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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 MP Paul Maskey has called for loyalist death threats against a number of men from west Belfast to be lifted. 

Speaking after the threats were issued at the weekend, the West Belfast MP said; 

"I am calling on those loyalists responsible for the death threats against these men from west Belfast to lift them immediately. 

"Two of those named, Tom Hartley and Seánna Walsh, have been engaged with unionists and loyalists for most of the last 20 years of the peace process on a range of topics. 

"Many of these engagements have been in loyalist areas. At no time did either Tom or Seánna encounter any hostility to their presence. 

"In fact, Tom Hartley spoke at an event in east Belfast several weeks ago. 

"These death threats need to be lifted to ensure this essential peace building work can continue in unionist and loyalist areas. 

"I am also calling on loyalists and others from the unionist community to condemn these threats and to use their influence to ensure the work Tom, Seánna and others are engaged in can continue free from threats and intimidation."

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has apologised to victims of abuse who were let down or failed by the IRA’s inability to resolve these issues.

He said that those who wish should come forward now and report complaints to the appropriate authorities, North or South.

Mr Adams rejected allegations that Sinn Féin was involved in any cover-up of such issues and said the issue had been politicised in the Dáil chamber by Sinn Féin’s opponents.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Gerrry Adams said:

“I am mindful that there are victims and families affected by abuse watching us today. Sexual abuse and abuse of any kind is wrong. The abuse of a child is a particularly heinous crime. The consequences for victims and their families are devastating. We know this having seen the human cost of abuse right across Irish society.

“I have set out the circumstances in the North when there was no democratic, civic policing service. The IRA sought to deal with some cases of abuse when asked to do so by families and victims. While IRA Volunteers were acting in good faith, the IRA was ill equipped to deal with such matters.

“IRA actions against sex abusers failed victims. That is a matter of profound regret for me and other republicans. I am acutely conscious that there may be victims who were let down or failed by the IRA’s inability to resolve these issues.

“As Uachtarán Shinn Féin, I want to apologise to those victims.

“Those who wish should come forward now and report their complaint to the appropriate authorities – An Garda Síochána or the HSE in the south, or the PSNI or Social Services in the North. They will have Sinn Féin’s full support in doing so.

“Secrecy has surrounded abuse in Ireland. It was taboo to discuss, and some victims were very fearful to disclose. The only way to face this problem is to support victims, and to empower them to speak out. To cover up child abuse is to deny the basic humanity of the victim and to shield the perpetrator. It is an unthinkable act of cruelty.

“Sinn Féin has not engaged in a cover-up of child abuse as some of our political enemies cynically suggest. This accusation is a slur on thousands of decent people.

“Republicans are no different to any other Irish citizens. Like most other parents we do our best to protect our children, to keep them safe. Republicans have learned, like every other section of society that ongoing vigilance and believing children when they disclose is essential. Republicans, like everyone else know that reporting quickly and to the right channels is the way to seek and achieve justice.”

Mr Adams asked the Taoiseach to accept that such difficult issues need to be dealt with in a victim-centred way by the appropriate authorities and not politicised as they have been in the Dáil chamber.

Referring to Enda Kenny’s meeting today with Maíria Cahill, the Sinn Fein Leader said that all those Sinn Féin representatives who supported Maíria believe that she has been a victim of abuse and suffered trauma.

He went on:

“However Maíria has made some grievous allegations against myself and named Sinn Féin representatives. I and all the others refute those allegations – allegations that are now embellished and reported as fact.

“Taoiseach these matters were addressed in the courts. Four people were charged and acquitted in a court of law in relation to these allegations. You have yet to meet with me to address these allegations.

“Taoiseach having met with Maíria is it not right and proper that you meet with myself and the other Sinn Féin members to hear of their experience of trying to help Maíria, to hear of their support and the advice they offered? Is that not right and proper before you rush to judgment?”

The Taoiseach, in his response agreed to Mr Adams’ request to meet with him and other Sinn Féin members to hear of their experience of trying to help Maíria Cahill.

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has welcomed the appointment of former senator Gary Hart as US envoy to the current talks. 

Speaking following the appointment, Mr McGuinness said; 

"I welcome the appointment of former senator Gary as the United States' envoy to the current round of negotiations. 

"The United States has played a key role in supporting the peace process an political process in the North over the years. 

"We have also benefitted from US foreign and direct investment in that time. 

"This appointment is a positive indication of the US administration's continuing interest in the development of the political process. 

"It sends out a clear message to everyone that we need to be involved in a proactive and constructive way if we are to have a credible process." 

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In a welcome vote of confidence in her early efforts, Liadh Ni Riada Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South has been ranked the hardest working Irish MEP since the Parliament returned in July, according to the MEP Ranking site.

Ní Riada said:

“Last May I was given a mandate from the people of Ireland South to go and be their representative in Brussels and I have done my best to prove their trust was well placed. As a member of the Budgetary committee I brought forward my first piece of legislation relating to the EU Globalisation Fund which was set up to assist workers displaced by global market trends, and as part of the Fisheries committee, we are bringing forth a new piece of legislation on sea fishing that should go towards helping the Irish fisherman in the competitive EU market.”

“It is an honour to serve the people of Ireland South and this strong start will not abate. The Irish people gave Sinn Féin their highest ever level of support in the May 2013 elections and we must work tirelessly to ensure that this support is rewarded.” 

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Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson, Martin Ferris TD, today revealed that the Minister for Agriculture is not willing to disclose the details of companies which import beef into Ireland, the amount of such imports and when the imports took place.

Deputy Ferris said that he had posed a parliamentary question on the matter, following representation from beef farmers who are in dire straits due to the drastic drop in prices within the sector.

Deputy Ferris said:

“Farmers are concerned that the market is being manipulated by the big players and that the ordinary producer is being run into the ground.

“The Minister says that information about who is importing beef into Ireland, when it is being imported and in what quantity, is commercially sensitive and therefore will not be disclosed.


“This is a disgraceful response to a very relevant question, considering the state of the industry and widespread suspicion among hard-pressed farmers that some processors are importing while paying Irish farmers unreasonably low prices.”

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West Belfast MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann today called for structures to be put in place to enable young people to be part of the decision making process at all levels of Government.

Speaking at an event on Sustainable Societies at CAFRE this morning she said,

"The recent referendum in Scotland lead the way in how young people can be active participants in decision making about the future.

"There are a number of Youth Forums across the island of Ireland which represent the views of young people to government and other decision making bodies.

"Some of these Forums participate at a council level, yet there is no mechanism for them to participate at the Assembly.

"It is now time to give young people the vote at 16, and to enhance structures that exist at other levels to aid the involvement of young people in decision making at the Assembly."

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Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane has said action is needed to address the gender imbalance in government departments. 

Speaking after the publication of a report on gender balance within Stormont departments, the South Down MLA said; 

"The findings of this report are disappointing but not surprising. 

"We need to increase the participation of women in politics at all levels. 

"Political parties have a responsibility in that and that is something we in Sinn Féín are committed to. 

"We need to see more gender equality in appointments to public boards and our ministers will be looking at that. 

"There is a broad need to identify career opportunities for women at senior levels of organisations.

"What these statistics show is that there are still barriers to women advancing in the workplace and those remaining barriers need to be removed. 

"One of the ways of doing that could be to follow the model used in other countries where parental leave can be split between both partners. 

"I welcome the publication of this report and now it is up to us to do something about it."

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Sinn Féin LGBT recently welcomed Moninne Griffith of Marriage Equality, to discuss the upcoming marriageequality referendum.

Speaking after the successful information evening on the referendum, Sinn Féin LGBT officer and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown county councillor Chris Curran said:

“Garnering support from across all sections of society is important in the run up to this referendum, which is rumoured to be take place in the Spring of 2015. Sinn Féin supports equality and that is what this referendum is about, equal access to civil marriage and the right to demonstrate their love for each other”.

Referencing the softening stance of the church on the issue, Councillor Curran continued:

“As much as the recent Catholic bishop Synod failed to endorse gay people or their "gifts and qualities", the events in Rome mark a seismic shift in the Papal attitude towards gay people.

“I believe we should embrace the fact that the event even took place as it shows we're on the right road.  It would have been unimaginable that such positive messaging could have come for Rome under previous Popes. This Pope is special and seems to have a vision for the future of the church and I'm confident that the events of the last few weeks will herald a new relationship between the Catholic Church and LGBT people.”

“What we need to make sure marriage equality is enshrined in our constitution, is for people to vote, that’s why the fast approaching voter registration deadline is so important. If people care about this issue we encourage them to make they’re registered to vote by the November 25th deadline”.

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada spoke today from the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the need to reduce the administrative burden on Irish fishermen.

Ms Ní Riada, who sits on the Committee on Fisheries, submitted a number of amendments to the upcoming 'Omnibus Regulations' which will impact on fishermen in Ireland.

Ní Riada stated:

"These amendments seek to reduce the administrative burden on fishermen by gradually introducing the Landing Obligation regulations which will come in under Omnibus.

"I am also calling for an allowance to be made for changes in mesh net sizes. Specifically in relation to the use of 80mm nets when fishing for queenie scallops.

"Fishing for queen scallops is a significant part of the Irish seafood market employing hundreds of people from coastal communities. Restricting fishermen to the use of 120mm regulated nets will make scallop fishing impossible.

"While EU regulations allow for scallop fishing with dredgers, net catching scallops is less harmful to ocean life and a more sustainable solution.

ENDS

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