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Sinn Féin Councillor Ciaran Beattie has slammed those behind the leaving of an explosive device at Rodney Drive which has caused disruption to the local community and placed those living there in danger.

Speaking today from the scene Cllr Beattie said:

“Those behind the leaving of this device in a garden at Rodney Drive have shown absolute disregard for this community.

“Not only is a dangerous device left on a built up residential street where it could have caused serious injury to anyone passing but the residents of the street have also had to be evacuated disrupting their lives.

“These actions are unacceptable. Those responsible need to get off the back of this community.”


Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has said the passing of the Children's Services Bill is a victory for children and young people. 

Speaking following a debate on the final stage of the bill, Ms Fearon said; 

"This is a good day for families and for the children's sector. 

"It is important this legislation places an onus on departments to work together, improving services for children and young people and challenging the silo mentality which has frustrated progress in the past. 

"Placing requirements to cooperate in statute will ensure the interests of children and young people are put first across all services and responsibilities.

"It is important children and young people and their representatives will be consulted in future so their voices are heard. 

"I also welcome the fact that an amendment I tabled calling for all reports produced as a result of this bill to be taken into account during the drafting of the Programme for Government. 

"This is an important step forward for children and young people and I look forward to seeing it rolled out."


 Sinn Féin MLA Rosie McCorley has welcomed the initiative between PRONI and Foras na Gaeilge to explore the history and culture of the Irish language.

 Ms. McCorley said,

 “The lectures will take place in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast over a four-week period beginning 4th November and will consist of talks on Irish language poetry, place names, folklore and Irish speakers in the nineteenth century.

 “This is the second year that PRONI and Foras na Gaeilge have come together to develop understanding of the language and I look forward to it continuing in the years ahead.

 “Although the talks will be in English they will allow people to discover the richness of the language and Irish classes will also be available on the day prior to the talks.

 “These lectures are an opportunity for people right across society to come along and have some of the myths about the Irish language dispelled as the language belongs to everyone and threatens no one.”  


Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has stated that he is extremely worried for people seeking homes in rural areas after it was revealed that less than 6% of social housing built in the last year were in rural areas.

 Mr McMullan said,

 “In response to a written question Minister Mervyn Storey it was revealed that in the last financial year of 2013 homes built only 119 were built in rural areas.

 “The lack of social housing, coupled with the planning regulations for building private housing, is hampering the ability of rural dwellers to find a home.

 “There are many people who have been born and bred in rural areas that are finding it near impossible to find a home and are been forced to move miles away from their families in order to do so.

 “People who live in rural areas deserve the same opportunities as those in urban areas and this includes the right to be housed close to their families so more land needs to be zoned for housing in rural area.

 “I have now requested an urgent meeting with the Minister in order to discuss a better deal for rural dwellers. It is important that we rebalance the amount of homes that are being built in rural area.”


Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said news that the Michelin factory in Ballymena is to be run down is devastating for the local area. 

Mr McKay said; 

"The news that Michelin is being run down is devastating, not only to Ballymena but much further afield. This is yet another blow to the manufacturing sector in North Antrim.

"More than 800 workers and their families have been left in shock at this news just weeks before Christmas. 

"The company needs to work closely with workers in the weeks and months ahead as they and their families face enormous challenges. 

"The Enterprise Minister should immediately set out what his department's plan of action is to ensure workers are offered retraining or upskilling to enable them to find further employment. 

"I have tabled an urgent question to the Enterprise Minister asking him what he plans to do in conjunction with Executive colleagues to support these workers in the time ahead.”


Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne has called on farmers to engage with the Farm Business Scheme, which opens on Monday next.

 Mr Milne said,

 “In response to a question to the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill in the Assembly the Minister confirmed that the Farm Business Scheme will begin on Monday next.

 “The Farm Business Scheme is designed to allow farmers to get support and guidance before applying for grants to improve their machinery and farm buildings in order to make their businesses more profitable. 

 “The Minister Michelle O’ Neill needs to be congratulated for making £250m available for the scheme despite severe pressures on her budget.

 “This includes examining new technologies and training for farm families including a focus on safety so that they can identify their own particular needs.

 “I would appeal to farmers to engage with business development groups in order to help identify priorities for their own business in order to maximise opportunities to make them more profitable.”


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today spoke on the Sinn Féin motion before the Dáil which relates to the dreadful reality of endemic racism and discrimination against Travellers.

The Louth TD said that the tragic deaths caused by the fire at Carrickmines have brought a focus to the issue of Travellers rights.

Deputy Adams said:

“After the Carrickmines tragedy, there is an urgent need for a far-reaching and fundamental reappraisal of the way in which Travellers are treated in Irish society and that this will require a momentous shift in individual and community attitudes which can only happen with political leadership at Government level

“The impetus for this motion came as we extended our sincere condolences and sympathy to the Lynch, Gilbert and Connors families on the tragic loss of their loved ones in the Carrickmines fire. We offer solidarity and support to the wider Traveller community. For too long, the State has failed in its responsibility to treat Irish Travellers as full and equal citizens.

“Travellers experience endemic racism and discrimination in Irish society. They suffer disproportionately in all the key social indicators including; employment, poverty, health, infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy, education, and accommodation.

“We ask the government and all other parties and TDs to support this motion.

“The Taoiseach should also make a statement confirming that the State recognises the ethnicity of the Travelling community. This small gesture on his part would open to door to wholesale change in the perception and acceptance of Travellers.”


Sinn Féin spokesman on Fisheries, Martin Ferris TD, commenting on the reports in the Guardian newspaper of exploitation and abuse of non-EU fishermen in the Irish industry, said that anyone involved in such practices should be named, shamed and condemned without exception.

Deputy Ferris said:

“The majority of those who are involved in the Irish fishing industry are decent, hard-working people, struggling to make a living in a sector which has been neglected by successive governments and suffering from a lack of quota.

“Anyone, however, who is involved in such exploitation and abuse should be named, shamed and condemned. The report in the Guardian highlights the need for a seafarers’ charter to protect the rights of workers on the sea, where the same protections enjoyed by land-based workers should be in force.

"At a time when fishermen are subject to the strictest vigilance regarding their quotas and catch, the Irish authorities should be more vigilant about workers' rights and conditions at sea."


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, has commended the majority vote for same-sex marriage in the North of Ireland. 

Speaking today, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

“The result of the vote today is an important symbolic victory. The majority of MLAs voted in favour of this motion.

"Sinn Féin has shown leadership on this issue and a number of councils in the North have supported marriage equality. 

“However, I am disappointed with the ultimate outcome of what was such a positive result. I believe the DUP’s use of the petition of concern in this instance amounts to an abuse of process.

“I would appeal to the DUP to respect the wishes of the majority. We have reached a new dawn in Ireland with the monumental result on May 23rd in the south in support of marriage equality. 

"I believe that eventually marriage equality will be delivered across the island of Ireland.

“Every couple in the island of Ireland should have the right to get married and we will continue to campaign until that right is secured." 


Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has welcomed the proposed introduction of a round-the-clock service on the Derry to Belfast service. 

The East Derry MLA said; 

"This is to be welcomed and while specific details are yet to be clarified it seems there will be a well enhanced service to and from the entire north west. 

"I recently met with Translink and their new Chief Executive and there are a number of exciting proposals coming forward, including this change.

"I would hope howver, that following the recent meeting a proper park and ride site is identified particularly in the Dungiven area but also at Claudy.

"I have personally sought out any one of five potential sites which have all been deemed as doable, by Translink, Transport NI, Traffic Management Section and the DRD, and would hope to see this in place at the earliest possible opportunity." 


Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on Fianna Fáil to state its position on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated.

Ms. Boylan said:

“Sinn Féin has been vocal and clear on our opposition to this trade deal and the potentially negative impact it will have on Irish workers, farmers and consumers.

“I have hosted and attended numerous public meetings across Dublin city and county on the issue and the citizens have raised very real concerns regarding moves towards so called “regulatory co-operation”, the secretive nature of the talks and the ISDS mechanism.

“The effects of this deal are not confined to the farming industry and rural areas, although smaller producers and horticulture industries in the north of county Dublin will undoubtedly be impacted by a relaxation of regulations on genetically modified crops.

“Much has been made of how much this deal could be worth to Ireland in monetary terms, but is it not also prudent to consider Ireland’s reputation as a food producer and how this could be irreparably damaged if GM ingredients become common place.

“While Fine Gael has been extremely supportive of this flawed trade agreement, Fianna Fáil has remained uncharacteristically silent on this issue.  

“Just because the party do not currently have representation in the European Parliament since expelling its only MEP Brian Crowley, does not mean it can dodge the question about where they stand on a deal that will have potentially far reaching ramifications for workers, public services and food standards.”


Speaking today Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly has commented on the drop in the number of Gardaí in the border region, and particularly the drop in Cavan and Monaghan. 

Responding to an article on, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly stated:

“In percentage terms, Cavan and Monaghan have seen the greatest reductions in Gardaí stationed along the border counties between 2010 and 2015. With a reduction of 27.58% in Monaghan and 18.47% in Cavan, these counties surpass in percentage terms other counties like Leitrim 5.95%, Louth 14% and Donegal 15.6%.

“These figures highlighted in an article by journalist Michelle Hennessy on the realities of border policing paint a negative picture for the border counties, particularly Cavan and Monaghan. The recent decision to temporarily relocate Gardaí from the division to Louth, while needed there, will not deal with the issues in the medium to long term.

“It is against this backdrop that we see the creation of environment in which crime is increasing: a reduction of Gardaí available and closures of Garda stations is well known to increase cases of theft and burglary. 

“The decisions to close Garda stations in order to make small savings to the exchequer merely increase the opportunity for criminal activity and add to the uncertainty and fear that citizens in this state are already experiencing.

“Since Fine Gael and Labour took up office in 2011 they have depleted Garda numbers by 1,066 leaving the current strength of the force at under 13,000. In order for the force to be fit for purpose and meet the demands of community policing, the government must increase investment in Garda personnel to bring numbers back to pre-recession levels. 

“Sinn Fein has repeatedly called for an increase in Garda numbers back over the safe threshold of 14,000 and keep the numbers there with ongoing recruitment. In our alternative budget we provisioned for and costed an increase of 1,000 Gardaí over a two year period.  

“The issue of Garda numbers and available resources is crucial to communities across the state but especially in the border region.”


Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has said history was made in the Assembly today when the majority of MLAs backed marriage equality. 

Ms Ruane said; 

"It is hugely important that more than half the Assembly has voted in favour of marriage equality. 

"This signals a major shift in society with more and more people supporting marriage equality for our LGBT community. 

"It vindicates our position to bring this motion forward for the fifth time and we will continue to push on until equality becomes law. 

"It is also encouraging that growing numbers of unionists are now supporting marriage equality.

"It is disappointing there are still those who oppose equality and  used a petition of concern to block this motion. 

"Marriage equality needs to happen right across the island. We cannot have a situation where we continue to have inequality against members of the LGBT community. 

"This is a historic day but the campaign from marriage equality is not over and will not be until we have equality enshrined in legislation." 


Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Chris Hazzard has welcomed the introduction of the Shared Education Bill at the Assembly today

 Mr Hazzard said,

 “It is important that schools provide an environment where children from different religious and socio-economic backgrounds can come together to learn from each others experiences.

 “The Shared Education Bill will help promote understanding between children from different backgrounds and help foster better community relations.

 “The Bill which I hope will be passed into law before the end of term is based on respect and tolerance and is a step forward in creating an education system fit for all in society.”


Sinn Féin Senator, Kathryn Reilly, has stated the need for a serious conversation about Ireland’s future population projections and the underlying issues that these forecast.

Speaking today, Senator Reilly said:

“It is high time that we as a nation have a constructive debate on the issues that that are coming down the line for Ireland as we deal with both an increased young and an increased aging population.

“It is forecasted that between now and 2021 the number of people aged 65 and older will increase by 38% and is expected to almost double by 2031. Looked at through a longer lens the situation is even more worrying; there are currently 5 workers to every 3 pensioners in the State, but if the current trend continues, the ratio will be 2 workers to 1 pensioner by 2060.

“Moreover, the number of children at primary school age is also expected to rise significantly; indeed, it is projected to increase by 100,300 by 2021.

“The reason that we need such a conversation is because of extraordinary high number of young people who had to emigrate over the past number of years. In my own region, the border area, there has been a drop of 40,200 people between the ages of 16 and 34 since 2009, according to CSO figures.

“This has been mirrored by decreases in the number of young people in employment. For instance, since this government came to office, the number of people the number of people under the age of 34 in employment has fallen by 69,800.

“If this trend continues, as it is currently, then our working population will struggle to be able to provide essential services for the young and the old and we will have a complete breakdown of the intergenerational social contract.

“There needs to be serious effort on behalf of this government to remedy the situation. However, so far there has been very little effort to address the issue of youth emigration or provisions put in place to encourage our emigrant’s home.

“We have to be mindful of what demographic changes have in hold for Ireland and use these population projection figures as a warning that something needs to be done. If not we are sleepwalking into a serious social and economic catastrophe.”


Sinn Féin Fisheries Spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has today called on Minister Simon Coveney to justify the actions of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) in confiscating the catch of John Keating, of Keating Fish Ltd, out of Kilmore Quay.

Deputy Ferris said:

“I am very concerned at the actions of the SFPA in confiscating John Keating’s catch on 10 October and again on 30 October.

“Today, the fish confiscated from this man will be sold at market in Zeebrugge, Belgium and will yield about €30,000 which will go to the SFPA.

“Meanwhile, John Keating, an honourable man who has fished all his life, given employment to his crew and also onshore and who has a moral objection to dumping fish, is unable to pay his workers.

“John Keating has never operated a discard policy, but has always logged his catches, and so is a help in the scientific determination of stocks and quotas. He always felt it was morally wrong to dump good fish in the ocean.

“The state has sunk to a new low in taking his catch and selling it, while imposing hardship on John Keating and his workers.

“I call on Minister Coveney to try to justify these actions.”


Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson will travel to China today in a bid to crack down on the manufacture and sale of so-called legal highs.

Ms Anderson said;

"We are all aware of the misery caused by these psychoactive substances or so-called legal highs. 

"These toxic substances destroy people's lives and have been linked to countless deaths. 

"While we have been able to limit the sale of some of these dangerous drugs in Ireland, others are still available and continue to put lives at risk. 

"Many of these drugs are manufactured in China and end up on our streets across Ireland.

"My fellow members of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee are travelling to China to look at what can be down to combat the manufacture of these psychoactive substances and what can be done to stem the flow. 

"We will meet a range of groups during our visit, which will last for four days. 

"It is important that the trade in these drugs is stopped before any more lives are lost."

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Dublin City Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly has tabled a motion for tonight’s Dublin City Council meeting calling for the council to allow the co-op to proceed on its original site in Ballymun.

Speaking from Poppintree this morning she said,

“I am asking the council to reconsider their decision to construct modular housing on the Co-op site in Poppintree.

I live in Poppintree myself very near the site so I am very familiar with it and I believe that that space of land can facilitate both the co-op and modular homes.

The co-op has planning permission only for the part the council want to put modular homes on.

They need to change their plans for this so O Cualann Cohousing alliance can proceed in delivering 40 homes for Ballymun residents.

Council management have often argued that there is too much social housing in Ballymun yet here we have an opportunity for 40 Ballymun residents to own their own home and the council now want to put that in jeopardy.

It simply doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.”

She further added,

“A lot of people have invested a lot of time and energy into making the co-op a reality.  Individual members have put forward €5,000 each towards the project.

If the Co-op does not proceed this money will be lost. 

This cannot be allowed to happen. The co-op was realising a dream for many people in owning their own home.

The council need to re-examine this position and ensure the co-op proceeds on its original site.”


Sinn Féin Councillor for Sandyford Glencullen, Chris Curran has said he's absolutely disgusted by the vandalism that saw the destruction of a piece of play equipment that was set on fire and gutted over the Halloween weekend in The Gallops children's playground.

He said;

“This isn't the first time this has happened. Just a couple of months ago, a piece of outdoor gym equipment was uprooted and almost destroyed. On that occasion, the council acted swiftly and return the equipment to full use within days. However, on this time the culprits gutted the unit and it looks like it will require extensive works to have it operational again, if even possible.

“We live in a lovely area and it's the actions of the mindless few who ruin things for everyone.

This incident is a tiny snapshot of local crime that has beset our community. The Gardaí are starved of human resources. Dundrum Garda Station's staffing are almost back at 2012 levels before Stepaside Station was merged into it.

“Burglaries have continued to rise in the region and we're heading into the dark nights again. On Wednesday, a neighbour’s house was broken into as well.”

Curran went on to criticise other local politicians who prefer we didn't speak about crime because they deem Garda resources not be a political matter.  

“They are of the opinion that talking about crime only attracts more criminals into the area. They're deluded to think those responsible don't live among us. Not talking about the serious issues being encountering, is symbolic of a bygone age.”

Curran has asked for anybody who might have information on this incident to contact him or report the issue to Dundrum Gardaí on (01) 666 5600.


Sinn Féin councillor for the Falls area Mary McConville has said the stabbing in the Divis area early this morning, highlights again the problem of knife crime on our streets.

 Councillor McConville said,

 “This recent stabbing which has left a young a man fighting for his life brings home the reality of these incidents.

 “The young man has suffered knife wounds leaving him in a serious condition and his family traumatised.

 “More needs to be done to deal with the growing knife crime in our society and I am calling on young people not to be drawn into carrying knives.

 “I hope this young man makes a full and speedy recovery and I would call on people who have any information to pass it on to the PSNI.”

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