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Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has backed a Europe-wide road safety initiative aimed at cutting the numbers of road deaths. 

The Sinn Féin Infrastructure spokesperson said; 

"On September 21, Project Edward – European Day Without A Road Death – will be staged across Europe to raise awareness of road safety issues. 

"One fatality on our road is one too many. We should be aiming to make every day free from road deaths but initiatives like this are important as they draw attention to the issue and for all road users to think more about road safety. 

"Sadly, we have seen a number of road deaths recently, including in my own area, and we recognise the pain and suffering road deaths cause. 

"Sinn Féin has invested in infrastructure projects which have and will improve road safety and will continue to campaign to reduce deaths on our roads."

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Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan has 
 welcomed the announcement by Fazzi that 300 new jobs will be created in Limerick over the next five years. The jobs will come on stream with the establishment of a new coding and healthcare services company in the city.

Speaking in response to the announcement, Deputy Quinlivan said:

 “This announcement shows that Limerick is moving in the right direction when it comes to job creation and addressing unemployment. 

“It is a vote of confidence in the city which hopefully is on its way to becoming a model for sustainable regional economic prosperity.

“Limerick needs a coordinated long-term plan for economic recovery and regeneration. The €500 million investment programme announced yesterday covering four strategic sites in the city will hopefully create in excess of 5,000 jobs over the next five years.

“The city has the potential to be a key driver in the region and it is the responsibility of the government, the IDA and elected representatives to ensure this happens. 

“We must have targeted investment in infrastructure and our most important asset, the people of Limerick. 

“Limerick has the potential to be a driver of growth in the mid-west. 

“So it is imperative that, while we welcome investment from companies like Fazzi, we continue the work of creating a vibrant city for people to live and work in.” 

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that the latest rough sleeper show that the government is not doing enough to deal with this escalating crisis. Figures published by the Simon Community today reveal that 168 people, the highest number ever recorded, slept rough last night in Dublin. The charity’s annual report also showed that there is a 32% increase in those recorded as sleeping rough over the past year.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Minister Coveney has repeatedly said that money is not an obstacle in tackling the homelessness crisis. Yes the latest figures from the Simon Community show a sharp rise in rough sleeping in the capital. All four Dublin Councils are under huge pressure to provide emergency accommodation on a night to night basis. We know that many people are being turned away from the Councils due to under provision of emergency accommodation.

“The Government says it supports the housing-first approach as the primary response to homelessness. If this were the case in practice, rough sleeper numbers wouldn't be rising. There are 42,930 vacant properties across Dublin County, yet to date Government has done nothing to bring this stock into use.

“The decision to end the Ministerial Order, under which 50% of social housing allocated to homeless and other at risk households, has also had a negative impact. This decision must be reviewed.

“With family homelessness and rough sleeping continually on the rise, it is clear that the new Minister has not yet got a grip of then situation. Greater urgency is required from Minister Coveney if we are to see the situation improve for those with the greatest housing need.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Michaela Boyle has reiterated her party’s call for the empty police station in Castlederg to be removed. 

The West Tyrone MLA questioned the Minister of Justice on this issue and it was revealed that £847,314 has been spent in maintaining the empty station over the past 5 years.

Speaking this week Ms Boyle said,

“Sinn Féin has long campaigned for the removal of this station. The retention of this militarised barracks does nothing to achieve civic, accountable and effective policing in Castlederg – instead it is merely just a massive drain on the public purse.

“The site is 8,514sq metres in size. I can think of a thousand ways this site could be better utilised by the local community of Castlederg.

“This figure revealed by the Minister of Justice is shocking and needs challenged at every level. 

"I will continue to work closely with our Sinn Féin team on the Policing Board to ensure this site is handed over for community use.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has called for a central register of all tyres to combat the illegal disposal of waste tyres. 

Mr McMullan said; 

"There is no doubt that the illegal disposal of tyres is a major problem. 

"It simply doesn't make sense that we do not have effective measures in place to track tyres to make sure they don't end up on bonfires or illegally dumped. 

"I brought forward a proposal to the Assembly calling for the creation of a central register which would track all tyres from their manufacture, sale, throughout the life of the tyre, right to safe disposal and I was pleased that it received the support of the Assembly. 

"That would allow us to effectively track all tyres to make sure they do not cause environmental problems and would also provide information to enforce any breach of the regulations. 

"Hopefully now the DAERA minister will take forward this proposal to address this important issue." 

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Sinn Féin TD for Sligo-Leitrim Martin Kenny has called on the Minister for Health to provide adequate compensation for those who have been adversely affected after been vaccinated with Pandemrix, Swine Flu vaccine.

Deputy Kenny said:

“In reply to a parliamentary question to the Minister for Health Simon Harris, I was informed that 80 individuals have been diagnosed with narcolepsy as a result of receiving the Pandemrix vaccine. The majority of these are children and adolescents.

“The Department of Health states that 22.5% of the country’s population received at least one dose of Pandemrix vaccine.  

“It also stated that the 5-19 age group had a significantly higher uptake of the Pandemrix vaccine and according to the National Narcolepsy Study Steering Committee which conducted a retrospective population based study there was a 13-fold higher risk of narcolepsy in children/adolescents vaccinated with the pandemic H1N1 2009 vaccine compared to unvaccinated children/adolescents.

“Narcolepsy severely impacts an individual’s life.  It can mean that a sufferer can no longer hold down a job, have and active social life and, in some cases, they can’t be left alone for long periods of time in case they fall asleep in the wrong place.  

“These individuals who followed the advice of the government in 2009 and got the swine flu vaccine without proper knowledge of the possible side effects must be looked after by the government.

“I am calling on the minister to engage with representatives of SOUND (Suffers Of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder) and to assist them in their quest for adequate compensation for all those who have been adversely affected after been vaccinated with Pandemrix Swine Flu vaccine.” 

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said that "Fianna Fáil cannot be trusted to provide a stable government."

Speaking from Leinster House today, Deputy Doherty said;

"The pretence that Fianna Fáil could somehow provide a stable government would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

"Micheál Martin is presiding over a party whose major policies change depending on the direction of the wind.

"Take the issue of water charges for example. They have spun so hard on this issue that they no longer know if they are coming or going. 

"The reality is that Fianna Fáil's position on water charges is all over the place.

"Last week they were for abolition, but this week they have publicly stated that they will vote against a motion to abolish when it comes before the Dáil next week.

"What part of the Sinn Féin motion does Fianna Fáil disagree with?

"The real issue here is that Fianna Fáil are not actually in favour on abolition. It was just something that sounded good to their PR people last week.

"Fianna Fáil cannot be trusted on water charges or anything else."

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Responding to the news that Minister for Transport Shane Ross is to propose an independent analysis of the second runway at Dublin airport, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O’Reilly has cautiously welcomed the move.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“Today’s news is welcome and I hope that what is proposed is more than simply sound bites from the Minister. The communities who will be affected by the second runway have real and legitimate concerns and have thus far been ignored. 

“Planning permission for the second runway was granted with strict criteria to restrict the use at night time and it has to be borne in mind that this permission was granted almost 10 years ago; the surrounding area has changed considerably in the intervening time and residents need to be consulted.

“Over the past year, I have met with many people, resident and communities in North Dublin who have grave concerns for the effect a new runway or further development of Dublin Airport would have on their quality of life. They feel that their opinion has not been sufficiently sought at and I do not believe enough has been done by DAA to hear these concerns or to allay these fears. 

“In that regard, the moves being made by Minister Ross for an independent review are welcome. However this review must be comprehensive and recognise that there are concerns, there are communities with roots living in these areas and there are issues that must be overcome. 

“As a local TD, I have been to the forefront in ensuring that the concerns of local residents are front and centre of the development of the second runway, alongside my councillors on Fingal County Council. There is no denying that the runway will allow Dublin Airport to continue to grow in terms of passenger numbers, but this cannot eclipse the need for measures to be taken to offset the adverse effects of the new runway on local communities.” 

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD will discuss the i.pact for Ireland of the recent Brexit referendum result at the National Ploughing Championships at 1.45 this afternoon.

Sinn Féin has organised a varied series of events which will focus on major issues facing the agriculture sector and rural Ireland.

The Sinn Féin events begin this morning with a discussion on an the Health Service at 10.30am chaired by Liadh Ní Riada MEP and featuring contributions from the party’s Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD aswell as Agriculture Spokesperson Martin Kenny TD and local Offaly TD Carol Nolan.

Later in the afternoon at 4pm, Mary Lou McDonald, Pearse Doherty and Matt Carthy MEP will be joined by Liam Scollan, former CEO of the Western Developemnt Commission and Ireland West Airport to discuss investment in rural Ireland.

All Sinn Féin events take place at Stall 274, Row 11, Block 4.

All Sinn Féin representatives in attendance will be available to speak to the media.

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Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has called for the Irish government to reject the EU Commission’s draft proposal on endocrine disrupters at a meeting of EU Member States due to take place on Wednesday.

Endocrine Disrupters, more familiarly known as gender benders are harmful chemicals that are found in everyday products from toys and cosmetics to shopping receipts.  They are strongly suspected of having severe health impacts given their ability to alter the normal functioning of hormonal systems and are linked to diseases such as breast and testicular cancer.

The Dublin MEP said:

“The European Commission deliberately and illegally delayed regulating these chemicals which led to the Swedish government successfully taking legal action against them.

“After two and a half years of delay amongst a maelstrom of industry lobbying, an ECJ court case and continuing pressure from health experts, the European Commission finally came forward with a draft proposal. However, the proposal is so weak and skewed in favour of industry that it is not worth the paper it is written on and has been universally condemned by doctors and health NGOs.

“At the meeting of Member States in Bratislava on Wednesday, it is widely anticipated that Sweden and other Member States will challenge the Commission’s proposal.  

“The Irish Government, who have been silent to date, must also speak up and put the health of Irish citizens before the vested interests of big Pharma.”  

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Leagan Gaeilge Thios - Irish Version Follows

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has welcomed the announcement by Irish Water that the boil water notice for people being supplied from the plant in An Cheathrú Rua has been lifted.

Speaking today the Galway West – South Mayo Senator says:

“Without doubt it is a relief that the water is now, according to the HSE, fit for consumption. The local community have been severely inconvenienced and have suffered a substantial financial burden due to the boil water notice being in place.

“This situation could and should have been avoided if concerns raised locally had been heeded in time and if the necessary upgrade works had been done earlier.

“I will be seeking technical information confirming that the upgrade is enough to future proof the plant for sufficient protection from cryptosporidium and high levels of THM’s. Irish Water need to clarify also that this is not a temporary fix, that they have the proper planning permission in place for all the facility and that they do not intend removing any of the filtration system at a future date.

“I remain convinced that the longer term plans of Irish Water to downgrade plants such as Carraroe and provide water for the region from Galway are fatally flawed. I still favour the completion of the Casla Regional Water Scheme as the preferred method of supply and will continue to campaign for that.”

Fáilte roimh crochadh fógra fiuchadh uisce na Ceathrún Rua – Ó Clochartaigh

Tá fáilte curtha ag Seanadóir Shinn Féin Trevor Ó Clochartaigh roimh an scéala atá tugtha ag Uisce Éireann go bhfuil an fógra fiuchadh uisce atá i bhfeidhm do dhaoine a fhaigheann soláthar ón ionad ar an gCeathrú Rua, crochta anois.

Ag labhairt do inniu deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar – Maigh Eo Theas:

“Gan dabht tá faoiseamh áirithe i bhfógra an lae inniu go bhuil  an t-uisce anois, de réir barúil Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte, sábháilte le n-ól. Cuireadh isteach go h-an-mhór ar an bpobal áítiúil agus leagadh ualach airgeadais mór orthu de bharr an fógra fiuchadh uisce a bhí i bhfeidhm.

“D’fhéadfadh an chás seo a bheith réitithe i bhfad ó shoin dá dtabharfaí aird ar mhuintir na h-áite agus dá mbeadh an obair uasghrádaithe déanta níos luaithe, mar a d’iarr muid.

“Beidh mé ag lorg breis eolais teicniúil go bhfuil an uasghrádú seo feiliúnach sa bhfad téarma leis an soláthar a chosaint ó cryptosporidium agus na leibhéalacha arda THM atá san uisce amh. Ní mór d’Uisce Éireann soiléiriú chomh maith go bhfuil na ceadanna cuí pleanála acu don ionad ar fad agus nach réiteach gearrthréimhseach atá anseo ná nach bhfuil aon bhaol go dtógfar aon chuid den chóras scagtha amach as an ionad níos déanaí gan a mhalairt de chóras a bheith i bhfeidhm.

“Tá mé fós cinnte go bhfuil fabht damanta i bplean fadtéarmach Uisce Éireann chun ionaid cosúil leis an gCeathrú Rua a íosghrádú agus uisce don réigiúin chur ar fáil as Gaillimh. Tá mé féín fós go láidir i bhfábhar go gcríochnófaí Scéim Réigiúnach Uisce Chasla agus leanfaidh mé ag feachtasaíocht ar a shon sin.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O'Neill has announced Cathal McLaughlin as the new North Antrim councillor on the Causeway Coast and Glens Council.

Ms O'Neill made the announcement at a Selection Convention in the area tonight.

Speaking at the Convention Mr McLaughlin said:

"It is a honour to be selected to represent the people of North Antrim as a councillor.

"I will aim to build on the good work of Philip McGuigan and work for the people of North Antrim and across the constituency."

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 Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the British government has a responsibility to fund legacy inquests. 

Speaking after meeting British Secretary of State James Brokenshire, Mr McGuinness said. 

 "The British government has a responsibility to the families of victims to fully address the legacy of the conflict. 

"To date they have abjectly failed to live up to that responsibility. 

"Following today's meeting where there was deep frustration among the Ballymurphy families about the continued failure of the British Secretary of State and British government, there is an increasing onus on the British government to stop the excuses and provide funding for legacy inquests. 

"They need to listen to the Lord Chief Justice and release the money immediately. 

"Families have been waiting for 45 years for the truth.

“The British government needs to implement its agreements on maximum disclosure to victims of the conflict and end its practice of denying families access to truth on bogus national security grounds.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer said to ensure future prosperity for the North that the Remain vote needs to be respected.

The West Tyrone MLA said:

“Fifty six percent of the people in the north voted to remain as part of the European Union, this vote needs to be respected.

“The north’s membership of the EU has a wide and significant impact on our lives.

“Over the past ten years the EU has invested up to £100 million in infrastructure with £58 million going to TEN-T projects for the likes of the A8 and the development of the transport hub in Belfast.

“In terms of rural development, it is important to point out that the single farm payment makes up 87 percent of farmers' income in the north.

“The single farm payment is just under a quarter of £1 billion per year. A pot was negotiated during the recent Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform in the region of £2 billion, right up to 2020. It begs the question: if the exit happens, where does that come from? 

“The £623 million rural development programme was signed off in August 2015, which opened up exciting opportunities for rural areas.

“There is a £250 million farm business improvement scheme, £65 million for the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme, £10 million for rural tourism and £70 million for LEADER, which is funding for rural projects, small businesses in local areas, community projects and crèches.

“My recent correspondence from the Agriculture Minister gave no guarantees beyond 2018 for that funding, even though the budget has been agreed until 2020, which is the term of the CAP.

“It should be noted that during the CAP negotiations the Tories negotiated a 22 percent cut in funding and we had to bridge the shortfall, proving they cannot be trusted.

“The best chance that we have for future prosperity for the North, and this island, is for everyone to respect the remain vote.”

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Sinn Féin leaders including Party President Gerry Adams TD, the North’s deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Vice President Mary Lou McDonald TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD will be in attendance at this year’s National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Co. Offaly.

Sinn Féin has organised a varied series of events which will focus on major issues facing the agriculture sector and rural Ireland.

The Sinn Féin events will kick off on Tuesday morning with a discussion on an Irish National Health Service at 10.30am chaired by Liadh Ní Riada MEP and featuring contributions from the party’s Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD aswell as Martin Kenny TD and Carol Nolan TD.

At 1.45 pm a discussion entitled Brexit, Irish Unity and Agriculture will hear from TDs Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty and MEP Matt Carthy.

Tuesday’s events round off with a presntation on ‘Investing in Rural Ireland to be addressed by Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Kenny TD, Mary Lou McDonald TD, Pearse Doherty TD and Matt Carthy MEP.

All Sinn Féin events take place at Stall 274, Row 11, Block 4.

All Sinn Féin representatives in attendance will be available to speak to the media.

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said she will continue to challenge the British government to release funds for legacy inquests.

The party's legacy spokesperson was speaking after representatives from the Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign walked out of a meeting with British Secretary of State James Brokenshire.

Jennifer McCann said:

“The Ballymurphy families have been waiting 45 years for justice and once again they have been let down by the British government by their failure to release funds for legacy inquests.

“The British Government has failed to uphold commitments made in the Stormont House Agreement on how to deal with the legacy of the conflict.

"This is the fourth British Secretary of State the families have met and their inaction has only added to the hurt of the families over four decades. 

“The Ballymurphy families and indeed all families deserve to have full disclosure of truth in relation to the death of their loved ones.

“I and my colleagues will continue to challenge the British government on behalf of the Ballymurphy families, all families and victims." 

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Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has today written to the Deputy Sean Fleming, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, requesting that he officially call Minister Michael Noonan to appear before the Committee in relation to his failure to stop the sale of Nama’s northern loan book.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Following my call at the weekend that Minister Noonan should appear before the PAC, I have today written to Deputy Sean Fleming in his capacity as Chair of the PAC to officially call on the Finance Minister to appear before the Committee to give an account of his failure to stop the sale of Nama’s northern loan book.

“It appears that Government will resist my call for Minister Noonan to make himself accountable before the PAC. This is unacceptable. 

“Refusal by Minister Noonan to appear before the PAC would render his position untenable

“Northern Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has said that he is more than happy to appear before the Committee and present the evidence that he has into the sale. Minister Noonan must do likewise.” 

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will take part in an international conference in Bratislava to discuss key issues around food safety and energy policy. 

Speaking ahead of the Bratislava International conference, Ms Anderson said; 

"I will be in Bratislava this week with MEPs from across Europe for a major international conference looking at renewable energy and agri-food issues. 

"The event will bring together GUE/NGL MEPs and we will discuss important issues such as energy security, food safety and agriculture. 

"In contrast with last week's meeting of EU leaders in Bratislava, which appeared to focus on following a right-wing agenda of hardening EU borders, our event was discussing making a positive difference to the lives of citizens. 

"Our discussions on food safety and the agri-food industry in particular will be of interest to those involved in the sector in the North, especially at a time when the British government appears intent on the dragging the North out of the EU, despite the fact that a majority voted to remain. 

"I will be making it clear to MEPs from across the EU that the democratically expressed view of the majority of the people in the North to remain in the EU must be respected."

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Speaking today on the Department’s decision to conduct a review of operations at Oberstown Detention Centre, Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said that this development was welcome, but a long overdue intervention by Minister Zappone.

Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:

“The issues regarding resources, the safety of children and staff, training and risk assessments have been raised by myself, and other TDs in both April and May of this year, and by employees long before that. I am glad that the Minister has eventually intervened.

“It is now vitally important that all stakeholders are involved in this process, including the residents themselves, and it is crucial that the concerns of staff are listened to and acted upon.

“Given the industrial dispute that has been ongoing for quite some time now, and the decision by both parties to attend the WRC in recent weeks, I would ask to what level will a review of practices by management be undertaken?

“It is also important that the Oireachtas committee on children is involved, and I hope that Professors Goldson and Hardwick are invited before the committee.

“The review is certainly required, and in that sense is welcome. I hope to see terms of reference that consider best practice and safety to be of paramount importance, where risk assessments are carried out and adhered to. The safety of both the young people and the staff must be placed front and centre at all times.

“Finally, I wish to acknowledge the staff at Oberstown for the tremendous work they do on a daily basis. Any review that does not incorporate all of their concerns, as well as those of the residents, may be seen as a pointless endeavour lacking in substance.” 

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Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has stated that Fianna Fáil “must be true to their most recent  words” and support Sinn Féin’s motion to scrap household water charges when it comes before the Dail on Wednesday, September 28th.

She added that the motion presents Fianna Fáil with an opportunity to “end their flip-flopping” on the issue by rowing in behind the demand for abolition as expressed by the thousands of people who attended the Right2Water National Demonstration on Saturday.

Lynn Boylan MEP said;

“Fianna Fáil, after months of flip-flopping on this issue, now say that they support the abolition of household water charges. They must now be true to their most recent words on the issue.

“On September 28th, Fianna Fáil TDs will have an opportunity to put their votes where their mouths are. 

“Actions speak louder than words and the Sinn Féin motion, co-signed by all Right2Change TDs, presents Fianna Fáil with a chance to act.

“The reality is that we do not have to wait nine months for a so-called expert commission to recommend the scrapping of water charges.

“The Dáil can vote in favour of abolition as early as next week and, in doing so, deliver what people actually voted for at the General Election in February. They didn't vote for a suspension of water charges. People want to see them scrapped.

“The Sinn Féin motion is extremely clear and direct in its purpose. Failure by Fianna Fail to support this motion would cement the view that they cannot be trusted on water charges.

“I am saying to Micheál Martin that, if he really wants to see a complete and genuine end to water charges, then he and his TDs should support the Sinn Fein motion next week.”

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