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An Chéad Dáil

Here is the much celebrated video shown at Sinn Féin's An Chéad Dáil event in the Mansion House Round Room on January 12, 2019. Sinn Féin former Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha wrote and presents this historic and inspiring reflection of the events of 100 years ago.


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Sinn Féin's elected representatives in Donegal to protest in support of the Rossport 5 and demand that Demsey suspend new round of gas and oil licenses for the Donegal Basin


Sinn Féin's elected representatives in Donegal will hold a protest this Wednesday 13th July at the station roundabout in Letterkenny between 5 and 6pm in support of the Rossport 5 who remain imprisoned at Cloverhill prison for a second week.

Speaking on behalf of the 10 elected representatives Cllr Pearse Doherty said:

"It is not good enough for the government to wash their hands of the Corrib Gas debacle and allow Shell to ride rough shod over the people of Rossport. It is a disgrace that Micheál Ó Seighin, Vincent McGrath, Philip McGrath, Willie Corduff and Brendan Philbin are now into their second week of detention at Cloverhill prison.


"Serious issues have arisen at every stage in this process going right back to the original granting of licenses and the allocation of the site at Bellanboy, all of which are shrouded in mystery. To add to that we now have the ludicrous situation where one part of a company engaged in a potentially dangerous pipeline development is asked to conduct an 'independent review' of the risks involved.

"This is at a time when Shell is attempting to bully people whose lands lie along the route of the proposed pipeline, and where none of the serious concerns that have been raised are being properly addressed.

"The five men should be released immediately. The government should initiate an independent review of health and safety risks and institute a thorough public investigation into every aspect of Shell's involvement in this project right back to the shoddy deal that gave them control over the Corrib Field in the first instance".

Councillor Pearse Doherty has also called on the Minster for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey to suspend the current round of Applications for Frontier Exploration Licenses and to immediately carry out a review of the terms and conditions of all such licenses. The acreage on offer in the current round is in the Donegal, Slyne and Erris basins and will cover unlicensed blocks in an area of 25,000 sq km. The Successful applicants will be offered Frontier Exploration Licenses, which have duration of 15 years.

Councillor Doherty said.

"I find it quite remarkable that Minster Dempsey is proceeding with this round of licenses, in which highly flawed 1992 licensing terms for offshore oil and gas exploration and development will apply to licenses granted under this Round.


"The 1992 Gas exploration legislation is extremely flawed and represents an extremely bad deal for the Irish People. The deal gives no royalties to the Dublin government and an extraordinarily low rate of tax, all of which Shell will be able to write off.  

"At the time of this legislation former Minster Ray Burke, against the advice of senior officials in his department, held a meeting on his own with the oil companies after which the terms and conditions previously attached to licenses were changed dramatically in favor of the companies"

"In would be reckless in the extreme if Minster Dempsey were to issue new licenses without first carrying out a major review of the 1992 legislation. The time has come for this Government to start putting the interests of the Irish People before the corporate interests of the oil and gas companies. ENDS





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Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty has described a meeting the six West Tyrone MLAs
held with NIO Health Minister Shaun Woodward at Stormont yesterday as
"robust but thorough."

The local MP said,

"The pre-meetings held by the MLAs before meeting the Minister ensured a
co-ordinated agenda and ensured that all relevant issues were put to the
Minister in a substantive manner.  While the inetrchange with the Minister
was robust it was nonetheless thorough.

"While the Minster ruled out an inquiry into the mismanagement of services
in the Sperrin Lakeland Trust area and said that he would not pre-determine
the outcome of the Strategic Change Management Group report into service
provision in the Trust area, he indicated that he was taking on board the
issues raised by the delegation.

"The jury is still out on whether the Minister will move to address the need
for proper and accesible health provision for the people of Tyrone but he
has agreed that he will continue the dialogue with local MLAs and there will
be a follow up meeting soon.  ENDS



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At last evenings (Monday) meeting of Carrickmacross Town Council the following motion in the name of the three Sinn Féin members was passed:

"That this council supports the ongoing call from the family of the late Councillor Eddie Fullerton, member of Buncrana Urban District Council and Donegal County Council, for a full independent public inquiry, chaired by a person of international repute into the circumstances surrounding his murder. Furthermore, we call on the Fianna Fáil / PD government to insist on full co-operation from the British authorities to assist the Fullerton family in their quest for truth and justice".

The council also agreed to forward a similar motion to the annual conference of the Association of Municipal Authorities for approval. When a vote took place the two Sinn Féin members present and the Independent chairperson voted in favour. The three Fianna Fáil members voted against and the two Fine Gael members abstained. The Chairperson's casting vote then saw the motion carried.

Speaking following the meeting Sinn Féin councillor Matt Carthy said:

"On one hand I am pleased that this motion was passed by Carrickmacross Town Council. However I am disappointed that the Fianna Fáil members voted against it. Eddie Fullerton was an elected representative who was murdered by a pro-British death squad and since his death there have been serious questions raised suggesting that the murder took place as a result of collusion between Unionists and British Intelligence. Critically there have also been allegations with regard to the role played by the Gardaí in the weeks leading up to his death and in the investigation that followed. There was no proper examination of the scene, crucial forensic evidence was never examined and key witnesses were not interviewed. Crucially, it has been known for some time now that three Gardaí, roundly discredited by the Morris Tribunal in recent months, were centrally involved in the flawed investigation into Eddie Fullerton's murder.

"This is a human rights issue. It is about the right of Eddie Fullerton's family to know the whole truth in relation to the incidents surrounding his murder. We will now start to press the case with other AMAI members to ensure that the Fullerton family will earn the support of that organisation in their quest for justice".

ENDS

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD has said today’s annual  report by the Central Bank and yesterday's ESRI report indicate the increasing  problem  of  indebtedness  for  many  people  and that “growing
numbers  of  people  are  leaving  themselves  very  vulnerable to even the slightest rise in interest rates".

Deputy  Ó  Caoláin  said:  "These  warnings  about indebtedness have become annual  events  but they are not enough. The problem needs to be addressed.People  need  to  be fully informed of all the consquences of indebtedness. One  of  the recommendations of the recent Banking Report of the Oireachtas Joint  Committee  on  Finance  and the Public Service was for the Financial Regulator  to  review the lending criteria of banks with a view to ensuring
that  they  can  identify applicants with a high risk of over indebtedness. This recommendation should be acted upon.

"The Report also recommended that the credit institutions should contribute €5  million  per  annum to the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) to enable  it  to  extend  its  work  in helping people who are over indebted.
Again, the Minister for Finance should act on this recommendation." ENDS

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Sinn Fein County Councillor Gerry Murray has called on the Minster for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey to suspend the current round of Applications for Frontier Exploration Licenses and to immediately carry out a review of the terms and conditions of all such licenses. The acreage on offer in the current round is in the Slyne, Erris and Donegal basins and will cover unlicensed blocks in an area of 25,000 sq km.. The Successful applicants will be offered Frontier Exploration Licenses, which have a duration of 15 years.

In a statement Councillor Murray said. “I find it quite remarkable that Minster Dempsey is proceeding with this round of licenses, the highly flawed 1992 licensing terms for offshore oil and gas exploration and development will apply to licenses granted under this Round.”

“The 1992 Gas exploration legislation is extremely flawed and represents an extremely bad deal for the Irish People. The deal gives no royalties to the Dublin government and an extraordinarily low rate of tax, all of which Shell will be able to write off.   Former Minster Ray Burke, against the advice of senior officials in his department, held a meeting on his own with the oil companies after which the terms and conditions previously attached to licenses were changed dramatically in favour of the companies"

“In would be reckless in the extreme if Minster Dempsey were to issue new licences without first carrying out a major review of the 1992 legislation. The time has come for this Government to start putting the interests of the Irish People before the corporate interests of the oil and gas companies.”ENDS

 

 

 

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Sinn Féin MLA John O Dowd has called on the Police Ombudsmans office to send
observers to Lurgan to monitor the PSNIs handling of Loyal order parades
after the Orange Order were allowed to march through a contentious area of
Lurgan this morning, in complete defiance of a Parades Commission
determination, without any interference form the PSNI.

Mr O Dowd said,

"The Parades Commission determination had clearly stated that the Orange
Order was not allowed to enter William St during this morning's parade.
However as the parade came to an end, around a dozen Orange Order leading
officers, including local MP David Simpson and several other unionist
politicians, broke away from the parade and proceeded along the entire
length of William St, in full Orange regalia. The PSNI failed to prevent
this breach of the determination, and intead gave the illegal parade an
escort to the railway station, at the bottom of William St.

"The dozen or so marchers then removed their Orange regalia and walked back
up William St to re-join the main parade. This willingness of the PSNI to
facilitate this illegal demonstration in Lurgan is similar to the stance
adopted by the PSNI in relation to another illegal Orange demonstration in
Dunloy, also this morning. Both of these incidents contrast starkly with the
PSNI's removal of Nationalists residents from the route of an Orange march
in Ardoyne today."


"It would appear that the PSNI, like the old RUC, see one of their primary
roles as attempting to re-assert Orange Order domination over minority
nationalist communities."

Concluding Mr O Dowd said,

"It is clear following last year's breaches of Parades Commissions
determination in Lurgan  and now this mornings breach facilitated by the
PSNI , that the PSNI cannot be trusted to enforce such determinations, I am
calling on the Police Ombudsmans office to intervene and place personnel on
the ground in Lurgan to monitor PSNI activity, and Loyal Order parade.






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Sinn Féin North Belfast Councillor Caral Ní Chuilín has said that the PSNI
are facilitating Orange Order 'supporters' in the Carrickhill area who are
raising tensions in the area.

Cllr Ni Chuilín said:

"There are a large number of Orange Order hangers-on congregating in the
Carrickhill area. They are drinking heavily and are clearly intent on trying
to escalate tension in the area.

"The PSNI are facilitating this behaviour and this is totally unacceptable.

Sinn Féin are on the ground trying to manage tensions, particularly with
tonight's return parade still to come but this sort of drunken inflammatory
behaviour is very unwelcome." ENDS




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Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources Martin Ferris TD, has cited
this morning’s announcement by Shell that it will not be contesting a class
action  taken in relation to its falsification of reserves as further proof
of  the  company’s  duplicity,  and an added reason to oppose the company’s
involvement  in the development of the Corrib Gas field. Shell will have to
pay  $90m  in  a  settlement  with  employees who participated in a company
savings  plan.  The case was taken when it emerged that Shell had falsified its reserves.



Deputy  Ferris said: “This case, which arises from Shell being caught lying about its reserves, proves that the company is completely untrustworthy. It is  a  scandal,  therefore,  that the Irish state is effectively taking the side of Shell in its efforts to bully the people of Rossport into accepting a  dangerous  pipeline,  and  to  hoodwink the Irish people in general with regard  to  the  handing  over  of  our  natural  gas  free  gratis to this corporation.  I  have  been  making this point for several years, and it is time  to  act  now  as  five Rossport men continue to languish in jail over their principled opposition to Shell”.ENDS

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A tense situation is developing in the nationalist village of Dunloy in County Antrim this morning. Riot-clad PSNI personnel are attempting to force an Orange march through part of the village, contrary to a determination issued by the Parades Commission.

Sinn Féin's North Antrim representative, Philip McGuigan MLA, who is present at the scene, said, "The people of Dunloy were preparared to accept and abide by the Parades Commission determination which permitted the Orange Order to march on a stretch of roadway adjacent to the Orange Hall. However, this morning, dozens of riot-clad PSNI officers attempted to collude with
the Orange Order in breaching that legal determination, by trying to force the parade along a route which the Commission had barred them from marching.

"We now have a stand-off situation in the village. Many residents are outraged and angry had what has happened this morning. The Orange Order, led by the DUP's David Tweed, are threatening to blackade the village. The PSNI are refusing to make the marchers disperse, and a very tense and volatile situation is developing here."ENDS


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Sinn Féin Dáil Group Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  TD has described this afternoon’s comments from Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte as ‘bizarre’ and ‘totally out of touch’.

Deputy Ó Caoláin  said:

 

“Pat Rabbitte’s vitriolic statement this afternoon is bizarre and shows how out of touch he is in terms of the peace process.  It now seems that his contribution is reduced to responding to wild speculation in the media.  Rather than assisting efforts to get the peace process back on track he seems to glory in the difficulties that exist and once again has no positive contribution to make.

 

“For the last six months the peace process has been in freefall.  On April 6th, Gerry Adams made an unprecedented appeal to the IRA to commit itself to purely peaceful and democratic methods.  It is clear that a positive response from the IRA would have an immediate and enormous impact on the political situation. It would restart the faltering peace process; remove from unionists their excuse for non-engagement and it would put enormous pressure on the DUP to come on board the peace process for the first time.

 

“Surely, Pat Rabbitte should be supporting such efforts and not reverting to the bizarre anti republican netherworld from which he first emerged.”ENDS

 

 

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Sinn Féin MLA in North Antrim Philip McGuigan and Sinn Féin councillor for
Ballymena Monica Digney have condemned the sectarian graffiti daubed on
Harryville chapel late last night.

Mr McGuigan said:

"This is the latest in an ongoing campaign against this chapel and the
community that uses it.  It is loyalists demonstrating that Catholics are
unwelcome to attend their own church in that part Ballymena.  This kind of
sectarianism and intimidation is designed to ensure the Catholics are
expected to live as second class citizens in their own town.

"This sectarianism has been allowed to continue against the backdrop of
silence from the DUP controlled Ballymena Council." ENDS





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Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald have signed an EU written declaration on rheumatic diseases today calling on the EU Commission and Council to make research and action on rheumatic diseases a priority.

Ms de Brún said:

"Over 100 million people of all age groups in the EU have arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases can be serious, disabling and painful, and can frequently result in people affected experiencing social exclusion and reduced life expectancy

"Effective research can help the development of new therapies for rheumatic diseases, bringing huge relief to those affected and ensuring that people with rheumatic diseases can lead full and independent lives. The reality is that they need both appropriate support and effective treatment.

"At a meeting with Arthritis Care in March to discuss research funding for arthritis treatments, disability legislation and healthcare provision for people with arthritis, I gave a commitment that I would support such a declaration on rheumatic diseases in the European Parliament. It has now been put forward by MEPs from across the political spectrum including my own group.

"In signing this declaration Sinn Féin is adding its voice to the demand for effective research that will foster new therapies for rheumatic diseases and for better access to existing treatments.

The declaration specifically calls for the EU Commission and Council to:
ensure that the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme makes rheumatic diseases one of its explicit priorities;
ensure that the EU's new health strategy makes arthritis (musculoskeletal disorders) one of its priorities;
strengthen legislation to outlaw disability discrimination through a specific Disability Directive;
encourage Member States to take measures to ensure better access to the full range of treatments in all EU countries.

"A written declaration is regarded as having been adopted by the European Parliament if a majority of MEPs have signed it within a period of three months. This declaration has only just become available and has gathered 200
signatures already.  This shows the importance attached to this issue both
at home and abroad." ENDS



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Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has appealed for calm in advance of tomorrows contentious Orange parades on the Springfield Road and in Ardoyne. Speaking today in Belfast Mr Adams said,

"The Parades Commission have created an extremely dangerous situation in Ardoyne. The Orange Order have been rewarded for refusing to engage in dialogue with local residents and will be allowed to parade through an area
where the sole purpose is to cause offence.

"Over the last ten days the Sinn Fein organisation, including our national leadership, has been working to ensure that the situation in Ardoyne does not spiral out of control. The amount of effort we are expending is a reflection of the very deep difficulties created by the Parades Commission. In north Belfast, nationalist and republicans have been left to manage the crisis created by the Commission's bad decision. I would appeal to young people in particular not to be provoked tomorrow." ENDS



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Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly, spokesperson on Policing and Justice, said that the fundamental change required to implement the Good Friday Agreement "has not yet penetrated the hardcore of the criminal justice system".

Mr Kelly was speaking after a recent meeting with Lord Clyde, Oversight Commissioner for Criminal Justice, on the release of his latest report:

"Thorough oversight and scrutiny of the justice system is critical to measuring and verifying transformation. This latest report by Lord Clyde provides a useful contribution towards that work. Unfortunately, the findings of this report together with the facts on the ground and other recent developments in criminal justice show that the Good Friday Agreement has still not penetrated the hardcore of the system in the six counties."

"Sinn Fein raised a number of concerns about the pace and scale of change in the justice system with Lord Clyde. Among the areas of greatest concern were: the political vetting of Community Restorative Justice programmes; interference in the conduct and the overhaul of the inquest system; the ongoing pattern of political prosecutions associated with a section of the justice system; the failure by the Director of Public Prosecutions to give reasons for not prosecuting in certain cases; the use of Special Advocates and interference with disclosure of information to defence solicitors; and the failure to speedily operationalise a system for equity monitoring of prosecutions, convictions and sentencing."

"Sinn Fein reiterated the need for the speedy transfer of powers on policing and justice and raised concerns about any attempt by British securocrats to impair this process. Repressive emergency legislation and the continuing use of non-jury Diplock courts must be done away with for real transformation to be achieved. Our party remains focussed on creating that new dispensation."

ENDS

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Commenting after the annual Drumcree Parade passed off peacefully yesterday Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd said that 'the Orange Order had to start preparing for a future without trying to force unwanted parades through nationalist areas'.

Mr. O'Dowd said:

" This morning's parade passed off peacefully but only after nationalist residents in Portadown had to endure much inconvienience and only after the town centre was bedecked in sectarian bunting. There are thousands of Orange Order parades each year in the six counties, a number which is growing year on year. Only a very small number are contentious. Nobody is trying to stop the Orange Order marching.

" But what we are saying is that it is time that the Order started preparing for a future without trying to force unwanted parades through nationalist areas. Last year the Order changed the main Orange Parade in Belfast away from the field at Edenderry to a new site. The Orange Order have therefore conceded that there is no such thing as a traditional route which cannot be amended to deal with new realities. They need now to apply that principle across the board.

" Dialogue is required to find a resolution to issues around parades. But the Orange Order has to accept that in a small number of cases a resolution may mean no parade. That has to be the way forward." ENDS

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Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has said that weekend attacks by loyalists on a Catholic home on the Crumlin Road followed by a series of shootings which has left one man dead and another critically
injured has heightened significantly tensions in the area in advance of tonight's 11th night bonfires and tomorrows 12th parades.

Mr Kelly said:

" The decision of the Parades Commission to force the 12th parade through three catholic areas twice on Tuesday was the wrong decision. The fact that on the later parade hundreds of loyalists many connected to the gangs involved in recent attacks on catholic homes and internal  feuding over the weekend will accompany the parade is making the situation even worse.

" Late last week the Ardoyne Dialogue Group proposed a compromise for the 12th parade which would see the morning parade being facilitated and the evening leg re-routed. This would have relieved tensions and provided the
space for meaningful dialogue to commence over future parades. Given the events of the weekend when loyalists attempted to murder a Catholic family on the Crumlin Road and the significant raising of tension in North Belfast with last nights shootings this is the only sensible option now open to the Parades Commission and they should review the parade decision.

" History teaches us that feuds between loyalist gangs tend to end with attacks on Catholics. Given this reality and the events of the weekend it is untenable for the Parades Commission to force this parade and its supporters through Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales on tomorrow." ENDS



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In councils throughout the Six Counties where there are Sinn Fein First Citizens or Deputy First Citizens Books of Condolences for the people of London will be opened.

There will be Books of Condolences in:
Derry City
Down District
Magherafelt
Dungannon
Strabane
Fermanagh
Omagh
Cookstown
Moyle
Newry Armagh


Speaking after the decision the Sinn Féin Mayor of Moyle District Council,
Cllr Oliver McMullan said:

"Sinn Féin have condemned the bomb attacks in London.

"On behalf of Sinn Féin I offer my sincere condolences to the victims and
the families of those killed and injured and to the people of London. ENDS



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A British Army Puma helicopter landed in the  Rassan area of North Louth at 8.40 pm on Thursday night last, 7th July  2005.  Two heavily armed PSNI officers and 8 British  paratroopers were dropped off in a field next to
the Dundalk/Derry road 3/4  miles south of the border. The helicopter then flew towards Co. Armagh, leaving  the 10 members of the security forces behind in Co. Louth.

Within minutes, local residents who were alerted by  the noise gathered at the scene and confronted the security forces. A number of  motorists also stopped in the area. there have been reports that some people threw stones
at the paratroopers. At this point the Puma helicopter returned,  landed in Co. Louth and collected the soldiers and PSNI officers. The helicopter then flew further south and hovered over a house. The lady of the house
went to her front door and witnessed a British paratrooper point his rifle at her  while other soldiers made obscene gestures. The helicopter then returned to its base in Crossmaglen.

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Tomás Sharkey has reacted angrily to the incident;

"The border area is being saturated by British security forces who seem hellbent on inciting local communities. Only two weeks  ago, a parachute regiment patrol waved a car through a checkpoint outside Crossmaglen and
then fired on it. The border communities are living in  fear of this maverick behaviour.

"I do not accept that the helicopter was lost or simply off course.  It flew over a British base at Drummucknavall, a local school, and the main Castleblayney road. I believe that the soldiers were on british army business in Co. Louth, attempting to either place or remove their own surveillance equipment. Irish people are well aware of the parachute regiments track record here.

"I met the junior minister for Foreign Affairs,  Conor Lenihan only 2 hours after the incursion. His officials have been in  contact with me and are waiting for a resonse from the British security  forces. I made it clear to them that I will not accept yet another standard response on this issue. The Parachute Regiment are not welcome in County Louth."



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Sinn Féin is stepping up its campaign in support of the Rossport 5 with protests taking place at Shell and Statoil garages across the 26 Counties between 5-7pm this evening (Friday 8th).  Protests are planned in Dublin, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Galway, Leitrim, Waterford, Laois, Kilkenny, Kildare and Westmeath.

 

Speaking prior to the protests Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said:

 

“It is not good enough for the government to wash their hands of the Corrib Gas debacle and allow Shell to ride rough shod over the people of Rossport.  It is a disgrace that Micheál Ó Seighin, Vincent McGrath, Philip McGrath, Willie Corduff and Brendan Philbin are now into their second week of detention at Cloverhill prison.

 

“Serious issues  have  arisen at every stage in this process going right back to the original  granting of licenses and the allocation of the site at Bellanboy, all  of  which  are  shrouded  in  mystery.  To add to that we now have the ludicrous situation  where  one part of a company engaged in a potentially dangerous  pipeline development is asked to conduct an ‘independent review’ of the risks involved.

“This is at a time when Shell is attempting to bully people whose lands lie along the  route  of  the proposed pipeline, and where none of the serious concerns  that  have  been raised are being properly addressed.

 

“The five men should be released immediately.  The government should initiate an independent review of health and safety risks and institute a thorough public investigation into every aspect of Shell’s involvement in this project right back to the shoddy deal that gave them control over the Corrib Field in the first instance”.ENDS

 

Below are details of some of the protests that are taking place.

 

Dublin South West - SHELL garage at Tallaght By-pass

Dublin North East – SHELL garage at Clare Hall, Malahide Road

Dublin North Central – Statoil Garage across from Donnycarney Church

Dublin Central – SHELL garage at Finglas Road, Glasnevin 

Dublin Mid West – SHELL garage Lucan by-pass, Palmerstown

Dublin South and Dublin South East – SHELL garage Taney Road Dundrum

Dun Laoghaire – SHELL garage in Dalkey  

Dublin West – Castleknock and Hartstown Statoil stations

Wexford -  Shell service station, New Ross  

Laois - Shell service station, Portlaoise road, Mountmellick

Kilkenny - Shell service station, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny

Kildare - Shell service station, Kilcullen Road, Naas.

Westmeath -  Shell service station, hospital road, Athlone
Leitrim -  Statoil filling station on the Dublin road Carrick-on-Shannon

Cork – Douglas Village and Blackpool Shopping Centre

Kerry - Tralee Town Centre

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Speaking after meeting the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern in
Belfast along with members of the Ardoyne dialogue group Sinn Féin Assembly
member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly said:

Mr Kelly said:

" I took the opportunity at today's meeting to impress upon the Minister the
very difficult situation which has been created by the decision of the
Parades Commission to force two Orange Parades through three nationalist
areas in North Belfast on July 12th.

" The Ardoyne Dialogue Group explained to the Minister the detail of their
compromise position which would in the short term help ease tensions around
the twelfth parades. However the only way in which the issue of contentious
parades in North Belfast can be resolved is through a process of genuine and
meaningful dialogue.

" I called on the Minister to intervene on behalf of the nationalist
residents of Ardoyne and he has agreed to raise our concerns with the
British government and the Parades Commission." ENDS



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