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A Fair Recovery Is Possible

Sinn Féin has launched a state wide campaign for a Fair Recovery. The campaign will involve a series of public meetings and the distribution of close to one million leaflets door to door.

This campaign is about setting out some of Sinn Féin’s priorities and to start a debate about the future, about what type of country and society we want to live in, about equality, and the type of recovery we want.

Visit our special web section A Fair Recovery Is Possible here

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Some sights and sounds from the Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare on June 21, 2015. Main speaker Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD. During the course of her speech she talked about the need for a fair economic recovery north and south; demanded the British to come clean about collusion; and expressed solidarity with the people of Greece.


Martin McGuinness speaking at Stormont said that Sinn Féin's conditional support for the budget bill will create the space to resolve outstanding issues and ensure the executive has workable and sustainable finances and see the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Teachta Peadar Tóibín has stated that unless there is a significant change in economic policy this decade will be known economically as Ireland’s lost decade.

Responding to the latest job figures released today the Meath West Deputy said;

“Under Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour Ireland has suffered five years of falling or static growth, historically high emigration and a stagnant jobs market.

“Long term unemployment and underemployment, two significant indicators of poverty are on the increase and the marginal fall in the live register can be accounted for and is over shadowed by the number of people who emigrated in March.

“We see this week that the peripheral economies are being economically nailed down by the imposition of austerity for the protection of the European core resulting in increasing unemployment throughout the Eurozone.

“Fine Gael and Labour are more than enthusiastically delivering on this policy choice in Ireland to the detriment of this generation.

“Five years on they refuse to stimulate the real economy with funds the troika acknowledge exist in order to create jobs.

“They refuse to tackle market distortions such as Upward Only Rents, unfair commercial rates, cartels and bloated utility costs.

“The department tasked with jobs is focused on a turf war with the Department of Environment instead of focusing its resources on job creation.”

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the IMF report shows that the government has chosen repossession of family homes as a policy.

Deputy Doherty said:

“This week’s IMF report is explicit in stating that the government has committed to going beyond simply reversing the Dunne Judgement.

“The announcement, at the behest of the Troika, that the Dunne judgment will be reversed by legislation caused a great deal of worry among people struggling to pay their mortgages. It is clear from the IMF report that this will only be the first step.

“The IMF states ‘In addition, the authorities will keep repossession experience under review, and quickly bring forward appropriate measures to address any problems regarding the length, predictability, and cost of proceedings’.

“This amounts to a commitment to pursue a policy of repossessions.

“Two years into this government and the mortgage crisis is spiralling out of control. The numbers in arrears of over 90 days has nearly doubled under Fine Gael and Labour’s watch.

“Sinn Féin has called for solutions on a case-by-case basis including write-downs where necessary. An independent body needs to be put in place to force banks to make sustainable deals.

“I am calling on the government to state what further options they are considering to facilitate repossessions. They must admit now that they have chosen repossessions as a policy.

“Once again the government, like its predecessor, has put bank’s interests first.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA Sean Lynch said that both those involved in leaving suspect or real devices and the PSNI appear to have a total disregard for the safety of local people in Fermanagh.

He was speaking after a suspect device was reported on the main Lisnaskea to Roslea road at Donagh and the PSNI had yet to cordon off the road to stop local people from making their way past the device.

The Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA said:"Local people's lives are being put at risk both by those that left this device and by the inaction of the PSNI. 

"I understand the PSNI's need to be cautious when approaching such reports but to allow people just to travel past the suspect device is irresponsible. 

"The PSNI have a duty to protect the public and their failure in this incident to observe that does not instil confidence in the local population.

"Whoever is leaving these devices, whether real or hoaxes need to wise up. They obviously haven't got the courage to tell the people why they are doing it and how it is going to advance a united Ireland in 2013.

" The people of Ireland have moved on and this is not  1969, 1980 or the 1990s. Militarism for the sake of militarism was never part of republicanism but clearly these people believe that it is. They are deluded, self-serving and need to wise up." 

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Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson commenting on the recent British Chancellor’s budget said that some people across the North of Ireland will have been disappointed by the refusal of the British government to transfer corporation tax measures to the Executive, but most will not be surprised

Martina Anderson said

“Some people across the north will have been disappointed by the failure of the British government to transfer Corporation Tax setting measures to the Executive but most will not be surprised.

“For Republicans this will not come as a shock but it may be a wake-up call to those who believe that the British government act in the best interests of the people here. The living conditions, business or job prospects of people living in the north of Ireland will always be secondary and any benefits will be minimal and collateral rather than intended. We are never a factor in the political or economic planning of any British government unless it is in its own selfish interests.

“The transfer of Corporation Tax was never seen as a magic bullet which would transform the lives of everyone here but it most definitely would have put us in the position that we could compete on a level footing with the rest of the island. It would have been another tool to attract foreign direct investment and create much needed jobs.

“The refusal to concede on this initiative was purely political. Those political reasons can be summed up in one word, Scotland. The British government so concerned about the outcome of the referendum in Scotland are afraid that we will demonstrate that with just minimally extra fiscal power such as this that we can make a positive impact on our regional economy thereby influencing the Scottish people to go for full independence.

“And the people of the north have to pay the price for a British government's preoccupation on getting one over on Alex Salmond.

“But it could backfire on David Cameron because – as even Peter Robinson has acknowledged – it could send the message to the Scottish people that the only way they are going to achieve fiscal autonomy is by going for independence. Peter Robinson should also acknowledge that the same principle applies here. If we are to devise an economy that will deliver security and stability for our people it will have to be one over which we have full fiscal control.

“The failure to deliver on Corporation Tax must be seen in the context of the British government, cutting the Executive Block Grant by almost £4 billion, reneging on the Peace Dividend flowing from the St Andrews Agreement and cutting funding to Europe which will mean substantive cuts to the Common Agriculture Fund and the impact that that will have for farming and fishing communities here.

“This must also be seen from the perspective of the effect that a reduction in Peace Funding and Structural Funds and the onslaught of "Welfare Reform" will have on some of our most vulnerable people. The British Chancellor claims that his cuts are designed to reduce the welfare budget. The way to cut the welfare budget is by getting people back to work and while lower corporation tax would not be a panacea for all our ills it would be a step in the right direction in creating the conditions for job creation.

“So for everyone, nationalists and unionists alike, the message is simple, unless we are masters of our own political and economic destiny then our needs will play second fiddle to Westminster's political agenda. It’s time that we took control.”

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has expressed sadness at the sudden death of Sinn Féin Listowel town councillor Anthony Curtin who passed away at home this morning.

Gerry Adams said:

“Anthony Curtin was elected three times as a Sinn Féin councillor and served as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Listowel.

“He was a fine public representative he worked hard for the people of Listowel.

“A passionate advocate for the cause of a united Ireland, Anthony was also an active trade unionist and a strong GAA man.

“His death is a huge loss for his family, for the people of Listowel and Clounmacon, and those of us in Sinn Féin.

“I want to express my sympathy to Anthony's wife Kitty, and their children Denis Paul, Gerard, Tony and Kathleen.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade, and the Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has called on all sides involved in the recent attacks on Gaza and Israel to immediately cease hostilities.

Deputy Crowe said:

“The air strikes attacks on Gaza by Israel, as well as the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants in Gaza into Israel, will achieve nothing but more bitterness and bloodshed.

“This latest upsurge of violence has the potential to destroy the relative calm that has been in place in the region since a ceasefire was agreed between Hamas and Israel in November.

“However, this is not the first time the ceasefire agreed on 22nd of November has been broken.

“The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights documented that between 22nd of November 2012 and 21st of February 2013, four Palestinians were killed in Gaza by the Israeli Army and 91 were wounded. Two mortars were fired into Israel by Palestinian militants during this time.

“There were also 30 attacks on Gaza’s fishermen and 13 Israeli Army incursions into the Gaza Strip, during this period.

“We know that Palestinian prisoners have been rioting and on hunger strikes since a 64 year old prisoner died of cancer on Tuesday. The latest upsurge in violence is reportedly connected to this case and the general treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

“Israel must ensure that the rights of Palestinian prisoners are respected and upheld. This would also help reduce tensions in the region.

“I am calling on all sides to immediately stop their military attacks and I would urge them to return to the negotiating table.

“To create peace, prosperity, security, and development in Palestine and Israel, inclusive dialogue involving all the participants, must begin immediately.”

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Welcoming the publication of the Report of the Dublin City Council Moore Street Advisory Committee, of which he is a member, Sinn Féin Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha said:

“The Report recommends that Minister Jimmy Deenihan withholds consent from the Chartered Land plan which would encroach on the National Monument site and severely compromise it.

“This key recommendation reflects the widespread opposition in this City, nationally and internationally to the Chartered Land Plan which would encroach on this historic 1916 site and engulf it in a giant shopping mall. The report says the Chartered Land plan would have ‘a severely negative impact on the setting and integrity of the National Monument’.

“The submissions from 133 individuals and groups show that this National Monument is regarded widely as of key importance, especially as we approach the Centenary of the 1916 Rising.

“This is reflected in the Committee's vision for Moore Street which 'asserts the national and international historic significance of Moore Street as a key site in the story of the struggle for Irish independence and the birth of the Irish Republic. It is this Committee’s ambition that, by Easter 2016, the Moore Street area will, by its preservation as an historic and living part of the City, reflect this vision.'

“Very importantly also, the report recommends that the minister commissions an independent battlefield site assessment of the general area, including the GPO evacuation route, and it stresses the importance of No. 10 Moore Street.

“The minister should accept the recommendations of the report and take the lead now in ensuring the preservation of this vital element of our national heritage.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien has said Minister Quinn could learn much from the approach being taken in the North to improve educational standards across the second level sector.

The Cork North Central TD was speaking after his party colleague John O’Dowd, MLA, received credit at the INTO conference in Cork on Tuesday for the role he has played as Education Minister in overseeing a significant rise in the rates of literacy and numeracy in primary schools in the North.

He said: “It was somewhat telling that, in marked contrast to the understandable anger directed towards Education Minister Ruairí Quinn during the INTO convention, credit was given to Minister John O’Dowd for the significant improvements that have been made at primary school level in the Six Counties over recent years.

“There was recognition also that the findings of the TIMMS and PIRLS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and Progress in International Reading Literacy) showed that primary schools in the North are world leaders in terms of literacy and numeracy, and this has been matched by encouraging improvements in the post-primary sector.

“As the dust settles on this week’s teaching union conferences, it is clear that in spite of their best efforts and dedication in their role as educators, teachers in this State at both primary and secondary level are struggling to maintain standards.

“The imposition of countless cuts in pay, allowances and essential supports can be directly attributed to the government’s austerity measures and this is having a direct impact in the classroom.

“By contrast, Minister O’Dowd has redirected almost £400m back into schools, despite his own budget being drastically reduced as a result of the British Tory Government’s austerity programme.

“Despite the spin and misinformation that is regularly expressed by government ministers and backbenchers, the rise in the rates of literacy and numeracy North of the Border are a clear vindication of the pivotal role successive Sinn Féin Education Ministers have played in driving standards upwards.

“Minister Ruairí Quinn and his government colleagues could learn much from the approach that has been taken to improve education in the Six Counties.”

ENDS

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Commenting on the leaked Troika report which imposes tighter restrictions on health spending, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:

“This report shows that patients in our public health system are now at the mercy of the Troika, incompetent Health Minister James Reilly and the broken promises on healthcare from the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition.

“The Government has imposed major cuts across our public health services, adversely affecting patient care. Yet Minister Reilly has failed to effectively tackle the massive over-pricing of medicines in this State.

“The Troika is pressing for further restrictions on the numbers of people with medical cards and the government is complying.

“This is despite the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition's promise to introduce free GP care for all in its first term of office.”

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Videos

Sights and sounds from Bodenstown 2015


Photos

Gerry Adams