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Sinn Féin budget supports fair and sustainable recovery - Pearse Doherty

Sinn Fein’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said Sinn Fein’s alternative Budget would repair communities, rebuild the economy and renew society. The budget lays out how Sinn Fein would abolish the local property tax and water charges and our programme for investing in disability services, health and education.

Download Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget 2015 here



“The DUP are vocal about the consequences of not implementing these Tory cuts but remain silent on the impact of these cuts which would take hundreds of millions of pounds out of the pockets of the most vulnerable and least able to pay.  These cuts would plunge more children into poverty and take money from hard-pressed working families, people on benefits and from people with disabilities." - Daithí McKay



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Sinn Féin councillor Gerry McCabe has condemned a gun attack on a young man in Ardoyne last night.

Gerry McCabe said:

“A young man was shot in both feet last night in Havana Walk.

“This is the latest in a series of shootings in the area over the last fortnight.

“There is no place for these gangs in our community and I am calling on them to immediately end their campaign of violence and threats against the people of Ardoyne.

 “Anyone who has any information on this attack should bring it to the police." 

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Sinn Féin councillor Gemma McKenna has praised the emergency services for rescuing people from a fire which destroyed a number of homes in Portadown. 

Speaking following the blaze in the Ballyoran area on Saturday, councillor McKenna said; 

"My thoughts are with those people who have lost their homes and those whose homes have been damaged. 

"Three houses were severely damaged while up to twelve other houses sustained minor damage. 

"I want to praise the emergency services who evacuated people from their homes and tackled the fire.

"Their actions prevented anyone being injured during the fire and thankfully ensured everyone was safe."

"This is a very difficult time for all those involved and would encourage anyone who requires our constituency services to contact us on 028 38349675."

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Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy said British secretary of state Theresa Villiers must end her government's partisan approach to dealing with problems in the political process in the North.

And the Newry Armagh MP said that the approach of Irish Foreign Affairs minister Charlie Flanagan to the difficulties in the North have more to do with his own party's narrow electoral considerations in the South.

Conor Murphy said:

“Theresa Villiers’ speech to the British Irish Association was the latest crude attempt by the NIO to absolve the British government of responsibility for the current problems in the political process.

“The British government’s refusal to endorse the Haass/O’Sullivan proposals on flags, parading and the legacy of the past has provided cover for unionists to walk away from a solution.

“Her response to a unionist walk-out from all-party leaders’ talks over their demand for an Orange march in North Belfast has been to offer them fresh concessions.

"Theresa Villiers is well aware that the only blockages to talks taking place is coming from political unionism. The British government’s refusal to honour its own commitments has emboldened that intransigence.

“It is a disgrace that Ms Villiers should also attempt to draw an equivalence between failure to make progress on the issues of flags, parading and the legacy of the past due to unionist refusal to embrace compromise, and the defence of the welfare state through opposition to vicious Tory welfare cuts on the basis of social justice.

“It is her government which seeks to impose Thatcherite cuts on those unionist and nationalist citizens least well off to fend for themselves. Sinn Féin and others will not accept this attack on the most vulnerable in our society.

“The British were not by-standers. The current deep political impasse can only be resolved when the British government ends its one-sided approach to helping address the key issues.”

Mr Murphy also rejected comments made by the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Charlie Flanagan that Sinn Féin was 'disengaged' in the North.

"Charlie Flanagan's use of the term 'disengaged' far more accurately describes the position of the Irish and British Governments in relation to the North and outstanding issues.

“Mr Flanagan seems to forget that Sinn Féin compromised in talks and signed up to the Haass proposals on flags, parades and dealing with past.

“Minister Flanagan's dishonest and inaccurate portrayal of current difficulties in the political process in the North are deeply unhelpful and, I suspect, have more to do with his own party's narrow electoral considerations in the South.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said tonight that any inquiry into the abuse of children in care by members of British state forces should be international and fully independent.

Jennifer McCann was speaking after East Belfast MP Naomi Long said tonight she had been approached by a number of people including women who claimed they had been abused by members of British state forces in the 1970s.

Jennifer McCann said:

“Senior British intelligence officers withheld information for almost eight years about the abuse of boys in Kincora Boys Home in East Belfast in the 1970s.

“British intelligence officers were also told not to investigate the abuse while evidence was withheld from two inquiries into Kincora.

“The British state is clearly unwilling and incapable of investigating its own agents and intelligence services or members of its armed forces.

 “The British government has spent decades trying to cover up the activities of its intelligence services in Ireland.

  “Any inquiry into the abuse of children in care by British state forces during the 1970s needs to be international, independent and have powers to subpoena witnesses and access documents.” 

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The European Delegation to Palestine are calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel for war crimes after meeting with some of the victims of the recent conflict.

Israel's direct targeting of civilians and its reckless cause of civilian deaths is a clear breach of international human rights law.

Three of Sinn Féins MEPs visited the Makassed Islamic Charitable Hospital in East Jerusalem where they met with victims of Israel's latest attack on Gaza, including a father and his 3-year old son who have both lost limbs.

Yesterday Sinn Féin MEPs expressed their condolences and solidarity to the family of the murdered Palestinian 17-year old Mohamed Khdeir, in a visit with them at their home in East Jerusalem.

Mohamed was kidnapped by Israelis and set on fire after having been forced to swallow petrol.

The Khdeir family are taking the police to court as they failed to locate the perpetrators despite having been presented with video evidence of the kidnap. The delegation pledged to offer support to the family in bringing the case to the attention of the European Court of Human Rights.

MEP Martina Anderson said: "When crimes are not effectively and properly investigated it is a breach of international human rights law. The family believes that the police colluded in giving safe passage to those that committed this barbaric act."

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Sinn Féin is to select its candidate for the Roscommon South Leitrim by-election on Monday night (8th September) at 8pm at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town.  Longstanding Leitrim councillor Martin Kenny is expected to be selected.   Party President Gerry Adams, Roscommon raised MEP Matt Carthy and Pearse Doherty TD, who will be the party’s Director of Elections for the by election campaign, will be in attendance on Monday.  The convention will be chaired by Cllr Rose Conway Walsh.  

Speaking ahead of the convention Pearse Doherty said: 

“On Monday Sinn Féin will choose our candidate for the Roscommon South Leitrim by election.  The party will be fighting both this and the Dublin South West by election to win.   

“Sinn Féin will be offering a clear alternative to the people of Roscommon and South Leitrim which have long been failed by the establishment parties.  The economic collapse brought on by Fianna Fáil’s gross mismanagement of the economy has been devastating for this constituency.  People have had to contend with second class public services, emigration, unemployment and an attack on quality of life and standards of living in rural Ireland.   

“Roscommon South Leitrim needs and deserves a Sinn Féin TD – someone who will stand up for them in the Dáil and defend their interests.  These counties have never been a priority for Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael and never will be.  Promises have been broken in relation to Roscommon Hospital.  Many people do not have access to clean drinking water and yet are expected to pay water charges.   Rural isolation and the decline of rural towns are a real concerns due to the recession and emigration. Fracking and pylons are coming down the line despite clear concerns and opposition from the community.  

“It is time for change.  I look forward to seeing a new TD joining our team in Leinster House and both myself and my party colleagues will be doing everything we can to ensure this is the case.

“I would like to invite anyone who wants to work with us to achieve this change to come and attend the convention on Monday 8th at 8pm in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon.”

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The deputy leader of the Sinn Féin group on Dublin City Council, Cllr. Mícheál Mac Donncha, has said that it would be a further travesty of democracy and a massive waste of public money if the management of the City Council goes ahead with the Poolbeg incinerator.

He said:

"The Poolbeg incinerator has been a major civic and national scandal. Already €100 million has been spent on it without a single brick being laid. The only thing incinerated has been public money which has gone up in smoke thanks to successive Governments and the management of Dublin City Council.

"The elected councillors of Dublin City Council have repeatedly voted against this project, yet management has pressed on with it. Management can do so because of the Waste Management Act introduced by Fianna Fáil which took away from elected councillors local powers regarding waste management. And Fine Gael and Labour in Government have done nothing to restore those powers.

“On Monday we will have another travesty of democracy at the City Council with councillors opposing the incinerator but management pressing ahead regardless. The Poolbeg scandal should go no further and this incinerator should not proceed." 

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Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady said tonight that the DUP’s decision to issue a petition of concern to stop a vote to note a report on its minister Nelson McCausland was “absolute nonsense”.

The Sinn Féin member of the Social Development Committee said it would draw even greater attention to the debate on Monday.

Mickey Brady said:

“Monday’s debate is simply to note the report on allegations raised in a BBC Spotlight programme on the awarding of Housing Executive contracts.

“The use of a petition of concern by the DUP is incredulous and is an absolute nonsense.

“This debate is being held for the Assembly to note the report on the awarding of Housing Executive contracts, not to take sanctions or to rule on it.

“In this instance the use of a petition of concern smacks of desperation. It will have no affect whatsoever other than to draw more attention to the debate.

“Regardless of the DUP attempts to affect the voting on this motion, the Assembly will hear the debate, it will be televised and it will be recorded into the minutes by Hansard. 

“This only adds to the DUP’s track record of using petitions of concern for narrow party political interests.

“The only conclusion that will be drawn by the public is that the DUP may have something to hide by blocking the Assembly voting on this motion.” 

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Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has welcomed news of an investment of 23 million euro in adaptations, extensions and retrofitting of social housing.

Deputy Ellis said that this investment a small measure given the last six years of cuts to housing and that a long term plan was needed to consistent refurbishment of and renewal of existing social housing as well as a significant investment in new building projects by local authorities.

Deputy Ellis said:

"Over the last six years the capital budget for housing has been cut by more than 1 billion euro to less than a third of its peak in 2008. House building by Local Authorities has virtually ground to a halt and regeneration projects have been dragged out. These cuts have also led to a crisis in the condition of existing social housing with councils not able to fund much needed repairs which have left families in unacceptable conditions and home lying idle for months and even years.

“We need a long term plan for funding the consistent renewal of social housing as a well as a commitment from central government to release investment funds to begin building thousands of homes for local authorities. This is the only way to tackle housing need, homelessness, and extortionate rents. This will also create employment.

“Piecemeal announcements are fine and will definitely help some families but the government needs to think ahead and make a real effort to tackle the problems causing the social housing crisis. It is a crisis which can be solved with the right effort and investment."

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