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Next election a choice between Fine Gael or Sinn Féin-led Government - Gerry Adams TD

"The next election will be a choice between a Fine Gael-led or Sinn Féin-led Government. It is a choice between two diametrically opposed visions for Irish society." - Adams

There is a need for new political and human relationships based on trust and respect. We may never agree on the past but that must not be allowed to hold back the future.


Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD this morning launched his party’s alternative internship scheme which he says will replace the current government’s JobBridge Scheme if his party is in power after the next election.



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Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams this morning attended the anniversary mass for Garda Adrian Donohoe.

Speaking afterwards Teachta Adams expressed his sympathy to Garda Donohoe’s family and repeated his call for anyone with information to bring it forward to An Garda Síochána or the PSNI.

The Louth TD said:

“I would again appeal for anyone with information to bring that information forward to An Garda Síochána or the PSNI. If people are nervous about doing this they could pass the information to me and I will pass it on to the relevant authorities.

“The family of Garda Donohoe and the community in the Cooley’s are still mourning his death. As well as being an outstanding Garda, Adrian Donohoe was immersed in his local community and in particular in St. Patrick’s GAC.

“There is a duty on anyone with information to bring that forward to ensure that his killers are brought to justice.”

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Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has extended his partys solidarity greetings to Syriza on polling day in Greece.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

"This election in Greece is vitally important for the country but also the European Union.

"Syriza's anti-austerity ideology and support for the common Greek citizens struggling under economic hardship has transformed the political landscape in Greece.

"Syriza have been leading in the polls coming into this election and I wish them every success on polling day.

"A Syriza victory today offers a real alternative and brighter future for Greece and will help build the progressive change in Europe that Syriza, Sinn Féin, and many others have been working for."

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Ag labhairt i rith searmanas speisíalta ag Brú Ború chun an Dúais Saoránach Eorpach a bhronnadh ar Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, rinne an feisire Eorpach Liadh Ní Riada comhghairdes le Comhaltas as ucht an aitheantas atá tuillte acu sa bhaile agus san Eorap.

 Le linn óráid ós comhar an slua i mBrú Ború labhair an feisire de chuid Shinn Féin mar gheall ar an cur chun cinn atá fós le dhéanamh chun oidhreacht, cultúr agus teanga na nGaeil a chosaint.

 Dúirt Liadh Ní Riada:

 “Teastaíonn uaim comghardeas a dhéanamh le gach uile ball de Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Tá an dúais seo tuillte acu go léir as ucht an chur chun cinn cheol, cultúr agus oidhreacht na nGaeil atá I mbun ag gach ceann dosna céadta craobhacha acu ar fud na hÉireann agus ar fud an domhain.”

 “Is gluaiseacht chultúrtha neamhbhrabúis é an Comhaltas agus tá sé lonnaithe go lárnach sa phobail i ngach ceantair in Éireann, ag múineadh ár n-oidhreacht cheoil agus ag spreagadh muinín agus meas dár gcultúr.” 

 “Tá cumhacht ag baint lenár n-ionannas mar Gaeil, lenár dteanga agus lenár gcultúr. Is cuid lárnach iad ár n-amhránaíocht, ár gceol agus ár damhsa dár gcultúr, agus léiríonn siad meon, taithí agus tuiscintí na ndaoine.”

 “Is léir áfach go bhfuil fós orainn ár gcultúr agus ár bhféiniúlacht mar Ghaeil a chosaint agus dhearbhú in aghaidh na bunaíochta. Tá an méid seo soléir ón easpa suime agus tola atá ag an rialtas i dtaobh an Gaeilge, i dtaobh ealaíne agus i dtaobh an chultúir.”

 “Tá obair fós le déanamh againn ár gcultúr agus oidhreacht a chosaint, agus athbheochan na nGaeil a chuir i gcrích. Leanfaidh Sinn Féin ar aghaidh ag troid ar son cothrom na féinne don Gaeilge, ar son Acht Gaeilge sna Sé Chontae, ar son tacaíocht agus maonú dár n-eagraíochtaí cultúrtha, agus in éadan an meon meatha atá ag an rialtas i dtaobh na Gaeilge.”

 “Leanfaimíd ar aghaidh ag múineadh, ag léiriú, ag  cruthú, ag caint agus ag seint, mar tuigimíd ár gcumhacht agus ár bhféintuilleamaí mar phobal. Leanfaimíd ar aghaidh a chur ár gcultúr a chur chun cinn, in ainneoin don rialtas más gá.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada today praised and congratulated the many thousands of members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, as the traditional music organisation was presented with the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize.

 In closing remarks to those attending the presentation ceremony in the Brú Ború cultural centre in County Tipperary, Ní Riada spoke of the progress that still has to be made in defending and promoting our heritage, culture and language.

 Liadh Ní Riada said:

 “I want to congratulate each and every member of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. They have earned this prize with their tireless work in teaching our music and promoting our rich culture and heritage across the generations, through branches in every part of Ireland and further afield.”

 “Comhaltas is a grassroots, non-profit cultural movement that is embedded in communities throughout Ireland, which transfers the skills and knowledge of our music and culture, and inspires respect and pride in our traditions.”

 “There is a strength that we take from our cultural identity, from our language and our heritage. Our music, song, and dance are a central part of that cultural identity, and they tell a lot about our outlook, our experiences and our understandings as a people.”

 “It is clear, unfortunately, that we still have to defend and assert our culture and identity in the face of an establishment that is at best disinterested, and at worst downright hostile. This much is evident in the absolute dearth of interest and political will that our Government has with regard to our national language, to our arts and to our cultural life.”

 “There is still much work to be done in defending our cultural heritage and bringing about the Gaelic renaissance that Pearse dreamed of. Sinn Féin will continue to work for parity of esteem for Irish, for an Irish Language Act in the Six Counties, to support and fund our cultural organisations, and to stand against the retrograde attitude of this Government in relation to Irish.”

 “We will continue to teach, to create, to play and to speak, because we understand the nature of our strength and our self-reliance as a people. We will continue to live and promote our culture, and in spite of the Government if needs be.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada today condemned the scare tactics of political leaders across Europe ahead of tomorrow’s historic election in Greece.

 Ní Riada said:

 “It is alarming to hear the threatening tone of political leaders across Europe when they speak about the potential outcomes of tomorrow’s historic election in Greece.

 “Ultimately, it is for the Greek people to decide what type of Government they want, and interference in the form of veiled threats from European leaders is to be condemned. Scare tactics cannot hold the peoples of Europe to ransom. The austerity policies that have cause havoc for people across the continent, not least in Greece and in Ireland, must end.”

 “We see from the comments made by Enda Kenny yesterday and by politicians across Europe recently, that our leaders are intent on continuing the punishment, as they seek to drive pay and conditions down and increase profits for big business. The ideological alignments in Europe are becoming clearer than ever before. The establishment parties, both at home and across the European Union remain committed to austerity.”

 “The increase is support for Syriza illustrates a trend that is happening throughout Europe as people seek alternatives to constant austerity. A Syriza-led government in Greece could see a €228 billion write off on Greece’s €319 billion debt. A Greek write down will strengthen the case for a similar Irish debt deal, however the Fine Gael / Labour government have neither the political will nor the courage to seek such a deal. They are ideologically wedded to the austerity model that has caused so much suffering over the last six years.”

“A victory for Syriza in tomorrow’s elections has the potentially to radically alter European politics. The growth of the left across Europe reflects the changing tide and a resurgence of popular opposition to austerity. Sinn Féin will continue to work with Syriza and other left parties across the continent in order to fight against the system that impoverishes the many and enriches the few.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness’ full address to his party’s Six-County Cúige AGM in Omagh today, Saturday 24 January 2015

What we achieved in the Stormont House Agreement should not be underestimated. The two years leading up to the negotiation were the worst I have known since taking up the post of deputy First Minister.

We faced a disengaged British Government, an openly hostile Dublin Government and a DUP leadership that was being increasingly driven by the wreckers, inside and outside its own ranks.

Add to that the austerity agenda of the Tory administration, their unrelenting attack on the welfare state and the Executive's block grant and we faced – just a few weeks ago – the imminent prospect of the institutions collapsing under the weight of this perfect storm of political and economic crisis.

Our opponents – and many within the media – felt sure that Sinn Fein would buckle in the face of this perfect storm.

But we didn’t. Against all the odds and against all the forces reined against us, we stood firm.

We stood firm on the need to protect the most vulnerable.

We stood firm on the rights of victims.

We stood firm on our opposition to austerity and the raiding of the block grant.

We stood firm on the primacy of the Good Friday and St Andrew’s Agreements.

And the force of our arguments won out. We succeeded in forcing the negotiation in the first place and then uniting the Executive parties around the need to challenge the British Government.

We succeeded in doing so and we achieved a deal which provides the protections for the most vulnerable that we consistently demanded when, for months, we were told no more was possible.

We secured a significantly enhanced financial settlement when, for months, we were told not a penny more was on the table.

We secured the future of the Coroners Courts – a key requirement for victims of the State. We secured a new way forward on North South arrangements, which provides the potential to significantly increase cross-border cooperation.

We secured all this – and much more – from a defensive negotiation within a process that was all about hammering Sinn Fein.

Well they didn’t hammer Sinn Fein. We emerged from the negotiation in a stronger position. Our approach, our defence of the most vulnerable and our opposition to austerity – whether it is spawned in London or Dublin – was vindicated.

Of course there are many failings in the Stormont House agreement. The Irish Government shamefully acquiesced to the British on unfulfilled commitments, including Acht na Gaelige and an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

But we expected nothing better from them.

Others may wish to forget their commitments. But for us, all outstanding commitments remain as jobs of work to be done, and that work will continue.

This week I had a positive meeting with British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.

In the course of the meeting we expressed our sense that the Stormont House Agreement has created the potential for a fresh start for politics.

Obviously the delivery and implementation of that agreement and previous agreements are crucial to ensuring that fresh start.

Whoever becomes the next British prime minister must also adopt a fresh approach to the North and live up to their responsibilities and duties as co-guarantors of the agreements made over the last 15 years. 

Stormont House was the best possible outcome in the circumstances that we faced. But like all agreements, it is the implementation, which will tell the story.

History was made too with the election of my friend and colleague Mitchel McLaughlin as the first Republican Speaker of the Assembly, the first Republican Speaker since the formation of the state.

Mitchell and I have been friends for 40 years. I know his ability, dedication and thoughtfulness of his approach to political life.

Mitchel has a long record in politics going back to the Civil Rights era and he will bring all his experience to his new role.

I also welcome the fact the DUP has now honoured its agreement on the election of the speaker. I hope this will be a new beginning in the relationships between the parties in going forward.

We have made a good start and I want to recognise the positive leadership of Peter Robinson in making and adhering to the agreement.

The coming weeks and months will be crucial. We have already seen some parties begin to indulge in party politicking and we can expect more in the time ahead.

The best thing that we as republicans can do to counteract that is to build our own political strength.

Over the coming period, we have the opportunity to do just that in three crucial elections at Westminster, the Assembly and the Dail.

Those elections come as millions of people around the world prepare to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Sinn Fein will of course play a leading role in many of those events and we have our own programme planned to ensure a fitting tribute is paid to our patriot dead.

But the most fitting tribute we can pay is to realise the Republic envisaged in 1916. We are the only party with the ability and the desire to do that.

It is who we are and it is why we do what we do.

And our goal is within our grasp.

These elections give us the opportunity to take more huge strides towards it, to put our struggle onto a new trajectory where the unity of our country and the establishment of the 1916 Republic becomes inevitable. 

It is you, the people in this room, who will make that happen. The referendum in Scotland showed what can happen when committed activists bring dynamism, energy and a heartfelt belief in a better future to the political process. They can inspire a people. They can create a nation. 

The decision to extend the vote to 16 year-olds in the referendum injected a fresh impetus into the debate. We strongly believe and advocate that 16 year-olds should be given the opportunity to vote and participate in the political process.

And I have absolutely no doubt that Scotland is now on that inevitable trajectory to freedom.

The challenge to us is to put our own struggle onto the same trajectory.

To that end I have appealed for an alliance of progressive parties in the coming Westminster and Assembly elections to maximize the representation of pro-Agreement parties.

I believe that the SDLP’s rejection of my call is a serious political mistake and represents a lost opportunity.

It demonstrates a lack of strategic vision on the part of the SDLP leadership and is further evidence that they are out of step with the voters and with the grassroots.

I am calling on them once again to seize the opportunity to send out a clear message of support for progressive politics, the Good Friday Agreement and genuine power sharing and partnership government.

In my view the conditions have never been better for the republican ideal to take root in Ireland. Every day more and more people across the island are endorsing our vision of a better future and a new nation founded on genuine fairness and equality.

We have the means to achieve that. We have the opportunity. And we have - in all of you - the people to make it a reality.

Now we have to go out and achieve it.

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the next three elections offer the opportunity to make a united Ireland inevitable. 

Speaking at the Sinn Féin Six-County Cúige AGM in Omagh today, Mr McGuinness said; 

"Sinn Féin has emerged from the recent negotiations in a stronger position. Our defence of the most vulnerable and our opposition to austerity – whether it is spawned in London or Dublin – was vindicated. 

"The Stormont House Agreement was the best deal possible but, like all agreements, it is the implementation which will tell the story. We are now in that phase and we have made a good start and I want to recognise the positive leadership of Peter Robinson in making and adhering to the agreement.

"Over the coming period we are facing three crucial elections at Westminster, the Assembly and the Dáil.  

"These elections give us the opportunity to take more huge strides towards our ultimate goal, to put our struggle on to a new trajectory where the unity of our country and the establishment of the 1916 Republic becomes inevitable. 

"I have appealed for an alliance of progressive parties in the coming Westminster and Assembly elections to maximise the representation of pro-Agreement parties. 

"I believe that the SDLP's rejection of my call is a serious political mistake and represents a lost opportunity. 

"It demonstrates a lack of strategic vision on the part of the SDLP leadership and is further evidence that they are out of step with the voters and the grassroots. 

"I am calling on them once again to seize the opportunity to send out a clear message of support for progressive politics, the Good Friday Agreement and genuine power sharing and partnership government. 

"In my view the conditions have never been better for the republican ideal to take root in Ireland. 

"Every day more and more people across the island are endorsing our vision of a better future and a new nation founded on genuine fairness and equality."  

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Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann were today presented with European Citizens Prize Award at a special ceremony in Cork. Comhaltas were nominated for the award by Sinn Féin MEP’s Matt Carthy, Martina Anderson, Liadh Ní Riada and Lynn Boylan. 

Speaking today from the ceremony, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midland’s North West, Matt Carthy, extended his congratulations to the organisation and commended them for their work.

Carthy said:

“Comhaltas was nominated by Sinn Féin for the award of the European Citizen’s Prize and their recognition by the European Parliament is fully deserved.

“Comhaltas is the largest group involved in the promotion of Irish Traditional music and Irish Language. It is world renowned and has hundreds of members from across several cultures.

“We nominated Comhaltas because it is an important organisation for our diaspora, many of whom find friends in their new homes by connecting with Comhaltas branches worldwide.

“Comhaltas branches run a number of exchange programmes throughout the EU, which assist in developing the cross border and transnational efforts of other bodies and promotes the development and recognition of Irish culture abroad.

“In 2013, Comhaltas achieved a significant milestone in bringing the Fleadh Ceoil to the city of Derry. This event is one of the largest cultural festivals in Europe and it was the first time in 60 years to hold the event in the north of Ireland. In doing so, Comhaltas reached out in a spirit of inclusivity to the loyalist and unionist community.

“On behalf of myself and my fellow Sinn Féin MEPs, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to Comhaltas in being awarded the European Citizen’s Prize and I am delighted to be here today at the ceremony to celebrate with them.”

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Sinn Féin’s Vice President and TD for Dublin Central Mary Lou McDonald has said that the proposal under consideration by Minister Alan Kelly to place homeless people in the derelict flat complexes at Croke Villas and O’Devaney gardens is a recipe for disaster.

Deputy McDonald said;

“Any decision by Minister Kelly to use Croke Villas and O’Devaney Gardens to house homeless people would be a very serious step backwards.

“Both flat complexes were to be part of regeneration schemes through Public Private Partnerships, which failed due to the construction Industry collapse in Ireland.  Both complexes required regeneration because of the appalling living conditions of tenants.  Dublin City Council embarked on a de-tenanting scheme of both complexes because they knew that maintenance or refurbishment was not enough to create a safe and healthy living environment.

“In August 2014 The International Federation for Human Rights (a Paris based international human rights body) filed a complaint with the Council for Europe accusing the Irish government of presiding over appalling living standards and failing to meet basic and legal housing requirements.  Both Croke Villas and O’Devaney Gardens were cited along with other flat complexes in Dublin in the damning complaint.

“The complaint alleges discrimination against some of the most vulnerable and poverty stricken communities in Ireland, Minister Kelly is now considering placing homeless families in these same flat complexes. That is not acceptable. Homeless families deserve proper housing. I am calling on him to abandon any such plan.

“Piecemeal gestures or attempts to paper over the cracks will not resolve the homeless crisis. Both O’Devaney Gardens and Croke Villa require proper regeneration, not a cosmetic makeover. If Minister Kelly is serious about addressing the homeless crisis then this is not the way to go about it.”

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Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek and Brian Stanley TD