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Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people

Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people as Israel continues its horrific bombardment of Gaza



“HAP is not a solution and if the government succeeds in passing it into law, it will have wide ranging negative effects on the future of housing in Ireland and our ability to tackle housing need in the years to come.”



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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism & Sport, Sandra McLellan TD, has today said that the Government must prevent obliteration of Moore Street.

Speaking in the Dáil during Minister’s Question Time, Deputy McLellan said:

“The decision by this government to grant permission for the development of Moore Street to go ahead is tantamount to the obliteration of what the National Museum has called, ‘the most important site in modern Irish history’.

“The government’s proposal to turn 14-17 Moore Street into an interpretative centre, while welcome, are inadequate and fail to match the reality that this is the most important historic site in modern Irish history. The rest of the terrace is to be demolished.

“If Chartered Lands are allowed to precede then the lanes of history surrounding Moore Street are to be bull dozed and covered by a mall.

“The Minister as guardian of the National Monument could have done more to avoid the destruction of an area of major historic importance to Ireland.

“The Minister must now reconsider his decision to allow the proposed development by Chartered Land to proceed.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan has welcomed the announcement of a public consultation into the use of zero hour contracts.

Speaking after the Assembly’s Employment & Learning Committee was briefed on the matter by departmental officials ahead of the public consultation, the Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA said;

"The use of Zero Hour Contracts needs to be governed and regulated in a way that supports the rights of working people. 

"The present use of Zero Hour Contracts has a negative impact not only on the workers involved, but also on the wider economy so I welcome the announcement of a public consultation into their use. 

"Thousands of workers covered by zero hour contracts are trapped in low paid jobs with poor working conditions and this must be addressed.

"All employees should  be guaranteed a minimum number of hours or else paid an on-call retainer and not prohibited from taking up employment opportunities elsewhere as is often the case at present.

"As part of the consultation Minister Farry will contact 500 local employers so that we get a picture of the situation across the North.

"Sinn Féin will be making a detailed submission to this consultation and we would encourage other interested individuals and groups to do likewise.” 

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Sinn Féin has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission over the Department of Social Development's policies on housing provision. 

Speaking after handing in Sinn Féin's submission to the Human Rights Commission this morning alongside party colleagues Alex Maskey and Mickey Brady, Fra McCann MLA said; 

"We are calling on the Human Rights Commission to investigate the policies and proposals of the Department of Social Development on the allocation of social housing. 

"Housing is a human right and the Commission should consider the role of the DSD with particular reference to the International Covenant and Economic and Cultural Rights. 

"There is persistent evidence of longer waiting times, higher levels of housing stress and greater homelessness within Catholic and nationalist community. 

"This is not just our view. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on housing, Raquel Rolnic, after visiting the North, reported to the United Nations Council about the 'persistent inequalities' in housing provision, particularly in north Belfast. 

"We also submitted a complaint to the Equality Commission over concerns surrounding DSD housing concerns and they subsequently launched an investigation and we await the outcome of that."

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in the Dáil on (Tuesday) on the issue of the undocumented Irish living and working in the USA has said that there “is an opportunity before the US election in November to push for immigration reform that would favour the undocumented Irish, but this requires significant work by the Government and our diplomatic representatives in the US.”

Speaking later Mr. Adams said:

“This November will see Congressional elections take place in the USA. A third of Senate seats are also up for grabs.

At one level this is arguably the worst time to persuade US politicians to adopt a more progressive position on immigration reform. It is not popular with a section of the US electorate and has in the past been used as a political football.

However the elections are also a time when US politicians are out on the doorsteps looking for votes. The Irish American community in the USA is very powerful and can swing votes.

So too can lobby groups representing citizens from other nations affected by this issue and also seeking immigration reform.

There is therefore an opportunity to raise the case for immigration reform that favours the undocumented Irish. It will require significant work by the government and by our diplomatic resources in the USA.

This is a vitally important matter for Irish citizens in the USA and for their families at home worried by their lack of legal status. It is equally important that the government establish a clear strategy for progressing this issue in the months ahead.

The Tánaiste told me at Stormont on Monday that he is travelling to the USA to deal with this issue. I welcome that.

The government must increase its engagement in the time ahead and intensify its lobbying campaign with the Obama administration and with congressional leaders.

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Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne has said an anomaly over food labelling is having a devastating impact on Irish beef farmers.  

Speaking after meeting with beef producers, the Mid Ulster MLA said; 

"We are now in the position where there are cattle born, raised and slaughtered on the island of Ireland but cannot be labelled as Irish or even UK beef because they ended up being processed in the North and are regarded as 'nomadic' cattle.

"This is a very unfair anomaly which has its origins in EU legislation which requires beef to be labelled with its country of origin. 

"It does not take into account the situation in Ireland brought about by the legacy of partition.

"It is having a hugely detrimental impact on farmers throughout the island. 

"Many farmers also believe it is also being used as a tool to control the movement and price of livestock. 

"Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill has raised this with our European team of four MEPs and has also met with her southern counterpart, Simon Coveney to seek a derogation from the European legislation.

"Sinn Féin has also written to the Grocery Adjudicator to call on the major stores to be flexible in terms of labelling with small farmers, who are their main suppliers."

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Speaking after the publication of the Cooke Report Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, said:

“The core findings by Justice Cooke are not a great surprise. In the shadowy world of modern surveillance, it is extremely difficult to find definitive evidence.

Indeed in conclusion 15 of the report, Justice Cooke states that he cannot categorically rule out the possibility that some form of unlawful surveillance took place and in conclusion 16, he acknowledges that further investigation may be necessary."

"What is clear however is that the environment that led to GSOC's concerns around their security was one of profound distrust between GSOC and the senior management of An Garda Síochána exemplified by the tensions created by GSOC's public interest investigation into why convicted drug dealer, Kieran Boylan had further serious drugs charges dropped in July 2008.

“Their public interest investigation examined the nature of the garda relationship with the drug dealer and GSOC heavily criticised the senior management of An Garda Síochána for their lack of cooperation with the investigation that delayed them for four years."

"The lessons must be learned from all of this. Public confidence in the administration of Justice has been rocked by all of these recent scandals and it must be restored.

“The Government must now demonstrate that they are serious about real policing reform and deal with these important issues in a comprehensive manner". 

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Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy, speaking from London on the eve of a series of engagements with political parties in Westminster, said it was vital that the British government re-engage fully and positively to address outstanding issues in the Peace and Political process.

Mr Molloy is in London for meetings with the main Westminster political parties, and will brief MPs on recent developments including the forthcoming cross party talks announced for late June. He will also discuss the political landscape following the recent European and local government elections, which saw Sinn Féin emerge as the largest party in Ireland.

Speaking from London Mr Molloy said:

“The talks announced for later this month provide a crucial window of opportunity to make progress on the serious issues of dealing with the past, flags and contentious parades. All of the outstanding issues arising from the Good Friday and subsequent agreements must also be addressed.

“Sinn Féin does not underestimate the challenges, but we believe that there is an opportunity to make progress if all of the parties and the two governments fully engage in a spirit of positivity. We believe these issues can all be resolved if everyone is genuinely dedicated to finding a way forward.

“We have also consistently raised the lack of engagement by the current British government, and I will continue to press this during meetings tomorrow, as Martin McGuinness did in his recent phone call to David Cameron.

On the recent elections and the wider economic challenges, including welfare reform, Mr Molloy said

“I will also discuss the on-going economic situation, and press Sinn Féin’s view that a change of direction is needed. People in government in London need to understand that their austerity and welfare cuts agenda is plunging more and more people into poverty. Sinn Féin will be using our enhanced electoral mandate to continue to fight to defend living standards for all of the people in the north, and across Ireland.

“As the largest party on the island of Ireland, we will be bringing a strong and positive message to the British government and MPs tomorrow, that this short window of opportunity to resolve these crucial issues must not be squandered.”

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Sinn Féin’s Senator David Cullinane has welcomed the end of the Paris Bakery dispute and the confirmation that workers are to have access to the Insolvency Fund.

Senator Cullinane said:

“The workers were owed €100,000 in wages and they were left in limbo due to the loophole in the Companies Act.

“After a sit-in lasting nineteen days the Government decided to act and announced that Revenue will now step in and wind up the company.

“The bottom line remains however, that low paid workers should not have to go to such efforts to access what is rightfully theirs.

“The onus is now on the government to address the loopholes in the Companies Bill and ensure that workers have access to the Insolvency Fund.

“Fine Gael and Labour have no excuse for inaction on this issue as they voted against a Sinn Féin bill in 2012 which would have closed this very loophole.

 “The government has a duty to protect vulnerable workers from greedy and unethical employers. This situation is not new - we saw it with the Vita Cortex workers and also with the workers at La Senza.

“Today is a good day for the Paris Bakery workers and for Mandate, their trade union. “The ball is now in the government’s court and it must act.”  

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Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called for any inquiry into mother and baby homes to cover all such homes and all aspects of the treatment of women and children, including high mortality rates and burial practices. Proposing Sinn Fein’s motion on the issue in the Dáil this evening (Tuesday), Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“We moved quickly to table this Dáil motion once it became clear that an inquiry was absolutely necessary and that is must be undertaken as soon as possible.

“I welcome the Government’s pro-activity in the past few days. We await the full details and terms of reference of the statutory commission of investigation announced by the Minister.

“We have known for a long time now that women and children placed by the State under the so-called care of religious orders and other Church institutions in this country between the 1920s and the 1970s were treated as the outcasts of society and as non-people.

“We have seen fully revealed the horrors of the industrial schools for boys and young men and of the Magdalene laundries for girls and young women. We knew something also of the regime endured by young mothers and children in mother and baby homes, including the effective imprisonment of pregnant women, forced adoptions and the sale of babies by religious orders to wealthy Irish-American families.

“But the latest revelations from Tuam have highlighted more horrifying aspects of the regimes in these mother and baby homes and they demand immediate action to uncover the full truth.

“Foremost in our thoughts should be the surviving mothers who endured what was in reality their incarceration in these institutions and the surviving adopted children who wish to find out the truth about the identity of their parents and siblings and their wider families, if any.

“Between 1925 and 1961 796 children died in the Bon Secours mother and baby home. Their names are recorded and were accessed by Catherine Corless in the Births and Deaths Registry in Galway.

“What has brought this story to national and international attention is the manner of the children’s burial, anonymously, without any kind of individual identification or markers and apparently in a mass grave. That has caused widespread revulsion and has reopened and highlighted anew the scandal of mother and baby homes in this State.

“It is important to investigate the truth of past wrongs and past abuses such as those in mother and baby homes - not only for the survivors but also for the well-being of our society today and into the future.”

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Demand for Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled reiterated


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Michael Colreavy TD & Cllr Darren O'Rourke