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Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has embarked on a tour of both Australia and New Zealand to promote the Sinn Féin peace strategy. Ms de Brún has also taken the opportunity to lobby the New Zealand and Australian Governments for further support for the International Fund for Ireland.

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) sponsors include the EU, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Speaking from New Zealand Ms de Brún said:

"My visit to New Zealand has provided me the opportunity to brief parliamentarians, community activists and the wider Irish community on the current state of the peace process. In particular, the Irish diaspora has been keen to hear at first hand of the political developments at home and in what ways they can be of assistance. During my visit to New Zealand, I have met with representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs among others to discuss a further sponsorship role for the IFI.

"My visit to Australia provides an opportunity to lobby the Australian Government on further support for the peace process. The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) has been a crucial element in assisting peace and reconciliation in Ireland. A financial contribution by the Australian government at this time would provide a signal of confidence in the development of peace in Ireland.

"Over the coming days I will continue to press the case for both political and financial support for the peace process. The projects which are funded through IFI require a consistent level of support if they are to continue the good work which they are engaged in." ENDS

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Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA has said that the annual report of Invest NI gain highlights the failure of the organisation to support balanced economic development.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"The Invest NI Annual Report for 2004/05 does not have detail in it to allow a full analysis of the situation, for example, there is no breakdown of investment by parliamentary constituency or by district council area. It was this analysis of last year's figures that showed very serious discrepancies in how Invest NI supported economic development in specific areas.

"We understand that a detailed Performance Report will be published in March which we will be scrutinising closely.

"However, it is clear that INI is failing to locate sufficient industry west of the Bann and in border counties. These are the areas that are most disadvantaged and suffer from the highest levels of unemployment and economic inactivity rates. Within Belfast resources are skewed away from deprived areas such as North and West Belfast into relatively affluent areas of South and East Belfast.

"The Labour Market Dynamics Report, published this week by OFMDFM, clearly shows that Catholics continue to have "persistently" higher levels of unemployment and economic inactivity, remain more than twice as likely to be unemployed and are more likely to be amongst the long-term unemployed.

"A job creation agency such as INI needs to recognise that it has a responsibility in tackling these differentials. Instead it continues to replicate patterns of disadvantage and discrimination by skewing economic resources toward already affluent areas of Belfast and the east in contravention of New Targeting Social Need policy requirements. This is unacceptable.

"It is not enough to say that the Belfast Travel to Work Area goes right across the six counties and that therefore the whole of the north receives the benefits of employment being diverted to the east. This is clearly not the case as the indices of multiple deprivation prove for places like Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry. It is time that agencies like INI, who are after all in receipt of public funds, starting taking their statutory equality duty seriously." ENDS

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Sinn Féin's Dublin South East Representative Councillor Daithí Doolan demanded, "the profits from today's sale of the site at the former UCD Veterinary College in Ballsbridge be used to tackle the housing crisis in Dublin".

Speaking this evening Cllr. Doolan said, "the site here in Ballsbridge was sold today for a staggering €170m. This land should not simply be sold off to the highest bidder for hotels or private apartments. It is another example of the government selling off our resources to their allies in big business. This land was state land, tax payer‚s land and the profit should be used to tackle the housing crisis in this city. It is totally unacceptable that the money should simply go to the government with no return to the city.

"The average cost of building a house in the capital is 100,000. This means that if the Government gave the profit to Dublin City Council we would now be in a position to provide 1,700 social and affordable houses in Dublin. But it seems the Government would rather sell the land to a private developer than solve the housing crisis. This is in direct conflict with the Council motion I tabled and which was passed at the November which called for the land to be handed over to City Council.

"To date the track record of the government has been appalling, 6 homeless people have recently died on our streets this year, what message does the sale of this land send out to their families and those seeking housing. I am committed to ensuring the sale of this land is used to meet the needs of people and not simply the needs of private developers."

In conclusion, Cllr. Doolan called on, "Minister for the Environment Dick Roche to return the money to Dublin City Council so it can ring fenced for a housing programme in the capital." ENDS

City Council Motion: "That this City Council calls on the government not to sell the former UCD Veterinary College, Dublin 4 but instead hand it over to Dublin City Council with a view to alleviating the housing crisis in the City."

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Commenting tonight on media reports that leading Orange Order figure David Burrows is amongst those appointed by the British government to the new Parades Commission, Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey said:

"Obviously the entire make up of the new Parades Commission has yet to be revealed, but many nationalists will be deeply concerned at the appointment of an individual like David Burrows to the position. Mr Burrows has been to the forefront of the campaign to force an unwanted and unwelcome sectarian parade through the nationalist community in Portadown, a campaign that has resulted in significant violence including the murder of innocent nationalists.

"In the past the Parades Commission has failed to reflect community balance and Sinn Féin will scrutinise closely the make up of the new Commission and the backgrounds of those appointed when it is announced tomorrow.

"The British government need to realise that that cannot play politics with groups like the Parades Commission in order to deliver a political sop to rejectionist and negative unionism." ENDS

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Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin tonight announced that East Derry Assembly member Francie Brolly has been released by the PSNI Special Branch without charge.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"As I predicted would be the case Francie Brolly was this evening released without charge by the PSNI Special Branch.

"This arrest and media spin operation was never about the Claudy bomb or seeking justice for those bereaved. It was yet another clumsy political stunt by the Special Branch to try and damage Sinn Féin and the wider peace process. It was driven by a core of former RUC personnel still at the heart of the PSNI Special Branch.

"Ordinary people see through the PSNI Special Branch tactics. Those in the media who in recent times have without question broadcast and published the identities of innocent people caught up in these smear operations would do well to reflect once again on the events of recent days and weeks.

"Republicans will not allow ourselves to become diverted from the task of rebuilding the political process by the operations of those whose mindset and tactics are set on preventing further political and policing change." ENDS

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Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has suggested that the Minister of State with responsibility for tackling drugs Noel Ahern should resign if he fails to take steps to get a Revised Estimate that will take into account the emerging needs and moneys required to ensure that the regional drugs task force, which is long promised, can be fully operational next year.

Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "What steps will be taken to get a Revised Estimate that will take into account the emerging needs and moneys required to ensure that the regional drugs task force, which is long promised, can be fully operational next year? The amount would be similar to that given to the horse and greyhound fund, for example, or other pet Government projects. If there is a crisis it must be dealt with properly, and €1 million does not address the evident crisis.

"What steps will the Minister of State take to ensure a Revised Estimate by next week's budget from the Minister for Finance that will increase funding to take account of requests that the Minister of State has agreed are there? If this Revised Estimate is not delivered, will the Minister of State resign as having failed in his job, as many people within the local drugs task forces are calling for because of the emerging debacle over funding for this year and next?" ENDS

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Sinn Féin’s Dublin South East Representative Councillor Daithí Doolan demanded, “the profits from today’s sale of the site at the former UCD Veterinary College in Ballsbridge be used to tackle the housing crisis in Dublin.”

Speaking this evening Cllr. Doolan said, “the site here in Ballsbridge was sold today for a staggering Euro170m. This land should not simply be sold off to the highest bidder for hotels or private apartments. It is another example of the government selling off our resources to their allies in big business. This land was state land, tax payer’s land and the profit should be used to tackle the housing crisis in this city. It is totally unacceptable that the money should simply go to the government with no return to the city.

“The average cost of building a house in the capital is 100,000. This means that if the Government gave the profit to Dublin City Council we would now be in a position to provide 1,700 social and affordable houses in Dublin. But it seems the Government would rather sell the land to a private developer than solve the housing crisis. This is in direct conflict with the Council motion I tabled and which was passed at the November which called for the land to be handed over to City Council.

“To date the track record of the government has been appalling, 6 homeless people have recently died on our streets this year, what message does the sale of this land send out to their families and those seeking housing. I am committed to ensuring the sale of this land is used to meet the needs of people and not simply the needs of private developers.”

In conclusion, Cllr. Doolan called on, “Minister for the Environment Dick Roche to return the money to Dublin City Council so it can ring fenced for a housing programme in the capital.”  ENDS

Telephone Cllr. Daithí Doolan 086-8534666

City Council Motion:  “That this City Council calls on the government not to sell the former UCD Veterinary College, Dublin 4 but instead hand it over to Dublin City Council with a view to alleviating the housing crisis in the City."

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Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government “to instruct the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to adopt, even at this late stage, the full Patten model for Garda reform including a Garda Ombudsman.” Speaking during a debate on the Dean Lyons case in the Dáil today he said, “Sinn Féin intend to table an amendment to the criminal Justice Bill which will introduce a statutory requirement for all Garda interrogations relating to serious crimes to be video-taped.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “In light of the Dean Lyons case and others and to prevent future travesties of justice Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to instruct the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to adopt, even at this late stage, the full Patten model for Garda reform including a Garda Ombudsman with at least equivalent powers to the PSNI Ombudsman to fulfil a complaints investigation function as is the Government’s obligation under strand 3 of the Good Friday Agreement to ‘ensure at least the equivalent level of protection.’

“Sinn Féin intend to table an amendment to the to the Criminal Justice Bill which will introduce a statutory requirement for all Garda interrogations relating to serious crimes to be video-taped, following from the recommendation of the Martin Committee in 1990 and also that the corridors of Garda stations be taped as well where regular beatings occur that result in vulnerable people signing confessions for crimes they didn’t commit. Rather than taking on the role of proper police work, the investigative laborious slog, many Gardaí would prefer the easy way of forcing confessions out of people.”

Also speaking during the debate Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe said, “Tragically the case of the late Dean Lyons is just one illustration of the consequences of having a police force that is a law onto itself and has been suffering from a culture of corruption and impunity.  It is essential to the stability of the Garda Síochana and to the survival of public confidence in the Gardai that this government’s response holds all the Gardaí involved in the apparent set-up of Dean Lyons fully to account.  Sadly, Mr. Lyons will not see the outcome of any investigation into the wrongs done to him by this state but Michael McDowell as Minister for Justice must take it upon himself to ensure that any Commission of Investigation established to look into the case is enabled to ask the right questions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to demand full public enquiries into the deaths of young John Moloney who died within minutes of leaving Garda custody in Rathfarnam in 2003 and Terrence Wheelock who, like Brian Rossiter, fell into a coma while in Garda custody last June.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today slammed the Irish Government for "gross negligence" regarding continual breaches of European environmental legislation. Ms McDonald described the Government's response to environmental protection as "a litany failure".

Ms McDonald made her comments after she had written to the European Commissioner for the Environment, Stavros Dimas to ascertain 'how many cases have been taken against the Irish Government for breaches of environmental legislation over the last ten years?' In response, the European Commission stated that the European Court of Justice had delivered eleven judgements against Ireland in the past 10 years.

Speaking from Brussels Ms McDonald said:

"This is a scathing indictment of successive Irish Governments and their refusal to fully implement European legislation in regards to environmental legislation. In response to a question I put to them, the European Commission responded with a list of Ireland's failures covering areas such as the widespread pollution of drinking water, habitat damage, failure to submit reports on substances that damage the ozone layer and the failure to nominate areas of natural conservation importance.

"In all identified instances, costs were awarded against the state. All of this adds up to one big failure by successive Irish Governments. Whilst the Commission response indicates an improvement in recent years, it is clear that the state is falling down woefully in many areas, including waste management. It is unacceptable that the government is promoting incineration as the solution, when this can only compound environmental problems and it is clear that we are plummeting to the bottom of the list of EU counties regarding our environmental record.

"Real action is required from the Government if we are to meet European standards and excuses will no longer wash. We require an all-Ireland agency to deal with the issue with strong enforcement powers and a strong commitment to ensuring that the polluter is held responsible for their actions and meets treatment costs." ENDS

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP will lead a party delegation to meet with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Government Buildings at 2pm tomorrow, Thursday 1st December. Also on the Sinn Féin delegation will be Martin McGuinness MP, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Mary Lou McDonald MEP and Caitríona Ruane MLA.

Among the main items to be discussed are efforts to restore the political institutions in the Six Counties and the Taoiseach's proposals for northern representation in the Oireachtas.

Sinn Féin will also raise the blatantly political policing which resulted in the detention of MLA Francie Brolly and the ongoing controversy regarding the fact that details of hundreds of republicans and nationalists were stolen from Castlereagh PSNI base and handed to one of the unionist paramilitary groups.

Mr. Adams also intends to raise the issue of Irish Ferries. ENDS

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Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness today said that the legislation required to deal with the small number of OTRs should not apply in any way to members of the British State Forces.

Mr McGuinness said:

" Sinn Féin is totally opposed to the inclusion of British state forces in the current OTR legislation. The British government is responsible for British state killings and the policy of collusion with unionist death squads. The British government is responsible for the decades of cover up and concealment which have accompanied this policy.

" Sinn Féin members were a primary target of the policy of collusion and political assassination operated by the British state. When others were in denial about this policy Sinn Féin was the only party which stood by the families. That remains our unswerving position.

" As both the British and Irish governments have admitted, the inclusion of British state forces in the current legislation was never discussed with Sinn Féin. It was never agreed by Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin has made clear to the British government that the legislation should apply only to OTRs and not to British state forces." ENDS

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Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described as hypocritical the remarks of Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte who, in the Dáil today, attempted to blame Sinn Féin for the inclusion of members of British crown forces in the British government's OTR legislation. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Pat Rabbitte's effort to parrot the SDLP on the OTR legislation reeks of hypocrisy. Sinn Féin did not seek the inclusion of British forces in this legislation and we have voiced our opposition to their inclusion. There was no such secret side deal. The Taoiseach has confirmed this as has the British Secretary of State Peter Hain.

"Deputy Rabbitte has shown scant regard for or interest in the victims of the British crown forces and their unionist paramilitary surrogates over many years. While nationalists and republicans were being killed and injured as a result of collusion Deputy Rabbitte stayed silent on the guilt of the British state and its forces, choosing instead to place all responsibility for the conflict on the shoulders of republicans. His new-found interest in victims of the British state in Ireland has not a shred of credibility." ENDS

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Sinn Féin health spokesperson John O'Dowd MLA, has said that the release of a report yesterday by the Department of Health into drug, solvents and alcohol use and awareness among school children should provide the impetus for an urgent re-assessment of existing health promotion and health education programmes aimed towards school-children.

Mr O'Dowd said, "Today's report shows that 60% of pupils in the survey reported ever having taken an alcoholic drink. Just over one quarter (26%) had a drink in the last month prior to the survey. 23% of pupils in the survey reported having tried or used an illicit drug. What should be of particular concern to everyone is the startling fact that the average age for having the first drink is around 11 years and for first drug use it is around 12 years of age.

"Clearly there are issues which must be confronted as a result of this survey, not least of which would appear to be the apparent failure of existing health promotion and health education programmes aimed towards school-children to effectively put across their message.

The Sinn Féin Assemblyman added, "Furthermore, unless there is a an urgent re-assessment of those health promotion and health education programmes which are aimed towards school-children, then this problem will continue to grow. Added to this are the proposed changes to alcohol licensing laws which the British Government intend to introduce into the North.

"There are very, very few communities across the North, or across the whole of Ireland which are not affected by problems caused as a result of young people accessing alcohol and drugs. There needs to be a willingness within all levels of central and local government to develop a cross-departmental and cross-sectoral strategy and an effective approach in order to deal with those issues surrounding young people and their use of drugs, solvents and alcohol.

O'Dowd continued, "Promoting a healthy lifestyle should be a central element in developing such a strategy. It should also involve:

. Creating supportive environments, including physical environments that will promote health and healthy behaviour among young people;

. Strengthening community action. This involves strengthening social networks and support networks, in co-operation with local authorities, communities and other bodies to enable communities to develop their own alternatives to ensure the provision of alternative entertainment outlets that do not centre around the consumption of alcohol or drugs, including increased investment in youth services and sporting facilities;

. Developing personal skills. This involves promoting individual knowledge and skills so that people can have greater control over their own health;

. A ban on the sponsorship of sporting events by alcohol companies;

. Ongoing health promotion strategies should continue to target those most at risk;

. To implement a programme as part of the school curriculum, to raise awareness of the issues affecting children and young people;

. To develop programmes within the community to raise awareness with parents."

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West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty raised the issue of the unsatisfactory working conditions and poor facilities that ambulance personnel have to endure at the Strabane and Castlederg ambulance sub-stations at a meeting with senior Ambulance Service officials in Belfast today.

Speaking following the meeting with Liam McIvor, Ambulance Service Chief Executive and Alan Cahill, Senior Officer in the Western Division the local MP said,

"I requested this meeting with senior ambulance service officials at the beginning of last month to seek action to improve the poor working conditions for Ambulance personnel at the sub-stations in Strabane and Castlederg.

"At the meeting I was assured that a Health and Safety audit has now been carried out at both stations and recommendations have been forwarded which they now will be attempting to implement as best they can.

"As a result of the meeting I am also now more hopeful that the part time service operating out of the Castlederg Station will shortly become a full time 24/7 service. This is essential as the Derg area is a recognised ambulance cover blackspot and such a full time service is long overdue." ENDS

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Sinn Féin Employment spokesperson Arthur Morgan has called for a mass mobilisation for the day of action in support of Irish Ferries workers on 9th December. Speaking during a Dáil debate on the issue this evening Deputy Morgan said, “The Irish Ferries issue is symptomatic of wider problems in the state regarding the treatment of workers and the onward march of the neo liberal agenda.”   

Deputy Morgan said, “The Irish Ferries issue is symptomatic of wider problems in the state regarding the treatment of workers and the onward march of the neo liberal agenda.    Irish Ferries has effectively declared war on workers rights and conditions gained over many years.   If Irish ferries is allowed to proceed in this way the floodgates will be opened.  

“Some Government Ministers are saying this is an issue particular to Irish Ferries.  It is not.  Displacement of workers and their replacement with migrant workers who are subjected to low rates of pay and exploitative working conditions is a feature of how the labour force in this state now operates.  It is time to say enough is enough.   Those parties who do not want to see this agenda progress need to stand together with the trade union movement and oppose what is now underway. 

“It is not acceptable for profitable companies such as Irish Ferries to break employment agreements reached with unions and force workers into a position where they have little choice but to accept the redundancy or drastically reduced pay and employment conditions.

“And it should be noted that Irish Ferries is a profitable company.  The Labour Court rejected claims by Irish Ferries management that that the future viability of the company is dependent on proceeding with its proposals for replacing current staff with low paid agency workers from Eastern Europe and elsewhere.  Further evidence that the company is not cash strapped comes from the fact that Irish Ferries boss Eamonn Rothwell gets paid in one hour what it will take the new agency workers two and a half weeks to earn.

“The actions of the company last week in putting on board the ships storm-troopers from a company specialising in global terrorism to enforce a new regime on Irish workers is a disgrace.  To deploy such overtly military personnel, who may well have been armed, is a disgrace.  The treatment of agency workers currently on board the Normandy and on other ships in the future is a disgrace.  However, the biggest disgrace is the inaction of this Government.  What does the Taoiseach say?  He says he can do nothing.  He throws up his hands as if he were an unemployed person walking up O'Connell Street in the afternoon.  Somebody should tap him on the shoulder and say: ‘Bertie, you are Taoiseach of this bloody State.  You are the guy in charge.  How can you do nothing about it?’  Of course, we know the answer.  The Taoiseach does not have the will to do anything about it.

“I hope that there will be a mass mobilisation in support of the day of action on the 9th December.  That people come out and make it clear to the government that inaction is not good enough – that a wink and nod attitude to the management to go ahead is unacceptable.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, raised the issue of violence against women in the Dáil today. Speaking on the fifth day of a 16-day international campaign to raise awareness around violence against women Deputy Ó Snodaigh called on the Minister for Justice to ensure that any "genuine crime tackling package from the Minister to include measures addressing violence against women."

During Order of Business Deputy Ó Snodaigh drew attention to statistics highlighted by Women's Aid which show that 12.5% of women experience abuse while pregnant; 25% of women experiencing domestic violence are assaulted for the first time during pregnancy; 42% of women have experienced some form of sexual abuse in their lifetime and 25% of all violent crimes reported in the EU involve a man his wife or partner.

Speaking afterwards the Dublin South Central TD said, "Given the prevalence of crimes of this nature and of crimes involving sexual violence against women and children I am disappointed, and yet not too surprised, that Minister McDowell's proposed cocktail of measures for tackling crime neglects the whole issue of violence against women. It is unacceptable that the Minister and this government continue to fail victims of domestic and sexual violence." ENDS

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Speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dáil today Sinn Féin TD, Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin accused the Government of "sharing responsibility" for the disgraceful tactics of the Irish Ferries management. He said the Taoiseach sent out a message of no-hope last week to the workforce and "within days the company was enforcing its new work regime with hired heavies and under methods."

Deputy Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Finance, who was standing in for the Taoiseach during Leaders Questions, what the Government was doing "to prevent Irish Ferries from proceeding on this dangerous course," which he said meant "cutting wages, worsening conditions and tearing up industrial relations procedures."

Deputy Ó Caoláin went on to call on the Minister and his colleagues to raise the issue at EU level and to "work pro-actively from today for measures which will prevent companies from acting this way within the EU."

Criticising a previous decision by the Government to oppose a draft European ferries directive the Cavan/Monaghan TD urged the Government to reverse its position and to now push for such a directive.

Deputy Ó Caoláin went on to say that it was not good enough for the Government to simply sit on its hands while workers were being treated in this way. "The future pay and working conditions of all workers in this country are under grave threat if the management of Irish Ferries is allowed to get away with this," he said.

Calling on the Government to take Irish Ferries back into public ownership because of its strategic value to the country as an island nation, Deputy Ó Caoláin pointed out that "trade and commerce are under threat because this strategic company is now paralysed and some 30% of our shipping freight capacity is out of action." ENDS

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams today launched a major recruitment drive for the party on the 100th anniversary of its foundation.

Mr. Adams said, "For the past year Sinn Féin has been celebrating and commemorating our 100th anniversary. During that time we haven't just been looking to the past but also planning for the future. Only last weekend we held a major all-Ireland conference in County Monaghan to discuss strategies for achieving Irish unity.

"The rapid growth of Sinn Féin, especially in the 26 Counties is testament to our leading role in the peace process, our work for Irish unity and our agenda for change. People are joining Sinn Féin because we are a real alternative to the sham politics that passes for political discourse in Leinster House. There is little or no difference between Fianna Fáil, Progressive Democrats, Fine Gael or the Labour Party. Instead of discussing the inequality at the heart of government policy, the only thing that these parties are interested in discussing are minor changes to the management of the economy.

"Sinn Féin has no interest in the rhetoric of republicanism or equality. Our task is to make republicanism relevant to the people of Ireland and to bring about a national republic on this island. Our task is to build a country where all are treated equally regardless of income, gender, ethnicity or geography.

"Today Sinn Féin is embarking on a year long recruitment drive. In the course of that year we will be holding events across all 32 counties, involving the entire leadership of the party. We will be visiting colleges and universities north and south. And we will be specifically looking to women and the various ethnic groups, to help shape a new Ireland based on equality and justice by joining our party." ENDS

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North Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has welcomed the news that two Kerry-based companies are planning to create 43 new jobs over the next five years as part of investments backed by Shannon Development. The jobs are to be created by Altobridge and Freeflow, two indigenous firms based at the Kerry Technology Park in Tralee.

Deputy Ferris said:

“This is very welcome news for Tralee and North Kerry after many years of stagnation on the jobs front. I would like congratulate Shannon Development for helping to bring this about. 43 new jobs may not seem like a whole lot for a town the size of Tralee but the creation of new jobs in an employment blackspot must be welcomed. Let’s hope that this will start a new trend for job creation in North Kerry. ENDS

 

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Arthur Morgan T.D.'s has slammed as backward and unacceptable the statement today by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that nuclear power must be put back on the agenda.

Deputy Morgan said, "From his comments today it is clear that Tony Blair is capitulating to the powerful lobby from the nuclear industry. Blair must not be permitted to put nuclear power back on the agenda. The people of Britain need to make clear that this is not the answer to the energy needs of the future. The Irish Government must be clear in opposing any moves by the British to build more nuclear reactors which will have the same kind of implications for Ireland, especially in terms of health, which Sellafield has at the moment.

"This is a very disappointing and regressive development. It seemed for a number of years that Britain was on the verge of moving away from nuclear power which is neither economically sustainable nor environmentally acceptable.

"Nuclear energy is a thing of the past. The future solutions to our needs worldwide must lie in renewable energy and the promotion of the technologies which are energy saving." ENDS

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