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Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams TD, has announced a reshuffle of the party’s Oireachtas team.

Gerry Adams said: “This coalition is already boasting about the severity of the budget it intends to inflict on the people in December and the series of further cuts it will introduce. It is like a kind of Fianna Fáil Light, implementing the policies of the last government.

“Our new Oireachtas team looks forward to strengthening Sinn Féin’s role as the real opposition in the Dáil, where we will continue to defend working people against the onslaught of cuts, charges and unfair burdens being inflicted on them by this coalition.

“After a very successful year, for what was a mainly new Oireachtas team, I held a review of our work with all TDs and senators.

“After consultation some portfolio changes are being made for the new term to suit people to areas relevant to them."

SINN FÉIN OIREACHTAS TEAM RESHUFFLE
(WITH EFFECT FROM SEPTEMBER 2012)

New Portfolio from Sept 2012
Gerry Adams
Party President
Shadowing An Taoiseach
No change


Martin Ferris
from Communications, Energy, Natural Resources
to Agriculture, Food, Marine & Rural Affairs

Dessie Ellis
Housing and Transport
No Change

Séan Crowe
from Education
to Foreign Affairs, Trade & Diaspora

Micháel Colreavy
from Agriculture, Food and Marine
to Communications, Energy, Natural Resources

Jonathan O’Brien
from Justice, Equality Defence
to Education, skills, training, science & research

Mary Lou McDonald
Party Vice-President,
Public Expenditure & Reform
No change

Pearse Doherty
Finance
No change

Sandra McLellan
Arts, Heritage, Sports, Tourism
No change

Brian Stanley
Environment, Local Government & Community
No change

Padraig MacLochlainn
from Foreign Affairs & Trade
to Justice, Equality & Defence

Aengus O’Snodaigh
Social Protection
No change

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
Health & Children & Young People
No change

Kathryn Reilly
Youth Affairs, EU Affairs, All-Ireland Economy
No change

David Cullinane
Trade Union Outreach/Workers Rights, Political Reform
Added portfolio to existing brief -Junior Oireachtas Jobs & Enterprise Spokesperson

Trevor O Clochartaigh
Gaeltacht, Irish Language & Rural Affairs
Added portfolio to existing brief -Junior Oireachtas Justice, Equality & Defence Spokesperson

Peadar Toibín
Jobs, Enterprise, Innovation
Jobs, Enterprise, innovation & Gaeltacht Affairs

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that the latest call by the Fiscal Advisory Council for the government to add an extra €1.9 billion in spending cuts and tax rises between now and 2015 are ‘reckless’ and ‘would damage the economy, further undermine vital front line public services, and hurt families.’

Deputy McDonald said:

“Today’s proposal by the Fiscal Advisory Council that government should add an extra €1.9 billion in spending cuts and tax rises between now and 2015 are reckless. If implemented they would damage the economy, further undermine vital front line public services and hurt families.

“The deficit reduction strategy outlined by the council simply won’t work. The single biggest obstacle to fiscal sustainability is the absence of growth. The deficit cannot be properly reduced when more than 400,000 people are on the life register.

“The economy urgently needs more investment not more austerity. Investment in jobs is crucial. Getting people off the dole and back paying taxes is the surest route to deficit reduction. Cutting government spending and the disposable incomes of low and middle income earners will further depress the domestic economy and lead to more job losses.

“Once again the Fiscal Advisory Council has shown that it simply does not understand what is happening in the Irish economy. I would urge the Government to ignore the latest advice from the Fiscal Advisory Council as they did to the Council’s advice in advance of budget 2012.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has written to DSD Minister Nelson McCausland to ask that the "central role" of culture, arts and language is recognised by the DSD in its proposed policy framework for urban regeneration — which is currently out for consultation. The role of culture, arts and language as drivers of regeneration is not explored in the Policy Framework.

"This week, I have been contacted by the the pioneering Irish language umbrella body Pobal which fears that DSD officials are gearing up to cut its funding because they do not recognise language development as community development. This attitude is hardly surprising when the DSD is promoting a document which ignores the rich resource for regeneration afforded by culture, arts and language.

In his letter to the Minister, the South Belfast councillor who is Deputy Chair of the Development Committee in City Hall writes: "There are countless examples of how arts, culture and language development has contributed positively to the success of cities and regions.

"Among the most celebrated in language terms are Sabhal Mór Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, Oideas Gael in Gleann Colm Cille in southwest Donegal, and, of course, the Cultúrlann projects in Belfast and Donegal. In terms of arts and culture, we can start with the Guggenheim in Bilbao (where the language also plays a vital role) and work our way across Europe.

"The DSD should recognise language development as community development. The benefits to Belfast from the last 40 years of vibrant Irish language renaissance are manifold and well-documented but there is no doubt that the community confidence and self-belief which underpins the success of communities in areas such as West Belfast is linked to the transformational language revival. Promotion of language, like promotion of arts and culture, aids and complements urban regeneration. It should be recognised as such and, therefore, supported by DSD."

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Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast, Paul Maskey, has called on both the Enterprise Trade and Investment Minster and the Employment and Learning Minister to assist in whatever way they following the news that over 700 jobs may go at FG Wilson.

Speaking today Mr Maskey said:

“The jobs losses at FG Wilson are a huge blow to the local and are significantly higher than predicted.

“We need to examine why this is the case given that FG Wilson doubled its pre-tax profits to £7.8m in 2011 and how much Invest NI have contributed to this company over the past number of years.

“This move will leave many workers and their families facing hardship in what are already difficult economic times and our primary focus needs to be with them.

“What we need to see is the Department of Employment and Learning and the Department of Trade and Investment jointly setting up a unit to advise those facing redundancy ofemployment opportunities, benefit entitlements, mortgage advice and skills retraining.

“The Ministers also must ensure that those being made redundant are also given their full entitlements.

“Sinn Féin Ministers made this issue a priority at the Executive jobs meeting this morning while Martin McGuinness, who is currently in the United States, has been fully briefed and will be raising his concerns on the FG Wilson job losses.

“I will be raising this and placing a strong a focus on the need for all Ireland economic development and job creation with members of the All Ireland Good Friday Agreement Committee in Dublin today.” 

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Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Chris Hazzard has said that schools uniforms need to be affordable to every family.

Mr Hazzard stated:

“It has emerged in the past few days that the cost of a school uniform in many schools are exorbitant. 

“The price involved, which includes the need for a PE kit, is putting many families under severe financial pressure.

“It is especially affecting those who have several children at one school and actually influencing their choice of school. 

“Apart from the identity benefit of having a uniform one of the other positive aspects is that regardless of the financial situation of a child’s family, they all dress the same.

“However if we do not ensure that uniforms are affordable to all families then we will break the equality created by the introduction of uniforms.

“It is important that schools follow the guidance set out by the Department of Education and that Boards of Governors work to ensure that their school uniform is accessible to every family.”  

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson says President Barroso "needs too give his head a good shake"

Following President Barroso's speech in the European Parliament Ms Anderson said:

"President Barroso needs to give his head a good shake. Where I come from if something doesn't work then you don't carry on doing it and expect it to work the next time. Mr Barroso is proposing a continuation of the same failed policies that haven't worked in recent years.

"The problem he hasn't addressed is the failure of the policy of chasing after third world conditions in employment and public services. We will not get out of the crisis by lowering wages and destroying jobs and public services, by cutting spending and pouring billions into the banks.

"And now Mr Barroso wants to change the EU Treaties to create a 'federation of nation states'. What he is really about is taking more power away from local, regional and national democratic institutions and putting it in the hands of remote and unaccountable institutions. He wants more power to impose the failed policies of austerity on reluctant peoples 

"I agree with Mr Barroso that we need a debate on the proposals the Commission will be coming forward with. I agree that the elections to the European Parliament in 2014 will be an important part of that debate. He can rest assured that Sinn Féin will take the lead across Ireland in promoting a real debate and in promoting a European Union which genuinely serves the interests of its peoples.

"And I can assure him that the sort of EU that people want is not the EU that he and his golden circle of friends want."

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson welcomed the release of Iosu Uribetxeberria. Following a meeting with representatives of Herrira (the association for the rights of Basque prisoners) in Strasbourg Ms Anderson said:

"I welcome the release of Iosu Uribetxeberria, who will now be able to spend his final days in dignity and with his family.

"However there are other humanitarian issues facing Basque prisoners.

"There are another 13 seriously ill prisoners who should be released immediately.

"The illegal practice of extension of the terms of prisoners who are approaching their release date must be ended. This practice has already been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights.

"All Basque prisoners should be repatriated to the Basque Country in order to be close to their families.

"The Basque peace process, which is fully supported by the Basque political prisoners, has created a new scenario for a resolution of the conflict. Those opposed to this process should not use prison policy in order to try to derail it."

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has described as “extremely worrying” the findings from an OECD (Organisation and Economic Co-operate Development) think-tank which suggests that not enough time is being spent teaching science based subjects in Irish primary schools.

The OECD 'Education at a Glance' report reveals that only 4% of classroom time is actually devoted to science, a figure that is half the international average and contrasts with the time spent teaching a subject like religion which stands at 10%.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Despite Ireland being in the grip of a recession, the science and IT based industries continues to flourish to the extent that Irish based firms are being forced to recruit abroad for personnel who can fulfil specialised roles.

“It is extremely worrying that this report’s findings show Ireland lagging way behind other OECD countries in the amount of time allocated in primary schools to the teaching of science based subjects.

“The current figure of 4% is half the OECD average and this places our future workforce at a considerable disadvantage. In addition to this, our education system is ill-equipped to produce graduates who are multi-lingual, another significant impediment to finding employment in a global workforce. These are key issues Education Minister Ruairí Quinn must prioritise and address as part of any reform of science based subjects.

“Children who are taught science at a young age are better able to understand and prosper at the subject in later life. The findings of this report must be scrutinised and acted upon. The report highlights a glaring weakness in the current system.

“There needs to be far greater priority given to the teaching of science based subjects which must be done in tandem with how maths and languages are taught. If we fail to implement this type of reform, then our ability to attract jobs by having in place a highly skilled workforce will be greatly diminished.”

ENDS

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Commenting following the resolution of the Lagan Brick dispute, Cavan/Monaghan Dáil Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that ‘this long awaited news is very welcome.’

The Sinn Féin TD, who has been working to bring about an agreed end to the dispute since it started on December 15th 2011, commended the workers and owners of the company on finally reaching agreement on terms acceptable to both parties.

“With the passage of over 270 days of stoic protest by the former Lagan Brick workforce, this long awaited news is very welcome.

“The detail of the terms of the settlement is a matter for the workers and for the Lagan company representatives. While it is regrettable that it has taken so long to resolve the points of difference between both parties, I nevertheless commend both sides on finally reaching agreement.

“I thank Gerry Adams TD and Councillor Jim McVeigh (Belfast City Council) who have worked closely with me and very especially over the last week leading to the achievement of the settlement terms.

“I also acknowledge the efforts of Minister of State Shane McEntee TD.

“I wish the former workforce success in their search for alternative employment. Whatever the future holds for the closed Lagan Brick plant at Kingscourt, I would hope that the former workforce would be given most favourable consideration in the event that this plant reopens under whatever management” concluded Deputy O Cáoláin.


ENDS
13/9/12

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Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson Phil Flanagan has said that the latest statistics on the number of people unemployed here demonstrates that the continuing pursuance of austerity policies by the both the British and Irish governments is having a devastating impact on communities locally.

Mr Flanagan, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, said:

"Unemployment stands at 8.2%, but more tellingly, only two out of every three people of working age here are actually employed. Add to that the hundreds of qualified and skilled young people that are emigrating every week in search of employment elsewhere.

"This demonstrates that that the continuing pursuance of failed austerity policies by both the British and Irish governments is having a devastating impact on communities here.

"What we need to see is a move away from the failed policies of austerity and a move towards economic recovery that is based on job creation, reducing levels of poverty and on protecting our public services.

"The local Executive realise this with its Programme for Government investing £1bn into the economy. This includes an increased target of £365 million of foreign direct investment, £400 million from indigenous businesses and a £225 million injection into the jobs fund.

"However what is needed to accompany this is the transfer of Fiscal powers to allow local politicians to do more to affect the fortunes of the local economy, instead of fiscal decisions being made at Westminster with a Tory driven austerity mindset."

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Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA today launched a social farming initiative aimed at developing linkages between the agriculture and health care sectors.

The ‘Social Farming Across Borders’ (SoFAB) is an innovative project linking the health care and agriculture sectors in the north and south of Ireland to establish a novel social support service to improve health and support farm diversification.

Launching the project at Loughry College alongside Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for Ireland, Fergus O’Dowd, Minister O’Neill said: “Social farming provides an opportunity for a joined up approach to the care and rehabilitation of vulnerable groups in society. Experiencing farming at first hand, combined with physical activity has been shown to help in the rehabilitation of a broad range of vulnerable people suffering from mental health problems, physical and learning disabilities and drug or alcohol addiction.

“This project has the potential to make a difference to the lives of so many people by providing a service which will bring about health, economic and societal benefits. It provides a vital link between health and rural life, and I am delighted that my Department is playing an active role in making it happen. As well as meeting the need for tackling rural poverty and social isolation in rural areas, social farming presents new opportunities for farm diversification. I encourage farmers and farm families to take the time to investigate its potential benefits to their business.”

Minister O’Dowd further added his recommendation to farmers and farm families across the Region to take the time to consider the potential benefits of Social Farming to their business and local community. He said: “The Social Farming project has been awarded funding of almost €700,000 from the European Union’s Interreg IVA Programme. My department welcomes the targeting social inclusion through this initiative. The development of Social Farming Across Borders network further enables farmers and those involved in health and social care services to engage and develop the provision of Social Farming in the cross border region and Northern Ireland.”

Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of SEUPB also welcomed the project by saying: “Social Farming is an innovative project and one which the SEUPB is delighted to be supporting. It addresses one of the core objectives of the INTERREG IVA Programme to contribute to a more sustainable cross-border region. Upon completion, this project will have helped build capacity among service providers and through its pilot programme it will gather crucial information on how best to implement this new concept of service delivery in the eligible area.”

Representatives from the farming and health sectors heard from a number of speakers, including Gaynor Tate from Care Farming UK and Richard Nicol of West Midlands Care Farming and Paul Henry of the Community of Practice Group.

During the next two years, the Social Farming Across Borders project, which has been jointly developed by University College Dublin, Queen’s University of Belfast, Leitrim Development Company and DARD’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) will establish twenty demonstration social farms and a cross border network of farmers, health care professionals and people that use services.

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Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on EU Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly has said Jose Manuel Barrosso’s “State of the Union” address today confirms that a federal Europe is the ultimate goal of the EU Commission despite claims during previous referenda campaigns that this was just scare mongering by those on the no side.

Senator Reilly said:

“The mask has finally slipped during today’s State of the Union address by Jose Manuel Barrosso in which he makes the claim that Europe needs to move to a federation of nation states.

“Sinn Féin has consistently warned that a federal Europe is the ultimate goal of those at the helm of the EU project. However we were always dismissed as scare mongers. Today’s comments from Barrosso prove our caution to have been correct.

“We are living in a time of austerity and of dismal economic fortunes yet President Barrosso has chosen to headline his address with a call for an unspecified, undefined ‘Federation of Nation States’.

“This shows how out of touch with the reality on the ground he, and the Commission, must be. Citizens across the EU, especially young people, are struggling with sky-high levels of unemployment and underemployment.

“I can assure President Barrosso that federalist pipe-dreams are not keeping them awake at night. What’s keeping them awake at night is the economic mess caused by the type of austerity policies this Commission is wedded to.

“What citizens in Ireland and everywhere else demand of the EU is practical leadership and some evidence that they are focussing their energies on creating jobs, protecting public services and sheltering the most vulnerable from the outcomes of austerity. This evidence was not to be found in President Barrosso's speech today.

“Sinn Fein will be closely examining the Commission’s proposals on the banking sector and I once again welcome the Commission’s commitment to supporting a Youth Guarantee. In both cases the detail will decide our position.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has called on Minister Brendan Howlin TD to use the existing mechanisms within the Croke Park agreement to once and for all tackle excessive pay across the top of the public sector.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Acceptance by Government Ministers over recent days that there are mechanisms within Croke Park to tackle excessive pay across the upper echelons of the public sector is to be welcomed.

“Over the past year Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has hid behind the agreement as a justification for standing over runaway pay and pensions for senior civil servants, hospital consultants and special advisors.

“The Government’s refusal thus far to tackle runaway pay and pensions at the top of the public sector has understandably created a frustration for citizens with the agreement. Labour and Fine Gael have a real opportunity now to tackle excessive pay and restore the people’s confidence in the public sector.

“Low and middle income public sector workers have seen their pay significantly reduced over the last number of years. New entrants into the service have been disproportionately hit. These workers see the Croke Park Agreement as their last line of defence against Government cuts.

“Low and middle income public sector workers must be protected but this protection should not prevent Government from finally pursuing the high rollers.”

ENDS

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Dessie Ellis TD, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Transport has called on Luas operator Veolia to work with its employees to roster its driving staff with safe shift times. He made his comments in light of an expected ballot of Luas workers for industrial action this week.

The deputy continued;

“Luas Drivers are expected to vote on Industrial Action this week having rejected a Labour Court Recommendation. These drivers are asking for parity with other staff in jobs where safety is paramount and the alertness of workers is essential. Workers in similar fields recently received 23 extra rest days and maximum 8 hour shifts.

“Luas drivers currently work 9 hour shifts in what is a very stressful working environment with a need for caution and alertness.

“Veolia, who operate the Luas light rail claim they cannot afford to meet the 160+ drivers’ demands and have offered half the rest days (10) but will not reduce the shift times.

“This is not really good enough or even believable. Veolia have made a very large profit off the Luas operation and they cannot now say that safety is not worth this investment in their workers’ conditions.

“The nearly 80,000 people who use the Luas every day, spending around 45 million euros a year, deserve to be safe.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson today voted on the first of a series of reports contributing to the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Speaking today from Strasbourg the MEP said:

“While there are some positive aspects to these reports I am wary of the direction in which some countries want to take the reform.

“I remain wholly opposed to the idea of Transferable Fishing Concessions and instead want to see a CFP which focuses on promoting a prosperous industry which enhances rural communities and ensures them for future generations.

“This reform must have the small fishing industries at its heart and not become a tool of big business. Our fishing industry is world-famous in terms of quality and has a very special place in Irish culture. We must preserve this.

“The primary objective of the CFP is to ensure we have 'fish for the future', to ensure our industry is as sustainable as possible and to protect the rural way of life.

“I will continue to make these points and hope for a constructive engagement on these issues as the CFP reform takes place under the Irish Presidency.”

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Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced the award of contracts to deliver a local rural community development support service.

The contracts will provide local support for individuals and communities to access the NI Rural Development Programme and create more sustainable businesses and jobs.

Making her announcement, the Minister said:

“The award of these contracts represents an investment of £1.2million per annum in supporting local rural community development. Community Development plays an important part in my £16million programme to address rural poverty and social isolation by getting people involved in issues that affect their lives, and supporting them to identify and tackle the local issues.”

The Minister continued:

“These contracts will provide local community development support for individuals and communities, including farmers and farm families, to access the Rural Development Programme to create more sustainable businesses and jobs, and support projects that will enhance the quality of life of local communities and support strong community infrastructures.”

In conclusion the Minister said:

“I would encourage all those living in rural areas to take up the support available through these contracts to address anti poverty and social exclusion issues in their area.”

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Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has today said the comments by an Athlone District Court judge in which he described Travellers as “Neanderthal men” were utterly disgraceful and further called for the judge to apologise. He also said this demonstrated the need for a Judicial Council to hold judges to account.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said;

“Anti-traveller racism in all forms is unacceptable in Ireland, and it is mind boggling to think that Justice Seamus Hughes would think ethnic slurs tolerable in the Courts. Given the Justice’s previous comments on the social welfare recipients, it is not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that there are certain people in society which would not get a fair trial under Justice Hughes.

“We must challenge racism at every opportunity and these comments do nothing to build public faith in the justice system. It is an example of the systemic racism that Travellers face in the Irish society and for this reason Justice Seamus Hughes should apologise immediately.

“This is not the first time a judge in Ireland has made racist comments. Only a few months ago Judge Mary Devins had to apologise for comments concerning Poles and social welfare, and Judge Devins in Castlebar and Judge John Neilan in Longford made disparaging remarks about Nigerian and African people during cases.

“This kind of behaviour demonstrates the need for a judicial council that can deal with complaints regarding judicial conduct. It is astonishing that the public are subject to a judicial system where there is no avenue for them to lodge a complaint regarding inappropriate behaviour. I am calling on the Minister for Justice to introduce legislation for a Judicial Council immediately.

“Further to this, Sinn Féin is also calling for the introduction of human rights and equality training for the judicial community so that there are no doubts regarding their responsibilities.”

ENDS

Note to Editor: The Chief Justice established an interim Judicial Council however it has no statutory basis or disciplinary remit.

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Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe, TD, has congratulated Junior Cert students from across the State who received their exam results today.

The Dublin South West Deputy commended all of the students who sat this year’s Junior Cert results and said he wished all of them the very best of luck and every success for the future.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Great credit goes to the students who sat this important exam as well as to their parents and teachers for all the time and effort they have put in at home and in the classroom. Those who sat the 2012 Junior Cert did so at a very difficult and challenging time for the Irish education sector which has faced a range of cuts.

“The Junior Cert is an important milestone in the education of young people but anyone who has sat the exam and not done as well as they had hoped still has plenty of options to consider before making a decision on their future.

“I would urge all Junior Cert students to avail of the advice and support from their teachers and parents so as they are well prepared to make the right decisions regarding their academic and career paths.

“I hope the results they receive today will have enhanced their future employment prospects and prepare many for a fulfilling life ahead. Finally, I would remind any student celebrating their results this week to keep safe when enjoying themselves.”

ENDS

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Responding to the Justice Minister’s announcement that the final report of the Magdalene Laundries inter-Departmental Committee will not now be completed until the end of the year Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has expressed her deep disappointment and called on the Government to urgently put in place support mechanisms for survivors many of whom are elderly, suffering ill health as a result of their incarceration and have been refused pension entitlements by the Department of Social Protection.

Deputy McDonald said:

“We all appreciate the work and time involved in gathering testimonies and engaging with the various Government Departments, state agencies and stake holders however the fact remains there is a wealth of evidence already in the public domain proving State’s involvement with the Magdalene Laundries.

“If the committee is struggling with its work load the minister simply needs to give it the necessary resources to complete its work so that the Government can get on with providing redress to the survivors.

“When in opposition the Justice Minister and many of his colleagues railed against the Government’s failure to provide redress and an apology for the Magdalene women. Yet since taking office they have stalled at every turn despite the recommendation of the UN Committee Against Torture last year that the State ensure all Magdalene victims receive redress.

“In July of this year the Government appointed Special Rapporteur on child protection and child law Geoffrey Shannon described the Magdalene women’s incarceration as forced labour and criticised the Government for denying survivors the redress that they are clearly entitled to.

“The on-going refusal by Labour and Fine Gael Ministers to provide an apology, redress and supports for the survivors of Magdalene Laundries and Bethany Home is now nothing less than a brutally cruel act. Most of the Magdalene women are elderly, many are suffering ill health as a result of their incarceration and in some instances the Department of Social Protection has shamefully refused to pay out their pension entitlements.

“Government Ministers cannot continue to hide their inaction behind an under resourced and arguably unnecessary Committee. It’s time now the Justice Minister and his cabinet colleagues stepped up and did the right thing by the Magdalene women.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA Sean Lynch has questioned Minister of Enterprise Trade and Investment Arlene Foster has not contacted the Revenue Commission to help save the jobs at Target.

Mr. Lynch said.

“Since Target has stopped trading I have been calling for the Minister to intervene to save the jobs in Fermanagh.  I was disappointed to hear in a reply to a question that she has not contacted the Revenue Commission in Dublin who has been dealing with the issue. 

“I am encouraged that Masterlink Logistics have reached provisional agreement to acquire part of the company.  I am hoping that Masterlink Logistics can save as many jobs as possible.

“In the meanwhile Sinn Féin has organised a day in Newtownbutler Community hall on the 14th September between 10am and 2pm in which the Social Security Agency and Citizen Advice Bureau will be available to advice workers threatened with redundancy.”

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