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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has commended the efforts of the crew of Irish naval vessel LÉ Eithne for saving the lives of thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"Every week hundreds of migrants from north Africa and the Middle East attempt to make the dangerous crossing across the Mediterranean in the hope of finding a better life in Europe. 

"In order to escape conflict, poverty and persecution they take huge personal risks and are often exploited at the hands of unscrupulous people smugglers and pirates. 

"Tragically, many die in the process. Others are saved in rescue operations and brought to 'reception centres' like those I saw when I visited the Sicilian island of Lampedusa as part of a European Parliament delegation. 

"Among those taking part in those rescue operations is the Irish naval vessel the LÉ Eithne, which has rescued more than 2,000 people from the sea. 

"On Monday the crew of the LÉ Eithne rescued a further 519 migrants from the sea. 

"I pay tribute to the crew of the LÉ Eithne for their dedication and professionalism in saving thousands of lives since being deployed to the Mediterranean in May. 

"The scale of their life-saving efforts highlights the need for further humanitarian efforts in the Mediterranean to save lives and put an end to the Mediterranean migrant crisis." 


Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called on Louth County Council and the NRA to “take whatever steps are necessary to ensure minimum disruption to the residents and users of the N53 when work commences later in the summer to realign 1.1 kilometre of the road.”

Gerry Adams last night spoke at a very well attended meeting in Naomh Malachi Clubrooms, Courtbane (Shelagh), Hackballscross last night, involving other local representatives, including Cllr Tomas Sharkey, Seamus Kirk TD and Peter Fitzpatrick TD. The meeting was called by Peter Finnegan and other local business people who are concerned at the social and financial implications of the planned roadworks which they have been told could see the closure of a section of the road for three months.

Gerry Adams said:

 “Over many years I have used the Castleblaney Road countless times. It is always a very busy route but its use has increased significantly in recent years, especially because it provides motorway access to and from the M1. Five and a half thousand vehicles use it each day.

Sinn Féin has long supported the upgrade of the road. Councillor Tomás Sharkey has been especially active on this issue. The upgrade of the road is essential in terms of safety for road users; for those who live along it; and for the many farmers and businesses that use it. It is also a key route for the emergency services – ambulances, fire service and doctors.

It is also a vital road link for thousands of citizens each day. It connects communities and families and business.

However, the planned closure of the road for three months would create a major inconvenience and probably see some of the local businesses forced to permanently close. Peter Finnegan described a three month closure as ‘catastrophic for his business.’

The N53 will also be closed at a busy time for farmers and when the schools return in September many parents will find their journeys severely disrupted.

It is a decision which also fails to take account the state of the alternative routes that will inevitably be used and which cannot cope with the volume of additional traffic that this closure will force onto them. Roads which can barely service single line traffic will now see an increase in volume.

The Council, its’ Engineers and the NRA must acknowledge the enormous disruption their current plans will create and re-examine their approach with a view to keeping the road open during the planned roadworks.  If it needs to be closed at all it should be for the least time possible.”


Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy, speaking today in advance of an Oireachtas Committee discussion on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has called on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton to clarify claims that TTIP will benefit Irish SMEs.

Carthy said:

“Minister Bruton and his Fine Gael team have enthusiastically endorsed the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on the false premise that it will benefit the SME sector in Ireland.

“But government's own commissioned Copenhagen Economics Report, flawed as it is, shows clearly that the benefits for Irish SMEs will be very limited.

“The Report shows that in real terms foreign firms will benefit by 3.5% while Irish firms will only benefit by 0.34%.

“Furthermore, the report states that in six out of the eight sectors where all exports are produced by Irish firms, those exports are expected to fall as a result of TTIP.

“In terms of employment, projections in the report indicate that job losses due to increased competition and the closure of Irish owned firms will direct workers towards foreign owned enterprises.  The European Commission has estimated that TTIP will lead to displacement of between 600,000 and 1million jobs.  From an Irish perspective this job displacement will undoubtedly affect SMEs greatest.

“The Minister’s claim that this deal will benefit Irish SMEs is based on failed logic which does not stand up to scrutiny and contradicts the report commissioned by the Government at a cost of €250,000 exc VAT.

"It is time for the Minister to stop presenting this deal as the saviour of Irish SMEs and realise that its implementation could have disastrous consequences for the Irish SME sector."


Louth TD Gerry Adams met two local Post Office owners last Friday in his Dundalk constituency office to discuss the impact of government policy toward the Post Office network.

Party colleague MEP Matt Carthy also last week met with General Secretary Ned O'Hara and Vice President Ciaran McEntee of the Irish Postmasters Union to discuss the future of the Post Office Network.

Speaking after his meeting with the two Post Masters from rural Louth Gerry Adams urged Post Office users, particularly in rural areas, to respond to the consultation period of the interim report on Post Offices which was published by Minister Alex White. The consultation runs from now until July 28th.

Teachta Adams said:

“Post Offices provide an essential service for rural communities. They are the largest retail network in the state with 1150 offices and employ 3700 people. Almost two million customers use the Post Office network every week.

“Government policy is threatening the future survival of many of our Post Offices. In my conversation with two Louth Post Office managers they both highlighted the new pension application form from the Department of Social Protection which specifically recommends that applicants use financial institutions, rather than Post Offices, to receive their payments.

“Post Offices rely on two major contracts; the Department of Social Protection and NTMA savings. The decision by the Department of Social Protection to push citizens toward banks rather than Post Offices is putting their future viability in doubt.

“In the last eight years over two hundred Post Offices have closed. Around two thirds of these were in rural areas.

“The interim report into by the Post Office Network Business Development Group which was published last week has identified a range of services that Post Offices could provide and which would heighten their sustainability.

“The onus is on the government to take urgent action to facilitate this. It can ensure that new services are integrated into the Post Office Network to ensure its survival and to enhance its service to the public.

“Sinn Féin supports the Irish Postmasters’ Union’s six point action plan for sustainable post offices. We are also for putting public services back into rural Ireland and for the retention of the post office network as an integral part of this.”



Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on her fellow Irish MEPs to demonstrate their support for her Right2Water report by using their influence to ensure that their groups vote in favour of it in the Environment committee on Thursday 25th June.

The Sinn Féin representative was speaking today about the report, which is a follow up to the first successful European Citizens' Initiative (ECI): Right2Water'.  

This initiative sought to enshrine water as a human right and to ensure that water would be protected from privatisation.  The initiative received almost 2 million signatories, illustrating the level of concern among Europeans regarding the Right2Water. 

 The European Commission's response to it was deeply disappointing and this has led to this report being compiled by myself on behalf of the European Parliament.

Ms Boylan said: 

“In this report I deal with, amongst other matters, the threat of privatisation. This is a huge issue across the EU and here in Ireland many of the thousands taking to the streets in Ireland as part of the Right2Water demonstrations, cited it as a key cause of concern. 

“This concern has still not been addressed appropriately by the Irish Government yet they state they have no intention of privatising Irish Water.

"If this is in fact the case then Fine Gael MEPs as a large delegation in the EPP group should use its influence to prove that that is not their party’s intention!"


Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said supporting the Budget Bill will create the space to resolve the current difficulties facing the Executive. 

 Mr McGuinness said; 

"Sinn Féin will support the current budget Bill to create the space to resolve out-standing issues and ensure the Executive has workable and sustainable finances and the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.

"We need to ensure that the Executive has the resources to continue to build a peaceful, inclusive and tolerant society.

"There remains a fundamental challenge for the Executive around welfare protections. But while we explore a way forward on this issue, the other important elements of the Stormont House Agreement, including the essential legacy mechanisms, should and must proceed.

"This budget bill does not involve any reduction in social security support for the most vulnerable in our society. And it does not contain any in year reductions as a consequence of the £25 billion of further cuts announced by the Tories.

"Any further cut to our budget will dramatically impact on front line services, on our economy and on our society. That is not sustainable and it is a scenario that is not acceptable to Sinn Fein."


Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has strongly criticised housing strategy proposals being discussed by the Fine Gael/Labour government, suggesting they will attempt to bribe private property developers with land giveaways and reduced development contributions as they are failing to meet their own miserably low targets for new housing.

Teachta Ellis said:

“The Coalition has a pathetically low new housing target, of just 1,700 new social housing units by 2017, which will be after the next general election.

“The Fine Gael/Labour government has done nothing to boost social housing during its time in office and has implemented cuts which have worsened the homelessness crisis.

“The Department of Environment estimates, based on local authority returns, that there were over 89,000 households in need of social housing; that figure includes both families and single people so it represents a far greater number of people in need.

“They have refused to invest in social housing, a promised spend of just €312 million until the end of 2017 will not scratch the surface. Now, they want to provide giveaways and bribes to the private developers to achieve this completely inadequate target.

“The fact that these policies are being pursued, or even discussed, is an admission of failure by the Fine Gael/Labour government.

“There are well over 100,000 people in need of social housing in this state, and the government is offering less than 2,000 housing units. It’s not even offering them during this term in office, but at some time in the future. This government is holding families to ransom, promising a roof over their heads if they’re returned to power

“Rather than offering the private sector giveaways, the government should be using public resources to build the homes that are so badly needed. This is what Sinn Féin in government will do.” 


Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to show support and solidarity for Greece at tomorrow's EU summit, and to oppose efforts forcing the country out of the eurozone.

Teachta Adams said:

“The Taoiseach needs to show support and solidarity with Greece at the EU summit.

“Greece and Ireland have both had unfair debt burden imposed upon their citizens, but Mr. Kenny has consistently taken the side of the EU elite and the ECB against the people of Greece.

“There has been very little evidence of solidarity in the EU's attitude to Greece or of any understanding of the position of the Greek government.

“The current crisis is not in the interests of the people of Greece or of other EU states. 

“The Government of Greece does not want the country to leave the Eurozone and the Irish Government must argue against any EU effort to force Greece out.

“At tomorrow's summit, Enda Kenny must act as a representative of the people of Ireland, and not of the EU elite in Ireland.”


Speaking at the Annual Bodenstown commemoration, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD made the following address to the crowds assembled.

(Check against delivery)

“Is mór an onóir domsa a bheith os bhur gcomhair inniu ag ócáid chuimhneacháin Wolfe Tone, chun ár dtiomantas dá chuid prionsabail a athnuachan, agus chun cuimhniú ar íobairt a shaol – agus a shaoirse - ar son na bprionsabail sin, prionsabail atá chomh fíor agus chomh h-ionspioráideach inniu, agus a bhí riamh.

One hundred years ago yesterday, on the 20th June 1915, many of the women and men who went on to participate in the 1916 Rising were standing here where we now stand. In that year the guard of honour was made up of equal numbers of Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army members. A few weeks later they gathered in large numbers to bury the veteran Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.  This year on the 1st of August we in Sinn Féin will re-enact this historic occasion on the streets of Dublin, the first of our national events marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Wolfe Tone was a political man of his time.

We must try to understand him in the context of his time and interpret his message and legacy for today. In doing so we stand by the principles to which Tone and his comrades dedicated their lives – liberty for our nation, equality of all our citizens and peace and fraternity among the people of Ireland.

Today we pay homage to the strength of his convictions that brought him on a long political journey ending here in this graveyard but also to the ideals for which he fought and died. His political struggles would in many ways foreshadow those of later generations.

As with the civil rights movement in the 1960s

Tone's peaceful demands were met with state violence.

Sectarianism too was used by the British government to divide the Irish people.

The British government sought to crush the United Irishmen in the 1790s because they challenged the sectarian regime based on landlordism and colonialism, and because they sought Irish independence. London was determined to defend privilege within Ireland and to prevent Ireland from taking its place among the nations.

Tone sought the aid of the French Republic and did so with great success, acting as the voice of Ireland in revolutionary France. He secured three French expeditions to our shores.

While those expeditions failed militarily, the legacy of Tone and the United Irish Society endured. And endures to this day.

And so we are proud to follow Tone and assert the right of the Irish people to national independence, sovereignty and neutrality.

We are proud to follow Tone to build solidarity between Irish people of all religious denominations and none.

We are proud to follow Tone because we oppose privilege and elitism; we believe that our country belongs to all of the people and the women and men of no property. 

Golden circles take note!

We are proud to follow Tone as we work for and are determined to achieve a United Ireland. Tone summed it up well:

‘To say in one word, Ireland shall be independent.

We shall be a nation, not a province, citizens not slaves’.

The rock on which our new Republic will be based will be the motto of the United Irish Society. One single, powerful word – Equality. That is our watchword.

It is the driving impulse for unity of our country and our people. It is the basis upon which we challenge partition and an economic and social status quo which favours the few at the expense of the many.

Wolfe Tone's political vision is radical to this day. And challenging.

It challenges Irish men and Irish women to break the Union with Britain.  It challenges us to confront sectarianism and division within our society. It challenges us to seize our place among the nations and to build an equal, inclusive Ireland.

In the coming months as Dáil elections draw near, the government parties will trumpet what they claim as achievements over the past four years.

Behind their almighty bluster and bluff, stands the real record of Fine Gael and Labour while in government. Having cut families and communities to the bone, having crippled public services and having dispatched an entire generation to the emigrant trail, they now tell us that there is an economic recovery.

Tell that to the children living in emergency accommodation, in hotel rooms and B&Bs.

Tell it to the families who, as we speak, face into the second half of 2015 without a home because of exorbitant rent rises or because sales of their rental homes have left them without a roof over their heads.

Tell it to the 100 year old women lying on hospital trollies in Accident and emergency departments; tell it to the unemployed and the working poor - workers struggling on low wages just trying to get by.

For these people and more, the green shoots of recovery are not to be seen.

Real recovery is felt in better public services and in better job opportunities, wages and conditions for workers. What we are seeing is a rise in low wage employment, zero hour contracts and total lack of employment stability for working people. Conditions of work achieved by decades of worker and trade union struggle are being eroded. The treatment of workers in Dunnes and Clerys, to name just two examples, demonstrate a very dangerous trend. Exploitation of workers is a reality. It must be tackled head on. We send our solidarity to those workers today and we will continue to demand full protections for working people.

There is no a real recovery, in the true sense. It is a recovery only for some, this is a two tier recovery where those at the top will always do well and will always be protected and the rest whose household budgets are already at breaking point many who don’t even have even a basic standard of living are expected to find the extra money somehow to pay for property charges and for the basic human necessity of water.

If this government is interested in recovery for struggling families they could take a leaf out of our book in the North and abolish domestic water charges. They should do that now. For these families there is no recovery.

It is on the shoulders of such families that the crippling bank debts rest. The same banks that give no respite to the thousands suffering mortgage distress they have been persistently inflexible and shameless in refusing to pass onto distressed mortgage holders the benefits from the favorable interest rates that they receive from the European Central Bank.

And the government is letting them get away with it.

Shame on them.

Having placed the burden of cuts on the backs of working people, having forced the majority to clean up the mess created by the greed and corruption of a tiny minority, this government now wants to talk up a recovery that excludes working people and their families.

They can forget about that.

Crumbs from the fat cats table are not enough.

There is no difference between the ideology of the present government in Dublin and the Tories in London

Yesterday Martin McGuiness addressed a quarter of a million people at an anti-austerity rally in London. We stand with communities in Athens, London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and against the Tories in Britain, Dublin and Brussels

We know what side we are on

We are on the republican side, standing with the people. We will continue to fight Tory cuts – whether they come from Dublin or London.

And we will fight for a fair recovery; for investment in services and decent jobs, for fair taxation, for secure homes and protections for people at vulnerable times in their lives.

At the heart of building an equal Ireland is the ending of cronyism and corruption in Irish political life.

The recent public outcry about controversial IBRC transactions – particularly Siteserv - reflected the people’s rejection of the terrible, but predictable, vista of cosy relationships between political and business insiders.

A democratic revolution is what we need.

A new political ethic is what we need.

A new government is what we need.

In the recent Westminster elections our eighteen Sinn Fein candidates received a strong mandate to stand up against Tory cuts. We ran a confident, positive election campaign based on the progressive politics of Irish unity and equality for all citizens.

We will honour our mandate.

We will stand up and be counted – for a proper budget for the north and against Tory cuts.

I would like to thank here today all our candidates, their families and our tireless activists.

Each of us can learn from the past if we choose to. The legacy of Tone shapes our politics today. So too does the experiences and suffering of all our people – green and orange – over the most recent years of conflict. Republicans are committed to a process of reconciliation that is inclusive and helps bring closure to victims, their families and survivors. 

We are ready to hold the difficult conversations and we will truthfully talk of the past and we will listen to other

For their part the British government has to account for its policy of collusion, its alliances with unionist paramilitaries and murder gangs. The British government’s narrative has varied from absolute denial of collusion to partial acknowledgement. The final step is full acceptance and the truth.

The British state must acknowledge its involvement in directing unionist murder gangs.

The evidence is incontrovertible; the British Government and its military forces actively colluded with unionist paramilitaries to cause the deaths of many hundreds of people in the conflict.

That evidence was highlighted again in the past week. Republicans have long sought to highlight collusion during the conflict but establishment politicians and the media, especially in this State, chose to ignore it.

It was dismissed as republican propaganda.

Yet you only had to survey the course of Irish history to see the legacy of local forces being used as arms of the British state and as counter-insurgency forces – be it the Orange gangs in the 1790s, the UVF in 1920 or the UDA in 1972. The truth is now being exposed and it is time for the British
Government to open its files and to provide the disclosure, the truth and the justice that the survivors and the bereaved deserve.

Next year we have the prospect of a general election in the south.

There is an historic opportunity to reshape Irish politics. Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail have failed generations of Irish people. They have left a legacy of low standards in government, shattered hopes and dreams.

Sinn Fein will deliver for all of our citizens and provide the principled leadership this country has been lacking. Sinn Féin is for a REAL economic recovery – a FAIR recovery. 

We want to see a recovery built on the secure foundation of sustainable economic growth, with decent jobs, a living wage, an end to inequality, an end to the blight of cronyism and golden circles.

Sinn Fein will actively work for Irish Unity and bring about the Republic dreamt of by Wolf Tone. As we approach the centenary year of the 1916 rising, we ask ever Irish woman and man – Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter - to help fulfil the dreams of those who signed the proclamation and the vision of Wolfe Tone.

To stand with us and each other to make Ireland – united and equal - a nation we can all be proud of once again.  GRMA” 


Sinn Féin Councillor Stephen Magennis has said that two incidents in the Glenbawn area of Poleglass had the potential to cause fatal injuries.

 Mr Magennis said,

 “In the early hours of Saturday morning a family home was attacked when two vehicles including a multi seater taxi parked along side the house were set alight.

 “The family were asleep and only for the family pet dog barking raising the alarm I dread to think of the consequences if the house had have caught fire while the children were in bed. 

 "In fact the lady in the house was burnt in attempting to move one of the vehicles away from the house.

 “This was a despicable attack on a young family that not only destroyed their family car but also the mans means of making a living.

 “Also late last night a man was taken to hospital with suspected stab wound as he was found bleeding badly in Glenbawn Drive.

 “I would like to praise the neighbours who rushed to help and ensured the young man got to hospital quickly which no doubt helped save his life and I hope he makes a full recovery.

 “Both of these incidents had the potential to cause death and I would urge anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI so that those involved can be brought to justice.” 


"I am delighted to be here and I bring solidarity from Ireland and from all of us fighting right wing Thatcherite policies on both sides of the Irish sea.

 "Sinn Féin is an anti-austerity party.

 "We stood for election on an anti-austerity platform and we are mandated by our electorate to oppose austerity. 

 "Sinn Féin is in coalition government in the North of Ireland. I am the deputy First Minister in that government. And in government we blocked the Welfare Bill and the welfare cuts that the Tory led coalition demanded we impose on the most vulnerable.

 "We said no to the coalition government and we are saying an unambiguous, unqualified and uncompromising ‘no’ to this new Tory government. 

 "The Tories have no mandate for austerity in the north of Ireland. They stood in the elections and they were trounced in every constituency. 

 "But in Britain the Tories were elected on the lowest share of the vote ever for a Tory government - just 24 per cent of the electorate. 24 per cent is no mandate for austerity.

 "Sinn Féin will not do Tory austerity. Unlike the Tory millionaires, I live in the heart of the proud working class community of the Bogside in Derry. The people the Tories are targeting are my friends, my neighbours, my family. They are fine, hard-working, proud and decent - just like our people in working class unionist communities.

 "They are not parasites or spongers. It is Cameron's cabinet of millionaires who are the real spongers given free rein to live out their Thatcherite fantasies at the expense of ordinary, decent communities throughout these islands.

 "Austerity is devastating these communities. 

 "The working poor, public sector workers, the disabled and the vulnerable are the hardest hit by this bankrupt and ideologically driven policy.

 "In the North of Ireland, where we continue to build the peace and a fragile economy, their policies threaten the power-sharing institutions of the Good Friday agreement. 

"Those institutions - which have underpinned the peace process for almost two decades - are now on the brink of collapse because of Tory recklessness.

 "In the south of Ireland we have witnessed at first hand the brutality of austerity.  The debts of private business, of banks and developers were passed on to the people. 

 "Generations will be paying of the debts of the greed of the few. 

 "Austerity has failed. It has failed our young people, our public services and our economy. 

 "It is the communities of Dublin, Derry, Dundee, Cardiff and London that are paying the cost of Tory austerity while the wealth of the few continues to increase. 

 "Austerity means inequality, poverty and despair.

"The alternative is investment and growth, equality and prosperity, the safety net and the helping hand. 

 "I am heartened by the huge numbers here today. Because it reminds us all that we are not alone in this fight. We are strong if we unite and act together.And, by continuing to stand together, we can succeed. 

 "Defeat is not an option. Austerity is not an option.

" Today we send a powerful message to the Tories that we will not be cowed, threatened, bullied or bribed. 

" I congratulate you all for taking this stand and I look forward to continuing to stand shoulder to shoulder with you during the days, weeks and months ahead."


Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed the fact that the part of the Tour of the North parade passing Carrickhill and St Patrick's chapel has passed off peacefully.

 Mr Kelly said,

 “I welcome the fact that tonight’s Tour of the North has passed off peacefully and that the Parades Commission determination was respected.

 “I would like to thank the Carrickhill Residents for their mature attitude and their decision not to protest tonight.

  “I am convinced that the only way to resolve issues around parading is through genuine and inclusive dialogue with local communities.” 


Sinn Féin's Economy Spokesperson Daithí McKay has called on the Ulster Bank to confirm how many local businesses will be affected by the sale of property loans to private equity firm Cerberus.

 He said:

"Last month Ulster Bank sold a portfolio of loans worth £1.4billion to Cerberus for only £205million. 

"Since then we have heard anecdotally of some of the businesses affected but have yet to learn the real number of those impacted upon. 

"It is important to get a sense of the potential economic fallout of this transaction and the number of employees that may be affected as the management of this portfolio moves forward.

"Both Cerberus and Ulster Bank have been invited to appear before the Finance Committee. A number of concerns have been brought to the committees attention by local businesses. 

"I am looking forward to both parties appearing promptly as the management of this particular portfolio could have a significant impact on the local economy and people's livelihoods." 


Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams this morning published details at a press conference of the National Hunger Strike Commemoration which is due to take place in Dundalk on August 23rd.

Mr. Adams and Louth County Councillor Edel Corrigan addressed an invited audience of around 60 people in the Old Dundalk Jail. Local Councillors Pearse McGeogh, Jennifer Green, Tomás Sharkey, and MEP Matt Carthy were in attendance, as were former Hunger Striker Laurence McKeown and Paddy Agnew who won the Louth Dáil seat in 1981.

Councillor Corrigan said:

“This year is the 34th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike which marked a historic watershed moment in Irish and republican history. The weekend of August 22nd August will see a series of events, including a lecture by Owen Carron in the Drogheda Arts Centre on Friday evening, a wreath laying ceremony at the Hunger Strike Monument, at the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda on Saturday morning; a guided tour of Republican graves at St. Patrick’s Graveyard, Dowdalshill, Newry Road; the film ‘A Kind of Sisterhood’ looking at the experience of women over the years of struggle – there will be a question and answer session after that with former women prisoners; a National Hunger Strike Exhibition in the Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol, and the march will take place on Sunday August 23rd.

Speaking at this morning’s launch, Gerry Adams said:

“I can think of few more fitting venues in County Louth for the launch of the National Hunger Strike Commemoration than Dundalk Jail. This place has a long and interesting history when it comes to Irish republicanism, holding as it did many republican prisoners over the years whether at the behest of the British or Free State authorities.

“The jail played host to many hundreds of IRA prisoners during the Tan War, the Civil War, and beyond. Some of the most famous inmates incarcerated at Dundalk Gaol were John Dillon, Frank Aiken, Austin Stack, Sean Treacy and Diarmuid Lynch.

“In July 1922, 105 IRA prisoners broke free from the Jail which was then under Free State control.
Prior to the escape 6 POWs were taken from the prison for execution by the Free State army. In October 1923, over 200 republican POWs embarked on hunger strike in Dundalk Prison. The bodies of the six executed IRA man were subsequently taken from Dundalk Gaol in October 1924 and re-interred in the town’s republican plot.

“If the walls of this jail could talk, they would tell extraordinary stories. So, it is very appropriate that we launch our Hunger Strike Commemorative events here.  The 1981 Hunger Strike was a pivotal point in Irish history. It came after a decade in which the British Government had deployed every conceivable weapon in its military and political arsenal to defeat the Irish republican struggle, but the British Government underestimated the commitment, resolve and determination of republican prisoners.

“They underestimated the support that existed for the prisoners’ demands throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. Ten young men - Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, Patsy O’Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee and Michael Devine, died on the Hunger Strike. Their families were distraught and Ireland was convulsed in anger and political reaction.

“The resolve of republican prisoners, the bravery of the 10 Hunger Strikers, and the widespread support for their demands smashed Britain’s criminalisation policy in Ireland re-invigorated our struggle  and accelerated the rise of Sinn Fein as a political party.

“Thirty-four years after the Hunger Strike, the republican struggle is immeasurably stronger, more confident and more able to advance our primary political objective of bringing about a united Ireland.

“County Louth played a big role in support of the Hunger Strikers. The support throughout this county was huge. This was demonstrated by the election of Paddy Agnew from Dundalk, a protesting prisoner in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh, to the Dáil for the Louth constituency. Paddy topped the poll. So it is appropriate that the County this year plays host to the National Commemoration.” 


Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has again raised the case of Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen in detention and on hunger strike in Egypt.

Mr Halawa’s family are increasingly worried about his physical safety and mental health and have expressed their concerns at what they believe to be the ineffectiveness of the Irish Government’s approach to securing his release.

In a letter to the Taoiseach, Mr Adams, who has already called on Mr Kenny to intervene in the case, asked that the Government raise the case at the level of the European Council.

Gerry Adams said:

"Ibrahim Halawa was a juvenile at the time of his arrest. After being shot and injured he did not receive medical treatment. This is in breach of international human rights obligations, to which Egypt is a signatory.

"Article 2 of the EuroMed Partnership Agreement states that all parties to the agreement will have: 'Respect for the democratic principles & fundamental human rights established by the Universal Declaration of Human rights, (of which Egypt is a signatory) which guides their international policy and constitutes an essential element of this agreement'.


Sinn Féin councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has said the decision to open City Hall on Saturdays and Sundays will help boost Belfast's economy. 

Speaking after a meeting of Belfast City Council's Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Ó Donnghaile said; 

"While committee agreed this for a trial run of three months, if ratified by full council I am extremely confident that this move will prove successful and permanent.

"Belfast City Council has put much focus on and invested in our tourism offer. This move can allow tourists, visitors and citizens the opportunity to avail of the tours, history and hospitality of Belfast City Hall.

"There's no doubt it can act as a further driver to entice greater footfall into our city centre and in turn support the local economy even further.

"Belfast aspires to becoming a fully modern, progressive and European city, these moves continue to reflect that." 


Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the austerity policies of the British government are responsible for the current crisis facing the devolved Assembly in the north of Ireland. 

Speaking ahead of addressing a major anti-austerity rally in London on Saturday, Mr McGuinness said. 

"The policies being pursued by a cabinet of millionaires at Westminster are an ideological attack on the working class and are having a devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our society and on our public services.  

"The austerity policies of the British government have brought our devolved institutions to the brink of collapse. The real crisis for our Assembly and Executive is Tory cuts. 

"The slashing of £1.5 billion from our block grant by the Tories is severely impacting the Executive's ability to deliver public services. 

"Sinn Féin have been absolutely clear in our opposition to Tory cuts and we are encouraging others to join together to present a united voice against austerity. We have blocked their welfare cuts, the bedroom tax and the targeting of people with disabilities. 

"Sinn Fein will continue to resist the anti-working class agenda of the British Tory party." 


Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has today been informed by members of the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC) that the cost of a hard copy of the planning application will cost €5,000 each. The group had requested four copies of the application for their members and are also asking that Eirgrid provide a hard copy to each landowner affected by the application.

Commenting on the correspondence between the NEPPC and Eirgrid officials, Carthy said:

“It is completely outrageous that a full hard copy of this planning application costs €5,000.

“ I agree with the members of the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign that the astronomical costs involved in obtaining a copy of this application will put it out of the reach of many in the community affected by the proposed pylons.

“The message from the local communities could not be clearer – they do not want overhead Pylons blighting some of the most historical landscapes of this country and presenting a real danger to their communities.

“This is another slap in the face to the community who have had to listen to PR exercise after PR exercise from Eirgrid stating their full commitment to engage with local communities on the proposed Pylons.

“While I acknowledge that soft copies of the application are provided on CD many people need access to a hard copy for various reasons and at the least it would be expected that the landowners affected could receive a copy of the application.

“Eirgrid cannot expect to be to be taken seriously on its claims of extensive public consultation while communities are effectively excluded from the planning process and I am calling on the company to make the application more readily available.”


Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said it is important for progressive political parties to work together to oppose the austerity agenda of the Tory government. 

Speaking after a meeting with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Mr McGuinness said; 

"Today's meeting was an opportunity to explore matters of mutual concern across these islands, particularly the need for a broad-based campaign of opposition to the Tory cuts agenda. 

"We are keen to work together to develop a collective opposition to the austerity-driven policies coming from Westminster. 

"There are various areas where we share positions and these should be explored as we move forward. 

"In addition to our common opposition to the austerity policies of the British government, we share concerns about David Cameron's plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and the prospect of a break from the European Union. 

"We had a positive meeting today and I look forward to building on our relationship in the future."


Sinn Féin national chairperson Declan kearney has said that tackling educational underachievement should be addressed as a priority on a cross community basis.

Speaking after attending the launch of the Firm Foundations report in east Belfast today, Mr Kearney said; 

"Education is the key to unlocking the potential of the future for all our young people. 

"The decimation of key public services by the Tory austerity agenda does not recognise communal divisions.  With respect to education, the cumulative cutting of our Block Grant means that early years and direct primary and secondary education service provision are not adequately meeting the needs of our young people, and especially those from the most deprived areas in the north. Tory austerity is undermining educational provision and that directly restricts the development of educational opportunities and options.

"Tackling educational under achievement in particular requires targeted investment, a multi agency focus, the involvement of employers organisations and social partners, and the support of  the  entire community in promoting the best learning environments and opportunities for young people at primary and secondary levels.

"All of us in society should be working to ensure that our young people have full equality in realising their educational and creative potential. That should mean uniting on a non sectarian basis to challenge the injustice of austerity and building on the common ground which is the educational futures of all our children."

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