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Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has restated his concerns over Central Bank proposals to cap the amount of money that a saver can place in a Credit Union at €100,000. Crowe was speaking as it appears the proposals are being imminently finalised and have not taken into account the immense concerns of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“This clause is discriminatory and clearly puts credit unions at a disadvantage against other
financial institutions. The €100,000 amount seems to be an arbitrary level, and I can see no evidence of how it was arrived at and how it can be changed in future.

“I have concerns that this regulatory action, among others, by the Central Bank, and legislation from Government, has failed to adequately respect the unique ethos of the Credit Union movement.

“We know that banking interests have applied pressure on Minister Noonan and the Department of Finance, and it’s no surprise that they have folded in the face of these demands.

“Credit Unions are democratic and very well run. Only a tiny minority have had problems and these pale in comparison to the fallout from the reckless actions of most Irish banks.

“Credit Unions are in many cases the only legitimate institution or place that people on low and middle incomes can access a loan.

“People also strongly trust their local Credit Union, while they do not always trust commercial banks. Surely people should be free to place whatever savings they want in a secure account in their local Credit Union, rather than with a bank they may not trust.

“Sinn Féin believes the Credit Union plays a unique social and economic role in Irish society that requires the ongoing support of government and the Central Bank. Despite the failure of the Irish banking system over the last number of years the Credit Union movement has, in very difficult circumstances, continued to provide an excellent and vital service to our communities.

“The Credit Union sector requires and, I believe, wants clear and sensible regulation implemented in a consistent and fair manner which reflects its unique model and role. I don’t believe this clause does that and I share their concerns over this measure.

“I am calling for the Minister to postpone signing off this piece of legislation in order to allow for further consideration and a review of this figure.

“An examination should be held into whether a more flexible system can be accommodated, for example a system which allows a long term saver to gradually increase their savings to over €100,000. Also, existing savers with this amount already on deposit should be exempt.” 


Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has said that any recovery, if it is to fair, must address the housing crisis in a strategic and joined-up manner.

Senator Cullinane made the comments at a public meeting tonight as he joined with Cllr Johnny Mythen, the Sinn Féin general election candidate for Wexford, at a public meeting in Enniscorthy to put forward the party's proposals for achieving a fair economic and social recovery.

Cullinane said;

"It is clear that the two-tier recovery, envisaged by the government, will not address the continuing decimation of our vital public services and social infrastructure. Resolving the current housing and homelessness crisis is an issue that comes immediately to mind when discussing a fair recovery. You cannot argue that a recovery is fair if it does not address the housing crisis in an effective and meaningful way - that means building social housing.

"The government does not have a strategy for tackling the housing crisis. Any time it has broached the issue, it has done so in a tokenistic and haphazard way. We saw this last year when, following the tragic death of Jonathan Corrie, Minister Alan Kelly promised the sun, the moon and stars.

"When we looked at the proposals, it was very obvious that Minister Kelly's plan was big on grand headline grabbing gestures but lacking in substance. In the end, there wasn't a plan in any credible sense. We have seen the fruits of this approach with Dublin City Council being left short €18.5 million for their housing budget in the allocation made by Minister Kelly's department. We see it in the fact that the number of homeless families has risen by 55% since the start of 2015. This government simply doesn't take the housing crisis seriously. And ordinary people are paying the price.

"The Department of Social Protection is currently writing to those on the housing list demanding that they register for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) while being in the full knowledge that landlords are not signing up in the numbers needed to make it a viable scheme. This is just one example of the utterly disjointed approach taken by the government in this area.

"Despite the crisis, Fine Gael and Labour would rather tailor their budget in October to give the better-off in society more goodies rather than directing the necessary resources towards housing.

"We need action, not fancy PR exercises. We need a government with the political-will to meet the housing crisis head-on. In government, Sinn Féin would invest €1 Billion from the Strategic Investment Fund to build an additional 6,000 new homes in 2016.

“This is the type of action that would be taken by a party that is committed to delivering a fair recovery."


Sinn Féin councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has condemned the shooting of a man in the Short Strand area of Belfast tonight. 

Mr Ó Donnghaile said; 

"I unreservedly condemn the fatal shooting of a local man near his home in the Short Strand tonight and I am saddened to learn that the man has died. 

"This action has shocked the local community and my thoughts are with the family of the victim.

"There can be no place for actions like this in our society.

"The community here rejects any attempt by any armed group to turn the clock back to the past."


Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described a response from the Taoiseach to a letter Teachta Adams sent to him in July, calling on the government to urgently establish a public inquiry into the running of centres for citizens with intellectual disabilities, as “woefully inadequate”.

The Louth TD originally proposed this approach to Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil in March when Teachta Adams raised concerns about the Redwood Centre at Stamullen. He repeated it later when similar concerns were raised about St Mary’s Drumcar in Louth.

Teachta Adams said:

“There is a real and significant crisis in the provision of care for citizens with intellectual disabilities. The government is failing to deal with this in an appropriate and urgent manner and Enda Kenny’s reply to me is evidence of this.

“Today HIQA has reported ‘major non-compliance’ in two more residential centres for adults and children with intellectual disabilities. Both centres are part of the St. Patrick’s campus in Kilkenny. According to HIQA the adult centre is understaffed, poorly maintained, unclean and has an inadequate fire safety plan. HIQA reports that St Michael’s centre failed to comply in respect of 11 of the 18 regulatory headings reviewed.

“In respect of the second centre, which provides for children as young as five, HIQA reported concerns over healthcare and medication, governance and staffing.

“The grave issues of concern raised in these two reports are regrettably not isolated cases.

“There have been a whole series of HIQA and media reports in the last year, beginning with the Aras Attracta RTÉ report that have highlighted serious concerns around the management, resourcing, funding and staff behaviour in care centres across the state caring for citizens with intellectual disabilities.

“Last month I wrote to the Taoiseach asking that the government urgently establish an Independent Inquiry into the widespread public concerns about the care provision in homes for citizens with intellectual disabilities.

“In his letter to me the Taoiseach claims that the government ‘takes the care of vulnerable people in the health service extremely seriously’ but he then ignores the implications of a significant number of critical HIQA reports into care homes.  

“In his response the Taoiseach also says that the Department of Health ‘has requested the HSE to develop action plans to address cases where HIQA has raised serious concerns regarding the level of care that people with a disability are receiving … including safeguarding the human rights of residents’

Mr. Kenny’s letter claims that the ‘HSE is implementing a comprehensive change programme of measures to improve the quality and safety of residential services for people with disabilities.’

“However, at the same time as the Taoiseach pens this letter HIQA has announced that 20 disability centres have received notice of proposals to cancel or refuse their applications for registration and have been given 28 days to make improvements and satisfy HIQA that immediate improvements will be made.

“In April HIQA’s Chief Executive Phelim Quinn told a conference by Inclusion Ireland that the standard of care in some residential centres was ‘disturbing and chilling’.

“He specifically blamed the congregational settings of these homes, that is centres where 10 or more citizens living in circumstances where they share a single living unit or where the living arrangements are campus based.

“In the first year of this government the HSE published a report that committed the government to moving away from congregational living arrangements. The report said that the citizens affected by these arrangements are living in conditions where they ‘lack basic privacy and dignity.’

“The HSE report concluded that congregated provision is in breach of the state’s obligations under UN Conventions.

“Four years later there are 3000 citizens still living in these unacceptable conditions.

“There is an urgent need for the government to establish a fully Independent, root-and-branch inquiry into all care facilities for citizens with intellectual disabilities in the State. The Taoiseach’s letter provides no reassurance that the necessary steps will be taken to deal with this recurring and deepening crisis.”



Sinn Féin MLA has expressed concern over reports that jobs are at risk at a Derry engineering firm. 

Mr McCartney said; 

"This announcement of possible redundancies has caused concern and anxiety among the workers at Maydown Precision Engineering. 

"In the current climate any fears of jobs losses is worrying and I would urge the company to do all they can to avoid any redundancies. 

"This is a stressful time for the firms's employees and their families and I would call on management to fully engage with workers and unions in the coming days and weeks. 

"It is important that all workers' rights and entitlements are honoured in this process."

“Sinn Féin will be seeking meetings with both the Company and Union representatives in an effort to clarify the situation."


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has written to EU Commissioner Phil Hogan calling on him to help struggling dairy farmers. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"Our dairy farmers have been facing a mounting crisis over recent months with falling milk prices threatening their livelihoods. 

"The collapse in milk prices is a global problem and Sinn Féin has been to the fore in helping our dairy farmers. 

"Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister O'Neill has been meeting with farmers and banks regularly to do everything she can to support the dairy sector. 

"She has also repeatedly called on EU Agriculture Commissioner to intervene to help struggling dairy farmers by increasing the EU intervention price, which has been at the same level since 2008. 

"I have now written to Commissioner Hogan supporting the call for the intervention price to the raised in order to address the current crisis. 

"I am also calling on the Commissioner to meet with Michelle O'Neill as a matter of urgency to outline what steps he is taking to support the dairy industry." 


Mayor of South Dublin County Sarah Holland has today asked Minister Alan Kelly to open his eyes and look at the devastating effect his lack of decisive action is having on homeless families.

She said;

“Not a week has gone by since I was elected where someone hasn’t been on to me about the lack of housing.

“I know of women squeezed into one bedroom with their kids in their parents’ homes, families being split up with Mam on a sofa in one house and Dad on the sofa in another, families sleeping in cars, parents walking the streets all day and sleeping in hostels at night and even heavily pregnant women facing eviction.

“I have had one family contact me where the Dad was suicidal because he felt he couldn’t provide for his family because they were facing eviction and even with full time work could not afford the rent hikes.

“Sinn Féin is on the front line working with families in these situations and we have been warning for well over a year that the crisis had reached catastrophic proportions.

“South Dublin County Council is running out of funds to cover emergency accommodation and every night, there are up to 50 families who cannot even get a place in a hostel.

“This Government’s problem is that it does not prioritise people – these are not statistics, they are human beings – our friends, family and neighbours.

“The problem is by no means confined to certain areas, it is across the board.

“The decision making by Fine Gael and Labour has been appalling.  One hundred years ago we had families squeezed into one-room tenements.  Now, the tenements have been replaced by hotels which function exactly the same, but which charge the taxpayer €100 per night per family.

“It is time for Minister Kelly to grab the bull by the horns and do something.”



Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Críona Ní Dhalaigh has urged Environment Minister Alan Kelly to meet with her to discuss the wholly inadequate government response to the housing crisis.

Cllr. Ní Dhalaigh has been seeking a meeting with the Minister since her election as Dublin Ardmheara and though the Minister insists he is treating the crisis as a top priority, has resisted meeting to discuss the depths of the housing crisis which Cllr. Ní Dhalaigh says is only going to deepen as the City Council simply cannot continue at its current level of support alone.

Cllr. Ní Dhalaigh said:

“Since I was elected to the office of Ardmheara, I have sought a meeting with Minister Alan Kelly to discuss the simple fact that Dublin City Council will not be able to afford to provide homeless services in the near future. There is an €18.5 million deficit in the DCC budget to provide homeless services and the government has utterly shirked its responsibility in the area, leaving it to the councils to do the best they can. Unfortunately for those in need of our services, this is an unsustainable situation and one that is going to come to a crashing halt very soon.

“Dublin City Councillors and our fellow councillors the length and breadth of the country are united in the face of a common problem, housing. There is not a council in the country with enough houses for those that need them and the government is not doing enough to mend the problem. In Dublin, the situation is a crisis, there is no exaggeration in that statement; we are in a crisis. By October, government inaction is going to turn that crisis into an emergency situation when our budget runs out and we are left helpless to the need of those without a roof over their heads.

 “I urge, I plead with the Minister to meet with me so that the situation can be made plain and steps taken to help the most vulnerable in our society find some respite from the dangers and pains of homelessness.” 


Sinn Féin Junior Finance spokesperson Peadar Tóibín has called on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to fully cooperate with the NAMA Inquiry being carried out by the North’s Finance Committee and to make himself and his department officials available to the committee.

 Deputy Tóibín also announced that Sinn Féin will bring forward a Private Members Motion in September to call for a commission of investigation into NAMA and its dealings.

 He said;

 “Serious questions remain unanswered in relation to the sales process of NAMA’s Northern loan book.  Minister Noonan and his department have a role to play in the inquiry being undertaken by the North’s Finance Committee and I am calling on him to give full cooperation to that inquiry and to make himself and his department officials available to the committee.

 “His failure thus far to give any sort of cooperation to the committee is unacceptable.  He cannot simply close his eyes and pretend the inquiry is not happening.

 “I also want to put the Minister and the government on notice that Sinn Féin will be bringing forward a Private Members’ Motion in September to call for a full commission of investigation into NAMA and its dealings both on the Northern loan book sales process and its broader operations.

 “The government was dragged kicking and screaming to establish an inquiry into IBRC and now it is once again refusing to deal with this major issue concerning vast amounts of public money.

 “It is simply not good enough.  Taxpayers deserve answers and the Minister must respond.”



Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has paid tribute to the crew of the Irish naval vessel, LÉ Niamh, for their work in saving the lives of migrants in the Mediterranean. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"The scale of the growing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean is distressing and shocking with hundreds losing their lives every week. 

"Just this week the Irish Naval vessel, LÉ Niamh, rescued more than 125 migrants who had made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. 

"This brings to more than 1,600 the number of lives the crew of the LÉ Niamh have saved since they were deployed to the region. 

"I pay tribute to the crew of the LÉ Niamh for their vital lifesaving efforts which prevented further tragedies. 

"The international community, and the European Union in particular, have a responsibility to help prevent further deaths in the Mediterranean. 

"European border policies should be informed by the need to save lives and humanitarian concerns. 

"The life-saving work of rescuers like those of the LÉ Niamh highlights the need for urgent action from Europe." 


Sinn Féin Junior Finance spokesperson Peadar Tóibín has called on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to fully cooperate with the NAMA Inquiry being carried out by the North’s Finance Committee and to make himself and his department officials available to the committee.

Deputy Tóibín also announced that Sinn Féin will bring forward a Private Members Motion in September to call for a commission of investigation into NAMA and its dealings.

He said;

“Serious questions remain unanswered in relation to the sales process of NAMA’s Northern loan book.  Minister Noonan and his department have a role to play in the inquiry being undertaken by the North’s Finance Committee and I am calling on him to give full cooperation to that inquiry and to make himself and his department officials available to the committee.

“His failure thus far to give any sort of cooperation to the committee is unacceptable.  He cannot simply close his eyes and pretend the inquiry is not happening.

“I also want to put the Minister and the government on notice that Sinn Féin will be bringing forward a Private Members’ Motion in September to call for a full commission of investigation into NAMA and its dealings both on the Northern loan book sales process and its broader operations.

“The government was dragged kicking and screaming to establish an inquiry into IBRC and now it is once again refusing to deal with this major issue concerning vast amounts of public money.

“It is simply not good enough.  Taxpayers deserve answers and the Minister must respond.”



Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has encouraged people to attend this year's hunger strike commemoration in Dundalk on August 23. 

The West Belfast MLA and former hunger striker; 

"The 1981 hunger strike in which ten young men died in Long Kesh was a watershed moment in Irish political and social history. 

"The dedication of republican prisoners who challenged the failed criminalisation policies of the British government and particularly of the ten republicans who gave their lives is recognised around the world. 

"Their willingness to lay down their lives in support of their fellow prisoners and the wider republican struggle captured the imagination of communities involved in struggle everywhere. 

"As republicans, we remember their sacrifice with pride and continue to take inspiration from their heroism. 

"Since 1981 we have remembered the ten hunger strikers, as well as those from earlier generations, with dignity and pride. 

"This year we will be holding our National Hunger Strike Commemoration in Dundalk, County Louth, on Sunday August 23, assembling at Ballymascanlon roundabout at 2.15, and I would encourage as many people as possible to take part."


Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has said that the current crisis faced by the dairy industry can only be resolved with the political commitment from Westminster and Europe.

 Mr McMullan said,

 “I welcome the meeting today between Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss.

 “The current crisis facing dairy farmers cannot be resolved in the North alone as many factors causing the problems are outside our influence.

 “The current weakness in the euro against the sterling, abolishment of European milk quotas, the embargo by Russia are some of the factors impacting on the return price being paid to our farmers due to the oversupply of milk on the global market. 

 “The meeting today allowed for a more strategic approach in tackling these problems bringing together a more political lobby advocating a review of the European intervention price which can ultimately begin to make dairy farming profitable again.

 “Sinn Féin has always said that farmers deserve a fair and equitable price for their produce. We therefore support farmers in their demands, however it is important that the current protests which are taking place maintain peaceful and within the law. 

 "It is also imperative that there is more communication between all elements of the supply chain and I support the Minister in the approach she is taking to bring this about.

 “I hope that the further meeting being proposed next week will begin to bring solutions to the current problems allowing dairy farmers to concentrate in making their farms viable again.”


Speaking this afternoon ahead of the publication of the Leaving Certificate results tomorrow, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien wished the students well and urged them to remain calm in the context of the increased points requirements for certain courses.

The Cork North Central TD said:

“There is always a lot of hype over the Leaving Cert results and it is has intensified with reports stating that many courses have breached the 500 points requirement for admission.

“We wish the students well and hope that everyone gets what they need; we are calling on the government to do something to address this rat-race style admissions system however.

“Some of the colleges have made great headway in introducing direct entry systems and are to be commended for it, but the Government needs to ensure that this good work is built on further.

“The points system must be changed and continued assessment must be a cornerstone of the Leaving Cert as examining a student over a period of a couple of stressful weeks to see if they can progress to their third level preferred course is unfair and unjustifiable. Young people have enough pressures to cope with without the added stress of intense examinations over a short period of time.

“The education system should be about assisting students in developing their full potential according to their capabilities.

“While we should be congratulating students who got top points, we should also commend students who managed to pass while acting as carers for sick relatives, or living in direct provision or homeless services. Their achievements should be recognised.

“We would ask students who are unhappy with their results to do some research and find out about other options open to them besides going directly in to the university route, and think carefully about accepting CAO offers they aren’t particularly enthused about. We wish everyone well, but these results are not the be all and end all.” 


Sinn Féin Councillor Seamus Browne has said that Fianna Fáil's Niall Collins would be better off focusing on Fianna Fáil's growing political irrelevancy rather than engaging in “silly-season” attacks on Sinn Féin

Councillor Browne, who is the Sinn Féin general election candidate for Limerick County, also stated that ordinary people are more concerned with the issues that are impacting their communities and not political gossip from politicians about their political futures.

He said;

"Deputy Collins can say whatever he wants. Ultimately, it is the people who will decide who will govern after the next general election, not Niall Collins or Fianna Fáil.

"Niall Collins would be better off helping to develop a policy platform for his party rather than engaging in silly-season attacks on Sinn Féin. The much vaunted Fianna Fáil renewal hasn't really happened and the party has become increasingly irrelevant with a stale brand of politics.

"At the moment, I don't think ordinary people, those left devastated as a result of Fianna Fáil's time in government, are very interested in political gossip surrounding future coalitions. They are worried about jobs and how they will pay the next few bills. They are worried about the impact of water charges and the lack of affordable childcare. They are worried about the housing crisis and families having to sleep in hotels. They are sick to the back teeth of the overcrowding in our hospitals.

"These are the issues that people expect their representatives to be addressing right now.

"The back and forth on future coalition partners, between Fine Gael and some people in Fianna Fáil, smacks of the arrogant, self-indulgent politics that put this state on the road to ruination.

"For our part, Sinn Féin is focused not on silly season debates on future coalition prospects but on putting our progressive policies to the people and engaging them in a constructive conversation about the future of our country. That is what we have been doing over the last number of weeks with our fair recovery campaign and we have received a very positive response from communities across Limerick and Ireland.

"Ordinary people are not absorbed by career politicians wondering aloud if they will have a seat at the cabinet table following the general election and who may be sitting next to them if they do. To families who are facing massive back-to school costs it will seem like a very detached and a somewhat deluded topic of conservation.

"The people of this country deserve a higher quality of political debate than what has been offered up by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael over the last twenty-four hours. The school playground style arguments constantly propagated by the establishment parties simply don’t cut it. People want to see debates on the real issues affecting their lives."


Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey has condemned a gun attack on a house in the Rodney area of West Belfast. 

Mr Maskey said; 

"This gun attack was wrong, served no purpose whatsoever and should be condemned. 

"I have spoken to the women who were in the house when it happened and while thankfully neither were injured, they are understandably very shocked and shaken. 

"This incident has caused shock in the local community. They do not want this type of thing happening on their streets. 

"Anyone with any information on this attack should bring this forward to the police.” 


Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called for an “urgent review of government policy and funding for the Health Service to end the scandal of patients stuck on trolleys in Emergency Departments”.

The Louth TD said:

“Waiting lists in Our Lady of Lourdes Emergency Department have remained consistently high. On Monday August 10th, there were 35 patients on trolleys in OLOL – the worst in the state. Today, Tuesday August 11th, that number was 36.

“The summer period normally sees a drop in the volume of overcrowding in Emergency Departments but the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has reported that July saw the ‘highest ever level of overcrowding recorded’. July 2015 witnessed a 94% increase in trolley numbers in ED’s since 2006.

“Our Lady of Lourdes – with 769 patients on trolleys in July – had the highest levels of overcrowding of any hospital in the state.

“This is deeply disturbing and is evidence of the abject failure of government policy in respect of the health service and the care of patients. New measures introduced by the Minister for Health are inadequate and the €74 million additional funding provided several months ago has failed to achieve any significant improvement in Emergency Department trolley numbers.

“The negative impact of this on patient care and patient well-being requires urgent additional funding by the government.

“Urgent action is needed. It should include:

·         Immediate steps to recruit the required additional staff.

·         Additional resources to expand the role of the nurse in the acute care and in enhanced community services.

·         More acute beds and step down facilities must be established.”


Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on the government to ban the testing of all weapons used in armed conflicts on Irish territory.

Speaking today in Dublin Ms Boylan said:

“Sinn Féin is vehemently opposed to Ireland becoming a testing centre for weapons manufacturers.

“Meanwhile Minister Coveney’s proposals to allow the international military to use the Irish Defence Forces to test their new weapons is a further undermining of Ireland’s neutrality.

“His assurances that they will not be testing guns or rocket launchers are not enough considering modern weapons of war include drones and electronic guidance systems.

“Irish neutrality has been consistently eroded by consecutive Governments.

“From the executive decision to sign Ireland up to NATO's so-called ‘Partnership for Peace’ in 1997, to the opening of Shannon Airport to US military aircraft involved in the illegal invasion of Iraq, to this Government increasingly dragging Ireland into efforts to further militarise the EU.

“This attitude was evident when Fine Gael, Labour, and Fianna Fáil voted against a Sinn Féin bill in March 2015 which would have established a referendum on enshrining neutrality in the Constitution.

“Labour’s failure to vote in favour of the Bill was quite surprising considering that the party voted in favour of a similar Bill that we put before the Dáil in 2013. 

“Sinn Féin’s recommendations to the White Paper on Defence clearly outlined the party's support for Irish neutrality and a professional Defence Forces for the country that would continue to serve in overseas UN Peacekeeping missions.”


Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called on the Health Minister to commit to maintaining the current number of respite beds available in the Western Trust area.  

Ms McLaughlin said; 

"Respite facilities are vital to families caring for loved ones who are ill and their relatives. 

"Given the concern about respite services, I asked the health minister to detail the number of respite beds currently available in the Western Trust area. 

"Simon Hamilton said there are currently 14 beds available for respite services in the Western Trust area, in Omagh and at The Cottages in Derry. 

"In recent months users and their families haveade public their concerns about the future of these much needed facilities. 

"It is important the Health Minister moves to allay those fears by announcing that there will be no reduction in respite services." 


Speaking today Sinn Féin Councillor Maurice Quinlivan said: “The latest CSO figures for Limerick contradict the Government spin that the economy has ‘turned the corner’. For the last three months we have seen a national increase month on month in unemployment. The government is claiming that they are making progress in tackling the unemployment crisis, that Jobs are being created and that the live register is falling with the number of people in employment is increasing. This would be great news if it was true. Unfortunately an extra 518 have joined the Live register in Limerick city in July alone.

Quinlivan said: “Nationally 343,000 people were signing on in July which is twice as much as did in 2008. If you add the number of people who are on so called ‘Job-Activation’ scheme that number jumps to a level of around 20% of our population. Youth unemployment is still over 20% even though so many of our young people have been forced to emigrate.

“Here in Limerick City and extra 518 people signed on in July, including almost 100 young people.

“At a time of year when you would expect employment figures to be going the other direction due to part-time and seasonal work opportunities becoming available, this is a worrying trend to see emerging.

“If you consider that more than over 500,000 people emigrated from Ireland in the last number of years you can see how the government’s policies have really failed Irish citizens when it comes to job creation and economic revival.

“This is particularly evident in Limerick where emigration and both long term and youth unemployment have been an even greater scourge. The historical lack of investment has made an economic recovery even more difficult.

“Much of the employment that has been created is in seasonal and part-time employment and at the lower end of the wage scale. People are not feeling the benefit in their wage packets while they are being asked to shoulder even more financial burden such as Property Taxes, USC and Water charges.

“The government needs to reverse these policies and take a more progressive approach, as has been proposed time and again through this crisis by Sinn Féin.   

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