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Sinn Féin launch a 'PEOPLE'S PACT'

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said Sinn Féin's progressive politics is the only alternative to austerity.

Some of the sights and sounds of today's massive Right2Water rally on Dublin's O'Connell Street this afternoon (March 21).  Reports that up to...


Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said documents released today by Sinn Féin clearly show the DUP acted in bad faith over the Welfare Reform Bill.



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Speaking from Brussels on the announcement of a new €241 million development programme for the Irish seafood sector which has been made accessible from the European Maritime and Investment Fund, Liadh Ní Riada MEP said:

"Seafood plays a valuable role in our economy, particularly in our coastal economies where it plays an integral part in food tourism.

“Ireland is recognised abroad for the quality and value of its food and has the potential to be an industry worth €1 billion annually. This package will help boost employment and enterprise in a struggling tourism and hospitality industry that, for the last number of years, has been neglected by the government and has been hit hard by austerity.

“I welcome any funding which will alleviate the dire economic situation in our local areas. However, it must be said that if the government truly had the best interests of our seafood industry alongside the well-being of our rural and coastal economies at heart, this kind of funding should have been made accessible long ago. This would have saved many jobs alongside small and medium sized businesses.”

“For this funding to be made accessible, with a looming general election in less than a year, would come too late for many rural and coastal communities. These communities have seen mass youth emigration, and a vast number of businesses have been forced to close down. Nevertheless, I welcome hope this new funding will help alleviate the hardship that people have suffered.”

"In the wake of the Irish Water fiasco and the squandering of taxpayer’s money it is important for the government to take note that the funds need to be invested wisely so that the benefits start from the bottom up. We must reinvigorate and sustainably grow our fisheries and revive ailing communities.”

“Public consultation for the new funding programme will be in place until the 1 May 2015.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the publication of Innovate Limerick’s document outlining its proposals for Limerick to host the National Advanced Manufacturing Centre, and called on the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister to give the document serious consideration.

“Innovate Limerick deserves strong praise for putting together this detailed proposal, which seeks Government approval for an Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Limerick. The location of such a centre would have massive economic benefits for Limerick City and County, and also for the greater Mid-West region.

“The proposal seeks to capitalise on Limericks existing industrial, technological and R&D strengths in order to create an innovative fourth-generation manufacturing hub.  I am glad to see an emphasis on research and development with the involvement of both UL and LIT in the project, and the recognition that indigenous enterprise are vital to Ireland’s manufacuring base.

“The development of an Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Limerick, would build on Limericks track record and bring investment, jobs and a much needed economic boost for Limerick, Clare, Kerry, North Cork and Tipperary.

"Sinn Féin are pro-growth and see targeted investment in the regions as key to a genuine and sustainable economic recovery."

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Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, TD Dessie Ellis, has said today that he welcomes the release of details of the government spending plan for housing over the next 2 years but that it has taken too long to deliver in the context of a severe housing crisis. He was commenting on the announcement today by the Department of Environment detailing plans for the spending of the first tranche of funding for the governments housing strategy.

Deputy Ellis continued;

"This is not new money or for that matter much of an increase in spending on housing although it is welcome. We are talking about an average of about 500 million on housing each year until 2018 which will not solve the housing crisis but could ease a lot of suffering if used correctly.

“The government has dragged its heels on tackling the housing crisis, allowing it to worsen severely over its 4 years in office. It has taken a third of a year for them to give more detail on their strategy and in that time little has been delivered on the ground to tackle the lack of housing.

“We need more money for social housing and the government should be looking at using the Strategic Investment Fund for a major boost in addition to their plans. We also need to build more houses with Local Authorities and Housing Associations and move away from dependence on the private market which cannot meet demand or is unwilling to.

“The government must, from today forward, act with dedication and haste in delivering housing as they have already wasted too much time ignoring the problem and working on spinning strategies rather than delivering what is needed, and that is housing."

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Commenting today on the fact that it is now over two years since the Government announced the closure of the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy has said the delay in replacing the schemes is a clear indication of the priorities of this Government.

Carthy said:

“In February 2013, the Fine Gael Labour Government announced the closure of both the Mobility Allowance Scheme and the Motorised Transport Grant as a result of a finding of the Ombudsman.

“As an elected representative of a large constituency, I have had countless queries in relation to both these schemes and it appears that we are no further forward in replacing these schemes two years later.

“Not only has there been no primary legislation drafted to replaces the schemes, but the policy proposals in relation to both schemes do not appear to have even been brought to the Government.

“These schemes provided limited financial support to people with disabilities to allow them to be able to travel.

“The failure of the Government to establish appropriate replacement schemes to allow people with disabilities participate fully in their communities is nothing short of an absolute disgrace.

“It shows once again that the vulnerable and least well off in society, such as those struggling with disabilities, are far down the list of priorities for this Government as Ministers fall over themselves to congratulate each other on an economic recovery that has not touched the majority of people across this state.

“This Government must realise that there can be no talk of an economic recovery while elderly patients are languishing on hospital trolleys, while thousands of families are being pursued through the courts by banks and while people with disabilities are left without essential supports.

“I am calling on the Minister for Health to make the replacement of these schemes a priority and to ensure that appropriate supports for people with disabilities are put in place as soon as possible.”

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Speaking today in solidarity with the Dunnes Stores Workers, Sinn Féin MEP for the  Midlands North West Matt Carthy has stated that the Government must review the implementation of the EU part time working directive.

Carthy said:

“I fully commend and support the Dunnes Stores Workers today and I call on the Government, political parties and the general public to show their solidarity and support in any way possible.

“This strike is about the right of the workers of Dunnes Stores to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

“The campaign by Dunnes Stores workers not only highlights their own working conditions but is reflective of the situation of many workers across this state.

“CSO figures from 2014 state that over 129,000 people in this state are underemployed, while live register figures from this week show that 20% of all those signing on the live register are part time workers.

“Low paid, casual and part-time work has become entrenched in Ireland’s labour force under the watch of this Government and Fine Gael and Labour have done precious little to address the problem in any meaningful way.

“While there are a number of actions needed to adequately address this growing problem, one of the recommendations made by Mandate Trade Union over two years ago in its report on precarious work was to strengthen the implementation of the European Part Time Working Directive.

“The Union outlined how the current situation effectively gives employers a veto with regard to changes in working hours and argued for more formal processes to give effect to the rights of workers under this directive.

“These recommendations were largely ignored by the current Government and it begs the question – what is the point of labour in Government if it cannot protect vulnerable workers?

"An economic recovery cannot be founded on low pay and under employment - it is ordinary workers like those in Dunnes Stores who will be the backbone of any recovery and they deserve to be treated with respect by employers and Government alike."

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said customers at Setanta Insurance are now facing further delays before any compensation is paid because of a clashing legal advice over whether the industry funded Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) can pay out on some claims. The collapsed insurance firm was Irish owned but regulated in Malta before it went into liquidation in April of last year. 75,000 Irish customers were left high and dry when the company collapsed.

Deputy Doherty said:

“I am disappointed to learn that differing legal advice received by the Department of Finance from the Attorney General and by the Accountant to the High Court from Matheson means customers awaiting compensation will now face a delay.”

“Originally, the Minister for Finance said he was operating on the basis that the MIBI could contribute to some claims. He then reversed this position after he received legal advice from the Attorney General.  Now, I have learned that advice received by the Accountant to the High Court whose job it is to work with the liquidator to make sure the Irish customers get compensation in the liquidation process conflicts with the AG’s advice.”

“What this means is for customers at Setanta is that a delay until at least July now seems likely. Prior to this latest round of uncertainty it appeared customers might be in line for some compensation in the near future.”

“The Setanta mess has been handled very badly by the Minister and other bodies in the State. This latest mess can only frustrate former customers at Setanta.” 

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Speaking tonight in the Dáil, Sinn Féin TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty levelled serious criticism at the government for not being prepared to stand up to the banks and allow the Irish people some breathing room from their predatory motivations.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The banks cannot be trusted. We know this by the way they are abusing the mortgage arrears resolution targets. We know because when it comes to personal insolvency arrangements they hold the veto and are not afraid to use it. They know this government won’t stand up to the mighty banks.”

“The Central Bank is not fulfilling its role in regulating the financial sector. As far back as 2012, the Central Bank knew that Permanent TSB was in breach of the rules by shifting customers from tracker mortgages to more expensive variable rate ones yet where was the action? The Fine Gael/Labour government won’t stand up to the banks; it is a well-established policy of theirs and they are not for changing.”

“There are things the government can do; it just doesn’t want to.  Some days, it seems that Minister Noonan forgets completely he owns the banks.  The government must use its resources for the betterment of society and to create fairness. AIB, PTSB and a chunk of Bank of Ireland belong to the people.  That is why I have drafted legislation that would give far greater powers to the Financial Regulator to veto applications for an interest rate hike by banks in which the people have a stake.”

“That is the democratic and socially responsible way for banks to be regulated in times such as these. It won’t happen however, because the banks have the final say.”

“The government have adopted a clear banking strategy. They will let the banks do what they want including kicking people out of their homes. They will let the banks rip off Irish mortgage holders. They will do nothing to annoy the banking sector.”

“I wonder, when we look at the disastrous numbers of those in mortgage arrears, how many are there because the government has decided that the policies of the banks it owns on behalf of the people are none of its business. How many of the thousands living in fear of repossession were tipped over into arrears by one increase too many, while the government and the Central Bank washed its hands of any responsibility?”

“They trust the banks and have decided that the banks come first. At all times and regardless of the situation the banks have the final say; that is Ireland 2015. The families struggling with a mortgage will pay what the banks want and a weak government will let them away with it.” 

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Sinn Féin Senator and Youth Affairs Spokesperson Kathryn Reilly today spoke favourably on the reduction of the ‘Age of Eligibility for Election to the Office of President’.

Senator Reilly said:

“The lowering of the age for presidential candidates would serve to empower young people and it would also serve to kick start the promotion and awareness of and participation in politics among young people in terms of the issues affecting them.”

“The earlier we can engage young people in democracy and politics, the greater the chance that we will promote and sustain a lifelong interest in and commitment to voting and participating in the democratic process.”

“Most Deputies, including the Minister, the Chairman, and I, probably entered politics young. Most of us became interested at a young age, probably in our mid to late teens. Indeed, I have been working in the Houses of the Oireachtas since I was 20. I was elected to this House at the age of 22.”

 “If I have electoral ambitions to be President, after having gone through college and acquired experience in these Houses, why should my age preclude me? Why should I have to be older if the electorate themselves feel I can do a good job?”

 “Why should I, or any other young person in Ireland, be discriminated against by ageist policies? We would not discriminate against people because of skin colour, religion, or sex so why should we accept discrimination against people because of their age?”

“The electorate should have the choice to elect who they see fit rather than have a restricted choice available to them on polling day.”

 “We should judge each candidate on their merit and not on their age.” 

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the decision by the Government this morning to purchase the National Monument at 14-17 Moore Street.

The Sinn Féin leader commended the Relatives of the 1916 Leaders “without whose diligence this decision would never have been taken”.

Gerry Adams said:

“After years of dithering, and the publication of a very poor and widely criticised 2016 centenary programme, this decision is a step in the right direction. However, it is a very belated decision and fails to match the reality that this is one of the most important historic sites in modern Irish history. Under current plans, the rest of the terrace is to be demolished.”

“There is only one year to go before the centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising. The government’s failure to properly preserve the National Monument, the Terrace and the Battlefield site, when it was raised in recent years by the relatives and Sinn Féin, means that it is difficult to see how the commemorative centre can be completed by that time.”

“The government now needs to move speedily to establish an Independent Battlefield Survey and to ensure that a comprehensive strategy is put in place by the Minister and Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht which reflects the historic importance the ‘laneways of history’; preserves the full Moore Street terrace; and transforms the 1916 Revolutionary Quarter.”

“Moore Street and the ‘laneways of history’ are where the GPO garrison retreated to after the destruction of the GPO; it is where The O Rahilly was killed; it’s where the 1916 Leaders last met and agreed the surrender to the British forces; and it is where the act of surrender took place.” 

“The green outside of the Rotunda is also where many of GPO garrison where held under guard by the British before being marched off to prisons and prison camps, and it was from there that Pádraig Pearse and James Connolly and Tom Clarke and others were taken for court martial and execution.

In any other state this area would be preserved and would be a vital place of remembrance and pilgrimage.”

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Sinn Féin launch a 'PEOPLE'S PACT'


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