Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne has said the death of a man following an assault in Toome is a tragedy for his family and friends.
Mr Milne said;
"The death of this man following an assault in Toome in the early hours of Sunday morning is an absolute tragedy.
"It has caused widespread shock in the local area.
"My thoughts and sympathies are with the man's friends and family at this sad time.
"I would appeal for anyone with any information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI immediately."
At today’s monthly meeting of Monaghan County Council, Sinn Féin Councillor Seán Conlon proposed a Notice of Urgent Business calling on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD and the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly TD to ensure that the areas around 10-25 Moore Street, Dublin are fully protected for the purpose of preserving locations associated with Easter 1916.
The motion was adopted unanimously as was the case in May of 2012 when it was similarly adopted by the Council and relayed to the relevant agencies. Cllr. Conlon said:
“It was regrettable that over the recent years appropriate planning safeguards were not put in place that would ensure appropriate restoration and preservation actions would lead to the creation of a 1916 historical quarter.
“Attempts by developers to demolish iconic sites of struggle must be resisted with the same determination as resisting revisionist forces who attempt to deconstruct the historical facts of what occurred in the Moore St. area.”
Seconding the motion, Sinn Féin Cllr. Colm Carthy added
“The built environment in the vicinity of the GPO would lend extensively to conveying the details of actions and sacrifices made by the patriots during a turning point in Irish history and also that thorough engagement must be undertaken between the statutory authorities and representatives and family members of our patriot dead aimed at resolving the current deadlock.”
Dublin South West representative Seán Crowe TD has welcomed the Court decision to prevent further destruction of the Moore Street and described the occupation of the National monument terrace in Moore Street by protesters as a positive development.
Crowe said that relatives of 1916 patriots had won an agreement from the courts prior to Christmas that could possibly lead to a fresh review of the proposed development and the plan to remove the terrace put in a shopping mall and maintains that protesters only moved onto the site when the developer began to demolish buildings.
An injunction against any further demolition work has been put in place until a full hearing is held on February 2nd.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“I’m very concerned about developments which have led to the National Monument on Moore Street being occupied by campaigners, particularly in the first week of the centenary year of 1916.
“Moore Street has a special place in the hearts of Irish people and it is vital that it is redeveloped in a manner worthy of its importance.
“The delays and negligence of successive Governments cannot be allowed to continue damage the Moore Street terrace and the destruction of the terrace.
“The Government has acquired the National Monument 14-17 Moore Street after years of prevarication and foot dragging, but sadly their proposals are minimalist, lacking vision, and an embarrassingly cobbled together bunch of ideas that fail to protect or enhance the 1916 monument, and the greater battlefield area.
“Irish Volunteers commanded by Patrick Pearse surrendered to British forces on 30 April 1916 from the terrace of houses on Moore Street at the ending of the Easter Rising. We know that five of the seven signatories of the Irish Proclamation of Independence – Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Thomas Clarke, Joseph Plunkett and Sean MacDermott, surrendered along with Michael Collins, from the terrace.
“The Minister's plan does not even try to protect the historic terrace 10-25 Moore Street, and does nothing to try and address or give any consideration to the greater battlefield site.
“Whatever happens, it is clear that the terrace where the
last stand occurred will be a building site for the Centenary celebrations. It also
looks likely that many of the back yards, basements, the
streetscape, and historic lanes of history will be destroyed in the current plan.
“The very questionable planning permission which would allow the demolition of the entire terrace, apart from numbers 14 to 17, still lingers and is being challenged by 1916 relatives in the High Court.
“If this planning is allowed to proceed then the entire area will be engulfed and dwarfed by a giant €1.25 billion shopping mall monstrosity, that no one, aside from a handful of well-heeled investors want to see getting the go ahead.
“Politicians and the government in particular should be giving a lead on this issue but have failed miserably to protect buildings from destruction
“I believe the occupiers of the Moore Street site have done their country a service and should be commended for their action.
“An injunction against any further demolition work has been put in place until a full hearing is held on February 2nd. Hopefully the courts of the land will overturn the wrecking plan altogether and assert the national demand by saving terrace and 1916 battlefield site.”
Sinn Féin TD and Heritage Spokesperson Sandra McLellan today welcomed the decision by the courts to deny an injunction against the demolition work on Moore Street.
The Cork East deputy said
“A lot of thanks and praise must go to those who have occupied and protested over the past number of days, as well as all the groups involved in the campaigning. It's fantastic to see that the court has decided to halt the demolition work taking place in one of the integral sites of the Easter Rising. The area is of great historical and national significance, and as I have expressed on many occasions, must be protected and restored.
“We in Sinn Fein hope this is the start of the state beginning to realise that the preservation of this site is something a large number of people want and have called for quite some time. It's time they listened.
“All demolition in the area has been suspended until the case is due back in court of the 2nd of February.”
Sinn Féin MLA and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he is committed to working with new First Minister Arlene Foster for the benefit of everyone in society.
Mr McGuinness said;
"I pledge a positive spirit, a constructive spirit and a good heart in working with Arlene.
"I am an Irish republican and Arlene Forster is a unionist. Neither my republicanism nor Arlene Forster's unionism will be in any way diminished by our working together.
"Unionism is not the enemy; the enemy is poverty, disadvantage, and unemployment," he said.
Mr McGuinness also said the election of a female First Minister is also a step forward for politics.
"I have been fortunate enough to work with excellent female ministers from my own party – Caitríona Ruane, Martina Anderson, Bairbre de Brún, Michelle Gildernew, Michelle O'Neill, Carál Ní Chuilín and Jennifer McCann – all of whom rose to the highest level of government because of their talent and ability.
"I am a strong advocate of having more women in political life and political leadership and the election of a female First Minister is another step forward and a good day for politics," he said.
Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has stated that the local community is in shock following the news that murder victim Conor McKee was shot a number of times last Thursday night.
Ms Ní Chuilín said:
"The news that the murder of Conor McKee involved him being shot several times has left this community shocked.
"I wholeheartedly condemn the attack.
"My thoughts are with the McKee family at this difficult time. Those responsible carry no regard for the community and this is evidenced by their actions.
"Anybody who saw anything suspicious in the area on Thursday evening should bring that information to the PSNI.
"Our society has no place for guns or for shootings of any kind.”
Speaking today, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the Minister for Education to move quickly to address the issue of school admissions in advance of the election.
The Cork North Central TD said;
“Sinn Féin have met with a range of parents and just today with the organisation EQUATE who are working to ensure that schools are changed so that religious discrimination against children is ended.
“We need to see a fundamental change so that no child is excluded from their local school based on their religion and we in Sinn Fén are committed to working with parents and communities to ensure that school patronage reflects a modern pluralist society.
“We recently introduced legislation that would have repealed the law that allows for religious discrimination against children in schools, as well as ensuring that faith formation takes place outside of school hours and mandated schools to have diversity protocols in place.
“Divestment must continue and be sped up but we also need to see a plan for diversifying patronage beyond that.
“There is no reason why the Minister cannot address these issues as a matter of urgency in advance of the election and we are calling on her to do so, and end this practice of defending religious discrimination against children.”
Sinn Féin TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said Joan Burton’s comments that questions about a deal on Ireland’s bank debt being “redundant” only show up how redundant her party is.
Deputy Doherty said for Sinn Fein getting the Irish people’s money back is not a redundant idea.
The Donegal South-West TD said:
“I am disgusted at the Tánaiste’s comments that talk of a deal on Ireland’s debt is redundant. This year Ireland will pay €6.6bn, more than the entire tax take of the USC on servicing that debt. For Joan Burton to say that question is redundant is typical of her redundant party. For Sinn Fein recouping the people’s money is not a redundant question.
“Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore told us in 2012 that he had achieved a ‘game changer’. Now his successor doesn’t even want to answer questions about what happened to the people’s money. Three and a half years later and Ireland has not even applied for a retrospective recapitalisation. Selling off the banks is a poor substitute both financially and morally for what the deal we were told had been achieved would have secured for the country in a desperate time.
“Joan Burton also conveniently forgets that the remaining €25 bn of Anglo bonds are still sitting in the Central Bank awaiting their sale to speculators. Presumably for the Labour Party that €25bn is alos spilt milk.
Ireland has the third highest expenditure on debt interest as a proportion of GDP out of EU and that debt is still roughly 100% of our GDP. It is Joan Burton’s party that is redundant not the question of Ireland’s massive debt.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will host a major conference in Belfast on the proposed in/out British referendum on EU Membership (BREXIT) and the Repeal of the Human Rights Act, at the end of January.
Speaking today, Ms Anderson said
"Sinn Féin believes that Europe needs serious and radical democratic reform, however, we believe that a British withdrawal from the European Union (BREXIT) would have serious implications for Ireland North and South.
"I have been consistent in raising the implications of a BREXIT for Ireland, with the possible re-emergence of border controls and the particular adverse effects it would have on the economy, trade, agriculture and infrastructural development across the island, not to mention the impact it would have for the hundreds of community and social projects that depend on EU funding for their existence.
"This conference, 'BREXIT: Rights & Wrongs' will take place in the Balmoral Hotel, Belfast on Friday 29th January. Its purpose is to look at the wider issue of BREXIT, the Effects of the Repeal of the Human Rights Act and the Implications both of these would have on Ireland.
"Speakers from across a range of sectors will be present including representatives from trade unions, the business sector and Claude Moraes MEP, chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament.
"The Repeal of the Human Rights Act is something that many people overlook when we discuss BREXIT. To address this critical issue representatives of Doughty Street Chambers and Kevin Winters Law firm have been invited to present their legal opinions, which was commissioned by our political group in the European Parliament –GUE/NGL on the effects the Repeal of the Human Rights Act would have on citizens in the North.
"David Cameron has stated that a referendum is likely to take place as early as September 2016 and therefore it is imperative that the Irish people are made aware of the disastrous implications this could have for our island as a whole. Therefore I would encourage as many people as possible, from all sections of the community, to attend this important event.
'For more information, contact [email protected]" ENDS
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Brian Stanley TD, has claimed that Irish Water customers have no means of making complaints about the company.
He was referring to a claim by the Ombudsman that the Government excluded Irish Water from his remit, which means that people with legitimate grievances can not avail of his office.
Deputy Stanley said;
“Irish Water customers and indeed public representatives are already aware that making even the most basic queries regarding Irish Water usually meets with a stone wall.
“The company is clearly being deluged with inquiries and complaints and simply does not have the capacity to respond.
“The fact that there is no recourse to the Ombudsman compounds that, and also proves that the Government is well aware of the level of dissatisfaction with Irish Water.”
Dublin City Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha, on behalf of Sinn Féin, has tabled an Emergency Motion on Moore Street for tonight's City Council meeting.
The motion states:
"This City Council calls on the Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys to intervene immediately to halt the current works on the historic Moore Street 1916 terrace which involve the virtual destruction of Number 18, the inappropriate encroachment on the National Monument 14-17 and the potential demolition of the remaining buildings on the terrace (10-25), based on the plan of the previous owner Chartered Land.
"We call on the Minister to work with the City Council, the 1916 relatives and all relevant stakeholders to implement a new plan which would conserve the terrace 10-25 and create an historic 1916 quarter, and not allow such shameful destruction in the Centenary of the Easter Rising."
Sinn Féin Ian Milne has appealed for anyone with information on a serious assault on a man in Toome at the weekend to come forward.
Mr Milne said;
"The assault on this man in Toome in the early hours of Sunday morning has caused widespread shock in the local area.
"A man has been left in a very serious condition in hospital following this incident and hopefully he can make a full recovery.
"I would appeal for anyone with any information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI immediately."
Sinn Féin's National Chairperson Declan Kearney has said it is important that people from all sections of the community take part in this year's centenary commemorations to develop a greater understanding of the events of 1916.
Mr Kearney said;
"Those who struck a blow for freedom at Easter 1916 fought to create a new Ireland for all.
"They did so at a time of intense militarisation, not just in Ireland but across the world.
"This year, we will be commemorating the centenary of not just the Easter Rising, but also other landmark events of that year, most notably the Battle of the Somme. All of these commemorations should be inclusive and respectful. They can and should be harnessed as a real opportunity to develop a shared culture of commemoration in our society.
"The Proclamation of the Irish Republic is one of the most revolutionary documents from the period and it is every bit as relevant today 100 years later.
"It is the epitome of democracy and enshrines the right to universal suffrage as well as civil and religious liberty for all.
"The ideas of the Proclamation, and the actions of the men and women of 1916, were endorsed by the vast majority of the people of Ireland in the 1918 elections with a resounding Sinn Féin victory.
"To claim that the Rising was undemocratic totally misses the point of what happened in 1916 and the years that followed and highlights the need for the participation of all sections of society in this year's commemorations.
"This year should be an occasion for all political leaders to promote mutual respect, parity of esteem and to lead by example towards developing a phase of reconciliation and healing among all sections of our people."
Sinn Féin's Declan Kearney has welcomed news that construction work on the upgrade of the A6 between Randalstown and the Castledawson roundabout is to begin this year.
Mr Kearney said;
"News that work on 14 kilometres of new dual carriageway between Randalstown and the Toome Bypass and on to the Castledawson roundabout will begin later this year is welcome.
"The funding for the project was secured in the recent 2016/17 Executive budget las part of a huge investment in key infrastructural projects which will also see the upgrade of the A5.
"Not only is this a major investment which will help the economies of areas along the route and reduce journey times between Belfast and the north west, it will also provide a much-needed boost to our construction industry.
"Sinn Féin have been campaigning for the upgrade of the A6 for many years and this announcement is a further step forward towards the full completion of the project."
Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has invited businesses in North Antrim to have their say in the current review of non-domestic rates being carried out by the Department of Finance and Personnel.
Mr McKay is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, January 14, in the Braid town hall which will be attended by the Head of Rating Policy at DFP, Brian McClure and Glynn Roberts of NIRTA.
The North Antrim MLA said;
"The Department are reviewing how rates are calculated, when revaluations take place and what reliefs should be in place within non-domestic rating.
“This is therefore quite an important consultation and local businesses and all those who are affected by non-domestic rating, including sport clubs, should take the opportunity to respond to the consultation and outline what improvements can be made to the system.
"We want to see a system in place that is fair but also takes into account of sustaining town centres and supporting local businesses.
“There is undoubtedly room for improvement and it is important that non-domestic ratepayers in North Antrim come to the meeting on Thursday night to ensure that their views are fed in to this consultation.”
Sinn Féin councillor Michael Ruane has expressed sympathy to the family and friends of a six year-old girl killed in a road collision near Newry.
Councillor Ruane, chairperson of Newry and Mourne District Council, said;
"The death of six year-old Ella Trainor in a collision on the Hightown Road is tragic.
"This devastating news of further loss of life on our roads has cast a dark cloud over the entire local area.
"The support, thought and prayers of the local community will be with the Trainor family at this sad time.
"I want to express my condolences, and those of the community, to Martin, Susan, and the wider family circle as they face this tragedy."
Sinn Fein MLA McCann has condemned the hijacking of a car in the Twinbrook area of west Belfast.
Ms McCann said;
"I utterly condemn this incident in which a car being driven by a woman was hijacked by four men in the Glasvey Rise area of Twinbrook.
"Thankfully the woman was not injured but this must have been a terrifying ordeal for her and I understand she was left badly shaken.
"No one should have to go through an experience like that and I hope she makes a full recovery.
"I would appeal to anyone with information on this hijacking to bring it forward to the PSNI."
Sinn Féin’s Dublin South Central election campaign will be launched this evening in the Elenora Pub in Drimnagh.
The launch will be addressed by the party’s Director of Elections, Matt Carthy MEP.
Sinn Féin is running two candidates in the constituency with Councillor Máire Devine joining sitting TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh on the ticket.
Speaking ahead of the launch today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
"Sinn Féin is confident of winning two seats in Dublin South Central. We will be running a positive campaign, offering solutions to the chaos of the Fine Gael/Labour Party government.
“Sinn Féin will be offering the people of Dublin South Central a real alternative to the crisis in housing & health care caused by this government and its Fianna Fáil led predecessor.
"Our housing policy is the most comprehensive of any party. It outlines how we will deliver 100,000 social houses statewide, 22,000 of which will be built in Dublin City to meet the needs of those on the housing lists here.”
Councillor Máire Devine said;
"Sinn Féin wants to lead a government that will bring maximum change in our society. We are visionaries with a vision of an Ireland of equals which can only be brought about by a progressive government led by Sinn Féin.
“That is why we are running two candidates in Dublin South Central and the largest number of Sinn Féin candidates in since the 1920s."
Dublin Sinn Féin representatives Seán Crowe TD and Mayor Sarah Holland have given their support to the National Women’s Council of Irelands Manifesto for Women.
The Manifesto includes proposals such as making early year’s childcare and education a priority and working towards repealing the 8thAmendment of the Constitution.
Councillor Sarah Holland said:
“Sinn Féin is a progressive party with equality as one of our core principles. Women’s Rights are high on our agenda and neither Seán Crowe nor I had difficulties in signing up to these progressive proposals.
"I congratulate the National Women’s
Council for kick starting this discussion,
as women at the moment only make up 16% of our TD’s, and we have not had a female TD in Dublin South West for
over almost 14
"We have a big opportunity for real change in the upcoming election and I wish the very best to all of the female candidates.”
"Over 50 candidates signed up in the first 24 hours, and more are expected as we get closer to the election.
Deputy Crowe added:
"Leinster House is run like a Gentleman’s Club. The old boys network is alive and well and thriving, despite the promises of radical reform and a new approach from the current administration under Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
"We need new ideas, new: approaches and that means more women need tobe elected to the next parliament.
"As we begin 2016 and the important Centenary celebrations theNational Women’s Council of Ireland's progressive proposals are another reminder and hugely significant as we move closer to the implementation the ideals of the Proclamation and those of an inclusive Ireland."
Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada has stated that the Murrough in Wicklow Town is an area of natural beauty that needs to be protected and has pledged to identify and fight for any possible European funding available to provide for long term coastal protection. This follows a meeting on Friday between the MEP, Sinn Féin councillors John Brady, John Snell and representatives from the Save the Murrough and Friends of the Murrough groups.
Speaking after the visiting and walking the Murrough and inspecting the coastal erosion Liadh Ní Riada MEP said “The Murrough in Wicklow Town is an area of natural beauty; it’s the only parkland available in Wicklow Town and is an important local amenity. It must be protected from both coastal erosion and development. The area is environmentally important and is designated under the EU Habitats Directive as a candidate Special Area of Conservation for birds.”
“The level of coastal erosion happening at the Murrough is alarming and its imperative that the issue is pushed at both National and European levels. I’ve pledged to raise the Murrough at a European level to try getting the relevant protections enacted; I will also try identifying funding streams to ensure the necessary long term coastal protection is put in place to ensure the area is protected for future generations to enjoy.”
Wicklow Sinn Féin councillor John Brady said “My Sinn Féin colleagues Eamonn Long, Garrett O’Reilly and John Snell have worked over many years to try ensuring the Murrough is protected for the people of Wicklow to enjoy. A lot of credit must go to the late Cllr Pat Kavanagh who also championed this issue over many years and to the Friends of the Murrough group.”
“In 2004 Eamonn Long and I stood on the Murrough at the Monkey Pole which was at risk of getting washed into the sea due to coastal erosion. In the subsequent years the Monkey Pole has had to be moved further inland on two separate occasions.”
Cllr Brady concluded “A small amount of funding has been allocated by the OPW to carry out some short term coastal protection work that should have been carried out many years ago. We need now to work towards securing funding to protect the Murrough long term, there are plans there that need to be funded and advanced. The Murrough is environmentally important, we need to push to ensure it get designated under EU legislation as a Special Protection area, also that a Special Area Amenity Order (SAAO) is given. I commend the work that both Save the Murrough and the Friends of the Murrough are doing both to highlight the serious issues affecting the area and ensuring that its protected as an valuable public amenity for the people of Wicklow.”