 “Sinn Féin has always advocated that the ECB be a Lender of last resort for the Euro (a real ‘back-stop’ for the currency). This would entail increased bond-buying from governments and potentially recapitalising banks directly. While we would support regulation across the EU, what was agreed in Strasbourg would not have prevented the banking crisis and therefore any future crisis, nor will it deal with the key issue of the €65 billion which has been poured into failed Irish banks.”  CRÍOCH/END

Toggle

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, while commenting on the agreement by Government to the text of legislation to provide for free GP care for children aged six and under, today said:

“This news merits a guarded welcome, provided it is a definite step towards the universal roll-out of free GP care.

“This roll-out must be time-tabled and it must be seen to be progressing otherwise the initiative will be seen as a one-off and will perpetuate inequalities. For example people will rightly ask why a seven-year-old child with a disability should not have the GP card while a child of 5 with no disability and in a family way above the income limit will have one.

“We share concern at the lack of proper consultation on the part of the Minister and the Department with GPs on the proposed new contracts.

“We are also concerned at any diminution of services at GP level, which we accept has occurred in many cases, given the financial pressures on some GP practices.

“All primary care providers, especially GPs, must be central to reform of our primary care services.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on the Environment Brian Stanley TD has claimed that Labour and Fine Gael are at sixes and sevens in its struggle to fund the corporate monster of Irish Water.

Deputy Stanley said:

“It is apparent now that the Government is divided on the water charges issue, and that it is basically making it up as it goes along. They have handed a virtual black cheque to Irish Water, the corporate monster that was conceived by Fianna Fáil, and which the public is now expected to subsidise through the central exchequer and water charges.

“The facts are that it will be funded by exchequer subsidy and domestic and commercial water charges. Either way the public will pay.

“The Government has deliberately procrastinated on the rate at which water charges will be set, and which we will not know until August. The only reason the current figures are out there is because that information was leaked.

“They are clearly terrified of the reaction to the water debacle in the local and European elections, and are desperately attempting to fend that off. They should stop procrastinating and be up front with the hard pressed householders.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD said today that an independent analysis should be undertaken concerning NAMA’s future. Doherty said Minister for Finance Michael Noonan could not decide the future of a multi-billion euro body off his own bat and that NAMA alone cannot make such a decision without the input of others.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Last night, Minister Noonan told the Dail Finance Committee that he has asked NAMA to see if it can use its asset base to control rapidly rising property prices, especially in Dublin. He also said he has also asked NAMA to review its operations and examine the option of winding down the agency faster than its 2020 deadline.

“A few short weeks ago, we saw NAMA firesale its entire North of Ireland loan book. I believe that despite the Minister’s claims of neutrality, he appears to be favouring a faster disposal of NAMA assets. This latest reference to NAMA being able to curtail property prices is the manifestation of the Minister wanting NAMA to wind up.

“If the Minister is concerned about rising property prices, he needs to answer why he allowed Finance Bill 2013 establish Real Estate Investment Trusts, which hold properties to maximise rental values. He also needs to answer why his Government has not concentrated more efforts on addressing the housing crisis through social housing and other means. And he must answer why, despite the upward effect they have on property prices, his Government has not abolished upward only rent reviews, as promised in the Fine Gael and Labour manifestos.

“NAMA has six years left in which to responsibly dispose of its assets, ensuring the taxpayer receives the maximum return for them. I am concerned if it winds up too quickly NAMA will not attain the maximum value for its loans. Firesales could also actually damage property prices conversely, by driving them down to equally unsustainable levels.

“Nobody wants to see a bubble develop in property prices again. However, prices, while rising, are still roughly 50% below peak in Dublin in particular. There’s no doubt in my mind they will rise a little further. The issue at stake here is whether NAMA avails of that price rise, or the vulture capitalists who swoop in and buy up the agency’s holdings at bargain basement prices.

“We need an independent assessment of NAMA’s options for the future, which should then be made public as far as possible. I do not believe NAMA should undertake one without wider input, and I do not believe the Minister should decide NAMA’s future on his own either.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Lynn Boylan has accused Fine Gael of speaking out of both sides of its mouth on reducing taxation for the squeezed middle while pushing ahead with the introduction of water charges. 

Speaking from the campaign trail, the Dublin EU candidate said:

“Families have had six successive austerity budgets which have resulted in less money in their pockets and increased charges for services.

“This year saw the introduction in full of the property tax, a truly regressive measure that has caused undue hardship particularly to those on lower incomes, the elderly and homeowners in mortgage distress.

“True to form Fine Gael Minister Michael Noonan is speaking out of both sides of his mouth when he talks of possible tax cuts whilst committing to taking a further two billion euro out of the economy in 2015.

“Sinn Fein’s 2014 Budget measures set out a suite of fair measures which if implemented would have increased tax revenues whilst protecting low and middle income earners. 

“Time and again Fine Gael tells us that working families need a break, yet it is their government that is burdening citizens with regressive stealth taxes and increased costs. 

“If Fine Gael is serious about reducing the taxation burden on the ‘squeezed middle’, government will reverse its decision to introduce water charges.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said proposed Water Charges are another tax on struggling families, are unfair and unjust, and make no economic sense, adding that Water Charges would be increased over time.

Mr Adams also accused the Taoiseach of bypassing the Dáil and spinning details of Government decisions to the media.

Speaking in the Dáil during Leaders Questions the Sinn Féin Leader said:

“Taoiseach, yesterday I raised with you the issue of Water Charges, which is causing deep concern to householders across the state.

“In your reply to me you said the Government had not taken a decision; that various matters had to be taken into consideration; and that there was a need to assess a whole range of issues before any decisions could be made.

“You then pulled together an unscheduled Cabinet meeting and sent your spin doctors off to the media to give details of the decision that you told the Dáil you had not taken.

“Taoiseach, this is but the latest in a whole series of major decisions in which your Government has bypassed this Dáil in favour of governing by press release and media spin.

“On each occasion the Government has shown contempt for the Oireachtas, for the Opposition and for the citizens who your decisions will affect.

“The fact that you called a special cabinet meeting to deal with this issues is down to the manner in which the Opposition here has pursued you.

“It is clear that your desire was to kick to touch on this issue. You govern by making it up as you go along.

“What is very clear now is that there will indeed be a standing charge as part of the Water Charge.”

Mr Adams said Water Charges would result in a flat tax, that it is a regressive tax and that will impact most negatively on ordinary working families.

TheGovernment’s Water Charge, borrowed from Fianna Fáil and opposed at that time by the Labour Party, he said, is another tax on top of all the other taxes and charges faced by struggling families, who have already been hit with an unprecedented list of taxes and stealth charges.

Mr Adams said:

“The reality with other charges that have been introduced is that they do not go down. They go up. So, this charge is merely the first step of an escalating Water Charge.

“As I pointed out yesterday, your policy on water provision also makes no sense in terms of water conservation and its real intent clearly is the eventual privatisation of water services in this state.

“Taoiseach, there are no domestic Water charges in the North. You know this because the Department of Regional Development there had meetings as far back as January 2012 with the Department of the Environment in Dublin. DRD officials appraised the Minister Hogan’s Department of the system in the North.

“Taoiseach, Sinn Fein in the North blocked Water Charges and the privatisation of water services there. You could do the same in this state. Why don’t you?”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the decision by Louth County Council and Dundalk Town Council to provide €15k each to Dundalk Women’s Aid in order to remove the immediate threat of closure.

Teachta Adams praised his Council colleagues, and in particular Councillor Edel Corrigan and Councillor Jennifer Green who “each presented a motion to their respective councils condemning the funding cuts to the refuge and demanding a reversal of those cuts.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The decisions by the two Councils are very welcome but they are not the answer to the problem of funding for Dundalk Women’s Refuge and other refuges across the state.

“Women’s Aid Dundalk is in the frontline of helping victims of domestic violence. It provides a 24/7 service. Last year the demand on its services were such that it was unable to accommodate 293 requests for refuge. One consequence of this is that Drogheda Women’s Refuge which has limited space will now have to cope with victims from Louth, Cavan and Monaghan.

“The loss of the Dundalk service will leave hundreds of women and children vulnerable to continued domestic violence.

“The reality is that services and support for women and children experiencing abuse in the home is at an all-time low as a result of government cutbacks. The decision by the two Louth Councils has provided an opportunity to campaign to reverse current government policy and I would urge all county Louth representatives, but especially government TDs and Seanadóirí, to use their influence to secure government funding for Dundalk Women’s Aid.”

ENDS

Videos

Team Sinn Féin - Putting Ireland First


Photos

Thousands protest outside Leinster House

An Phoblacht Ad