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Gerry Adams launches Sinn Féin proposals for 1916 Revolutionary Quarter

Sinn Féin is determined to ensure that 2016, the 1916 Centenary is marked in the most appropriate way possible, as a fitting popular acknowledgement of the past but also, and just as importantly, as a pointer to a better future.

Sinn Féin is not opposed to sensible welfare reforms. We are opposed to the agenda, which seeks to make the most vulnerable and ordinary working families pay for the greed and excesses of the bankers

 “The PSNI were on the scene but despite the gang committing a criminal offence and acting aggressively the PSNI failed to take any action.”

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South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has welcomed the apology by the British MOD to the family of Billy McKavanagh who was shot dead by the British army in 1971.

The apology followed three months after a report by the HET described Billy McKavanagh as an innocent victim.

Alex Maskey said:

 “The apology is a further vindication for the McKavanagh family who have persevered for 40 years to get the truth revealed.

“Although everyone in the Markets knew the truth about the murder of Billy McKavanagh and the mistreatment of his brother Pat and cousin Teddy Rooney, it is important that wider society knows that they were totally innocent and were cut down in cold blood.” CRÍOCH/END


Sinn Féin spokesperson on public expenditure and reform Mary Lou McDonald has hit out at the government for not convening the Dáil the day before €700 million of taxpayers’ money is to be handed over to an unguaranteed bondholder in Anglo Irish Bank.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Tomorrow the government will hand over €700 million of taxpayers’ money to an unguaranteed, unsecure senior bondholder in Anglo Irish Bank.

“Last week my colleague and party leader Gerry Adams called on the government to convene the Dáil today in advance of this handover to allow all parties to debate this important issue. They refused.

“Tomorrow’s payout comes just one month before an austerity budget which will inflict hardship on children, on carers, on the disabled and on the working poor. In January a further €1.2 billion will be paid out – tomorrow is only the first payment of billions of taxpayers’ money.

“This is simply not acceptable and what is even more unacceptable is the fact that the government would rather take a duvet day today than allow TDs to debate this crucial issue that will affect so many.

“There is still time to stop this outrageous handover. The government should do the right thing by the people and use this money for the good of the people, not toxic banks.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, has described the vote to accept Palestine as a full member at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), as a “milestone towards freedom for the Palestinian people.”

The organisation voted by an overwhelming margin of 107 nations for to 14 against with 52 abstentions.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn welcomed the Irish Government's support for the application, describing this as “representative of the wishes of the vast majority of the Irish people.”

He said:

“This is truly wonderful news for the beleaguered Palestinian people. It is a clear signal that the international community supports their struggle for justice and freedom and their right to statehood. It is a milestone to freedom for the Palestinian people.

“The response of the US Administration to the vote has been deeply disappointing and disingenuous. Firstly, they have now removed US funding from UNESCO in line with deeply undemocratic US legislation passed in the 1990s. Secondly, any suggestion by the US that efforts by the Palestinian people to attain recognition of their statehood at the UN or elsewhere “undermines peace negotiations” is patent nonsense.

“Israel has full recognition of their state internationally despite not having clearly defined borders due to their ongoing plundering of Palestinian land to facilitate illegal settlements. It is these actions that have undermined a peace settlement yet the US stands idly by and placates Israel at every turn.

“The ‘Arab Spring’ is an opportunity for the US and European Union to build new relationships of trust in this region that has been blighted by conflict and failed by the international community. The US and the EU must now step up to their responsibilities to confront illegal Israeli settlements and broker a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.”

Deputy Mac Lochlainn concluded:

“I welcome the Irish Government's vote in support of the Palestinian Authority's application to UNESCO. Ireland's reputation in the field of human rights and justice is immense and the Palestinian Mission to Ireland has conveyed to me their delight at the support of the Irish Government. This important vote is representative of the wishes of the vast majority of the Irish people.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Dessie Ellis TD has unreservedly condemned the FG/Labour government’s cuts to homelessness services by 10%. He called the move “the lowest point yet for a government set on punishing the vulnerable for the mistakes of the political and financial elite.”

Deputy Ellis said:

“In Dublin alone we have seen a huge increase in rough sleepers. Simon and other voluntary groups who deal with homelessness are operating above capacity, struggling with the meagre budgets they have to provide for the most vulnerable and marginalised. This cut is an insult to them and their clients. It’s says two things – either the government
feels that homeless people don’t deserve support or they think the voluntary groups aren’t working hard enough. Both of these ideas are totally false and are nothing short of a scandal.

“The government has done very little other than pay lip service to homelessness since they came to power. They now do not even offer lip service as they are taking away essential supports with this cut.

“NAMA should to be used to support our homelessness strategy and to make real progress in ending this terrible example of the great inequality that exists in our society.

“The government must get real about tackling this major issue. There is also the fact that the majority of homeless people suffer with a physical health condition and require support.

“These threaten lives as we enter the dangerous winter period when rough sleepers are most at threat. This comes at a time when €700 million is being paid for an unsecured Anglo bond next week.”


Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has accused Labour Minister Brendan Howlin of looking after those at the top of the public and semi state sector whilst attacking at every turn those on low and middle incomes.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Minister Howlin’s decision to award the new ESB Chief a salary over 30% in excess of the Government’s own pay ceiling for commercial semi states is an absolute scandal.

“Just a few short months ago Brendan Howlin as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced to great fanfare that he intended imposing a generous pay cap of €250,000 on the salaries of newly appointed commercial semi state CEO’s.

“Yet when the next plum CEO job in the commercial semi state comes up the Minister awards the new ESB boss a salary €68,000 euro in excess of the pay cap. It is worth noting that the new Chief comes from within the organisation so claims of needing to shell out extra cash to attract ‘new’ talent really won’t wash.

“This is not the first time the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has broken his own Departments pay ceilings, in fact it’s at least the fifteenth time in recent months. He has already awarded at least 14 Ministerial special advisors salaries over the Government’s pay ceiling. The Minister has also presided over bonanza pension pay offs to top dogs in the civil service.

“This Government like the last continues to look after those at the top of the public and semi state sector whilst attacking at every turn those on low and middle incomes. Self-interest and greed were the hallmarks of successive Fianna Fail led Governments and it appears not much is changing on that front with Labour and Fine Gael at the helm.” ENDS


The Sinn Féin Seanad leader David Cullinane has hit out at the government parties in the Seanad for denying Sinn Féin Senators the same opportunity as others to question the Minister for Health.

Senator Cullinane said that Sinn Féin will continue to challenge this failure to implement any real reform in the Seanad.

Senator Cullinane said:

“Senators have been waiting five months for the Minister for Health James Reilly to come to the Seanad. The health service is in crisis, hospitals are buckling under the pressure of bed closures and cuts. It is timely that the Minister has eventually come to the Seanad to account for this dire situation.

“The fact that Sinn Féin senators have been denied the opportunity to formally question the Minister is nothing short of a scandal. A measly one minute was offered to the team out of a two and a half hour debate.

“We want the same opportunity as any other Senator or any other party.

“After all the hype over political reform during the General Election, it is clear that this government is no more interested in any meaningful reform or hearing dissenting views.

“Sinn Féin will continue to challenge the government in this failure to stick by their word and put in place meaningful political reform that takes in all views and all voices.”


Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams TD has said that the Irish Government has “missed a clear opportunity to put Irish banking debt on the agenda and to negotiate a reduction in the billions of euro that Irish taxpayers are having to pay to toxic bad banks and unguaranteed bondholders.”

Mr. Adams said “the government has signed off on a 50% cut on debt for Greece and is now on a plane home to get a cheque for €700 million ready to hand over to unguaranteed Anglo Irish bondholders.”

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“During Leaders Questions yesterday in the Dáil I asked the Taoiseach if he would ensure that a writedown of Irish banking debt was on last night’s agenda. He failed to do this.

“I also asked him to give a clear undertaking that the government will not pay the planned €700 million next Wednesday to unguaranteed bondholders in Anglo. He refused.

“Having signed off on a 50% cut in Greek debt the government is now on a plane home to get a cheque for €700 million ready to hand over to unguaranteed Anglo Irish bondholders.

“There is no political, legal or moral obligation on the government to pay this.

“Sinn Féin is not opposed to the write-down in Greek debt. But what is good enough for Greek citizens should be good enough for Irish citizens.

“Irish taxpayers are being forced by this government to endure extreme hardship while paying billions of private banking debt to unguaranteed bondholders.

“The only people arguing that this should happen is the Government and the Anglo bondholder.” ENDS


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