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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



“The DUP are vocal about the consequences of not implementing these Tory cuts but remain silent on the impact of these cuts which would take hundreds of millions of pounds out of the pockets of the most vulnerable and least able to pay.  These cuts would plunge more children into poverty and take money from hard-pressed working families, people on benefits and from people with disabilities." - Daithí McKay



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has appealed for anyone who has been the victim of abuse – or suspects that abuse is taking place – to report it to the PSNI or relevant statutory service.

Mr McGuinness said; 

“The recent publicity surrounding the case of Maíria Cahill has again highlighted the issue of sexual abuse within Irish society and I would urge anyone who has any information whatsoever about abuse to bring it forward so that cases can be properly investigated and victims properly supported.

“If, for any reason, victims are reluctant to speak to the police, as was initially the case with Maíria Cahill, there are a number of statutory and voluntary organisations which offer confidential 24-hour helplines through which abuse can be reported.

“These organisations will also help support the victim and help ensure they receive the ongoing after-care which is required.

“As a society, I think we all have to acknowledge that victims of abuse have been failed in the past. Only now is society beginning to accept and deal with the true extent and horror of what has been perpetrated across the island of Ireland.

“However, there are now support structures in place and the relevant agencies are properly equipped to pursue complaints and assist victims. I would again appeal to anyone with concerns about abuse to use them.” 

The Nexus Institute which provides support to victims of abuse advise that the following organisations offer 24-hour helplines:

The Rowan: 08003894424

Lifeline 0808 808 8000

The Samaritans 0845 790 9090

Childline 0808 802 1414

NSPCC 0808 800 5000

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Waterford based Senator David Cullinane has called on the Minister for Education to intervene in the case of the Technological University of the South East and to expedite the important and urgent delivery of this multi-campus in the region. 

Senator Cullinane said:

"I am an enthusiastic supporter of a multi-campus Technological University in the Southeast. It has the potential to unlock economic stagnation and lift the region socially and economically. I also support the high benchmarks set out in legislation as part of the qualifying criteria. I have long argued that a multi-campus technological university must be one that takes its place among the top universities on the island.

"The benchmarks in relation to student numbers, research activity, staffing PhD levels and attendance of international students are vital in ensuring that a future regional university can do what it says on the tin. A simple name change would be of no benefit. 

"Time is of the essence. We do not have the luxury of waiting one year, two years, five years or possibly longer. The Southeast needs a technological university and urgently. 

"Both institutes in the region are committed to progress. Every effort is being made within both institutes and their boards to move the process along. There are forces within the institutes, the Department and the Higher Education Authority who are resistant to change.

“Yes, Minister, politics must not prevail. I would call on all interested parties to work together in the spirit of their duty to current and prospective students to provide the highest level of learning that can be provided. 

"I am calling on the Minister to hold steadfast on the setting of the high standards and benchmarking, and to hold each Institute to equal measure. This is about the future of the Southeast and its people. Let's not let academic politics or unnecessary delaying tactics hold us back. This is too important an issue."

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has stated that Irish Water is clearly not fit for the purpose of serving the interests of ordinary citizens in its current form. 

The party Spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform said that the litany of debacles, set in train by the government under the current management of the company, adds further weight to the argument for the scrapping of water charges.

Deputy McDonald said;

“The manner in which Irish Water was established, the management of the company to date and the imposition of water charges has been an unmitigated disaster. Even government back-benchers have woken-up to this reality.

“The approach that Irish Water and the government have taken to public dissent has been one focused on the use of serious bully-boy tactics and threats as the company stumbles from one shambles to another. The whole operation of Irish water thus far has been farcical.

“Families have been threatened that their water pressure will be reduced to a trickle should they fail to pay. We have heard how those on certain tenancy scheme have been told that they could be evicted for non payment. There have also been numerous miscommunications in regards to who is liable should someone not pay. It is a mess.

“Today, we see reports in the media about how families will face a staggeringly expensive call out charge of €180 for repairs of leaking pipes.

“The backdrop to all this is the fact that the top-brass at Irish Water are being paid exorbitant salaries. These executives are waiting in line for gratuitous bonus payment despite the Taoiseach’s guarantees that there wouldn't be a bonus culture in Irish Water.

“This madness has to stop. Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Alan Kenny must now get their finger out and move to address the debacle in a comprehensive manner. This must include the complete abolition of domestic water charges.

 “Irish Water cannot remain as the utility responsible for the delivery of water services in its present form. The company is toxic. It must now be radically reformed into a single utility that acts in the interests of our citizens as suggested by Sinn Féin in our proposals for the delivery of water services.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann has condemned petrol bombers who targeted the home of an elderly man at Cloona Manor in the Dunmurry area early this morning.

The West Belfast MLA said:

“Thankfully no one was injured in this attack on the home of an elderly man.

“Attacks like this can lead to serious injury or death and it’s very worrying that anyone targeted this elderly man’s home in this way.

“If anyone has information on who was behind this attack then they should give it to the police immediately.”

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Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD will host an event in the Dáil this coming Wednesday in which the case for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant will be outlined.

The meeting will be addressed by representatives from organisations such as the Carers Association, Age Action,Special Needs Parents Association, Aoibheann's Pink Tie Charity and DCA Warriors.

Speaking about the event, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“These organisations will outline the very strong case for the restoration of the €325 that was cut from the Respite Care Grant (RCG) in Budget 2013.

“The speakers, some of whom are carers themselves, will explain to TDs and Senators from all parties the importance of this payment to the families affected.

“Sinn Féin supports the restoration of the Respite Care Grant and we included it in our alternative budget. Budget 2015 should have been the budget that eased the financial strain on family carers. Unfortunately, this is only one of many ways in which Budget 2015 failed the fairness test.

“It's extremely difficult for carers to take to the streets and protest due to their caring responsibilities. However, they and their loved ones with disabilities braved severe weather to protest against the cut back in 2013. This time they will be taking to the online world to make their demands heard.

“We are encouraging all of our supporters and the public at large to change their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to a restore respite care image that we are circulating and we will be circulating an online petition.”

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Tar éis na cainte a bhí ag an Teachta Shinn Féin Martin Ferris le muintir Inis Mhór inné, dúirt an Teachta Ferris go ndéanfaidh sé gach iarracht ceist na farantóireachta a ardú sa Dáil Dé Máirt seo chugainn.

Dúirt an Teachta Ferris:

“Tá sé i gceist an tseirbhís go hInis Mór a chríochnú Lá Samhna. Ba cheart don Aire a chumhachtaí a chur i bhfeidhm chun é seo a stopadh.

“Deireadh a chur le seirbhís farantóireachta, is ionann sin agus cosc a chur le húsáid bhóthair ar an oileán. Ní cheart go ligfí leis sin agus ba chóir gníomhú láithreach.

Dúirt an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh go mbeadh sé náireach gan seirbhís farantóireachta a bheith ag muintir an oileáin i rith an gheimhridh.

“Bíonn lear mór daoine ag braith ar an tseirbhís farantóireachta, ina measc scoláirí scoile, daoine ag trial ar ospidéal agus mar sin de. Is seirbhís bhunúsach í agus tá mé ag taithint ar an Aire McHugh a ladar a chur isteach sa scéal gan mhoill agus a chinntiú go leanfaidh an tseirbhís tábhachtach seo ar aghaidh.”

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Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said that British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers needs to stop pandering to Unionists and realise the Good Friday Agreement cannot be rewritten.

 Speaking after Theresa Villiers addressed the Ulster Unionist Party Conference Mr Murphy said,

 “The statement that by British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers that the Irish Government will play little role in the political settlement of the North runs contrary to the Good Friday Agreement.

 “The Irish Government is a key player and signatory to the Agreement on par with the British Government so the British Secretary of State has no power to change that unilaterally.

 “Her contention that the Ulster Unionist Party has a long and distinguished history of doing the right thing for the people of the North also rings hollow for the Nationalist population who had to live under 50 years of misrule based upon sectarianism and discrimination.

 “To date the contributions of Theresa Villiers on the issue of welfare cuts, the executive budget, parades and other unionist demands draws into question her political judgement and ability to command the respect necessary to reach agreement.

 “Theresa Villiers needs to realise that pandering to Unionism will not resolve the current issues and that the talks will only succeed if everyone enters without preconditions and honouring the Good Friday Agreement commitments.” 

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has reiterated her party’s call for anybody with information on cases of sexual abuse to come forward to the appropriate authorities, north and south, without fear. She said that any such person would have the support of Sinn Féin.

Deputy McDonald said;

“Anybody with information regarding incidents of sexual abuse should come forward to the appropriate authorities. They should do so without fear and they should be afforded all the protections and supports that are warranted by such situations.

“Any person who chooses to come forward will have the support of Sinn Féin.”

The Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Central, once again, rejected allegations that Sinn Féin covered up cases of sexual abuse.

She said;

“The assertion that Sinn Féin conducted cover-ups of cases of sexual abuse is completely untrue.

“Any person, from any section of society, who has been proven to have been involved in cover-ups of sexual-abuse, should face the full rigors of the law.

“That is my position and it is the position of Sinn Féin.”

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has reiterated his position in relation to his conversation with Mairia Cahill.

He has also reiterated his position that the Sinn Féin representatives named by Mairia all sought to help her.

He again confirmed that Sinn Féin is willing to meet with Mairia.

Gerry Adams TD said,

“Mairia acknowledged that her uncle, the well respected and senior republican Joe Cahill asked her to go to the RUC. Joe made this approach at my request.

“She made the claim that there are other victims who are living in fear, and perpetrators at large, who are a danger to children, as a result of how republicans dealt with these issues in the past.

“No one should be living in fear and no child should be at risk.

“Anyone who has any information whatsoever about any child abuse should come forward to the authorities north or south and they will have the full support of Sinn Féin in so doing.”

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