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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

A Fair Recovery is Possible logo

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 MLA Caitriona Ruane has said that people suffering from HIV can today be more positive about living a full life. 

 After attending an event in the Assembly Ms. Ruane said,

 “The event held today as part of Sexual Health Week in the Long Gallery entitled ‘Building a Positive Future’ was about launching a new strategy for people living with HIV.

 “It is important that the stigma associated with HIV is removed and that people who have contracted the disease are able to lead full and rewarding lives.

 “The medical advances in recent years means that people with HIV can control their illness and live normal lives and this strategy outlines how that can be fulfilled over the next few years.”

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said the publication of the Finance Bill and Property Tax 2013 Bill show that the age of austerity is still with us.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Taken together today’s two Bills show that 2013 will be another year of tough austerity for the great majority.

“The minor tweaks to the Family Home Tax do not make it any fairer or any more practicable.

“Sinn Féin will soon table a Repeal Bill to scrap this unfair tax.

“We have outlined our alternative in the form of a wealth tax similar to the one in operation in France. Our alternative would not limit itself to family homes but to all assets except working farmland over €1 million so that those who can afford to pay more do so.

“We will campaign vigorously, in Leinster House and in our communities, to bring an end to this tax before it sees the light of day.

“The Finance Bill does not make any serious changes to the vicious government budget of last December.

“This year’s that Budget will take another €3.5 billion from the economy, in the main from frontline public service cuts and taxes on those who can least afford them. The Finance Bill 2013 will legislate for the increases in indirect taxes such as VRT, carbon tax and excise duty; will tax maternity and adoption benefits; and allow for less tax relief for student fees and charitable donations.

“In such a lengthy bill, there are some positive measures but they do not go far enough, such as increasing the tax on CGT and CAT. But essentially this bill is noticeable for what it is missing – a wealth tax, the failure to standardise tax reliefs, to properly tax large private pensions and to introduce a third rate of tax for high earners.

“Taken together it is clear that the government has set its course to make 2013 another year where low and middle income earners will shoulder the costs of austerity.” ENDS

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The Labour Party needs to clarify their stance on the issue of newly qualified nurses’ contracts in light of a statement by their MEP, Phil Prendergast, in the Seanad today.
She said, in a reply to a question from Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, that she has a “fundamental problem” with the new contracts being proposed, that she believes that these are not new jobs and she does not agree with the way this policy is being implemented.
“I applaud MEP Prendergast, who herself is a qualified nurse, on the stand she has taken on this issue and agree with her”, says the Galway West Senator, “but her Labour colleagues are supporting the government that is bringing in these changes.
“It is ironic that she made her remarks while a group of student nurses were protesting outside the gates of Leinster House on the same issue. The Labour Party leadership must now put pressure on Minister Reilly to withdraw the new contracts because they are inequitable and wrong and there are fairer ways of achieving the savings he wishes to make”,

“The INMO and PNA – who are supporting the nurses have said that the boycott by their members on the 1,000 nursing and midwifery posts offered under new contracts is working.

“Sinn Féin supports the campaign and we concur that the offer equates to a 37% cut for some graduates, that nurses have seen cuts of 24% in pay since 2008 and that savings of up to 54% could be realised by directly employing nurses and midwives in our health system on the current rates.”
“All the Government is doing is training nurses for export at a time when our health services are at breaking point because of a lack of frontline workers. I have been told by union representatives that even as recently as yesterday a theatre was closed in University College Hospital Galway due to a shortage of nurses and that all operations had to be cancelled. This is an incredible situation when you consider the cost of agency nurses to the State and the demand for services.
“The Tánaiste and senior Labour Ministers, along with Ministers of State Kathleen Lynch and Alex White, who are in the Department of Health, need to take Minister Reilly to task immediately so that this change in policy is reversed.”
ENDS

Caithfidh Páirtí an Lucht Oibre a seasamh i leith na n-altraí nua cháilithe a shoiléíriú – Ó Clochartaigh
Caithfidh Páirtí an Lucht Oibre an seasamh atá acu maidir le cás na n-altraí nua cháilithe a shoiléiriú i bhfianaise ráiteas ó Theachta Parlaimint Eorpach dá gcuid, Phil Prendergast sa Seanad inniu. Dúirt sí i bhfreagra ar cheist ón Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Shinn Féin, go bhfuil ‘fadhb bunúsach’ aici leis na conraí nua atá dhá thairiscint, nach jabanna nua atá dhá n-ofráil agus nach n-aontaíonn sí leis an gcur chuige beag ná mór.
‘Molaim an teachta Prendergast, gur altra cáilithe í féin, as ucht an méid a dúirt sí agus aontaím léi’, a deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar, ‘ach tá a cuid comhleacaithe i bPáirtí an Lucht Oibre anseo ag tacú leis an Rialtas chun na h-athraithe seo a thabhairt isteach. Tá sé íorónach go dhúirt Phil Prendergast an méid seo fad is a bhí slua de mhic léinn altrachta ag léirsiú taobh amuigh de Theach Laighean ar an ábhar céanna. Ba chóir do cheannasaíocht an Lucht Oibre anseo brú a chuir anois ar an AIre James Reilly le go dtarraingeofaí na conraí nua siar, mar go bhfuil siad éagcothrom agus mícheart agus go bhfuil bealach níos fearr ann leis an sábháilt a dhéanamh’, a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Tá sé ráíte ag an INMO agus an PNA - atá ag tacú le cás na n-altraí, go bhfuil ag eirí leis an mbaghcat atá dhá dhéanamh ar an míle post a d’fhógair an HSE do altrai agus mná cabhrach nua-cháilithe. Deir Ó Clochartaigh ‘tacaíonn Sinn Féin leis an bhfeachtas seo agus aontaíonn muid gur ionann an tairiscint agus gearradh 37% ar altraí áirithe, go bhfuil gearradh de 24% I bpá tógtha ag altraí ó 2008 agus go bhféadfaí sabhaílt de suas le 54% a dhéanamh as altraí breise a fhostú ar na téarmaí reatha’.
‘Níl muid ach ag ullmhú altrai le heaspórtáíl ag am a bhfuil na seirbhísí sláinte ag titim as a chéile ceal oibrithe túslíne. Fiú amháin inné, tuigtear dom ó ionadaithe ceardchumainn, gur bh’éigean téatar a dhúnadh in Ospidéal na hOllscoile Gaillimh agus na hobráidí ar fad a chuir ar ceall de bharr ganntann altraí. Tá sé seo dochreidte i bhfianaise an chaiteachas ar altraí ón earnáil phríobháídeach agus an éileamh atá ar sheirbhísí’, a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
‘Ba chóir don Tánaiste agus Airí Sinsearacha an Lucht Oibre, maraon leis na hAirí sóisearacha Kathleen Lynch agus Alex White atá ag feidhmiú sa Roinn Sláinte, cur ina luí go práinneach ar an Aire Reilly go gcaithfear an polasaí nua seo a churi ar ceal’, a deir Seanadóir Shinn Féin.
Críoch

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Peadar Tóibín TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today challenged the government to proceed with legislation to end upward only rent clauses and to save jobs.
Teachta Tóibín said:
“The Programme for Government commits to deal with the issue of legacy upward only rents clauses.
“Almost two years on the government has failed to enact this promise.
“Yesterday almost 300 jobs were lost in HMV. Another 600 are in jeopardy in B&Q. These are added to Black Tie, La Senza, Game, Pamela Scott, Atlantic Homecare, Korky’s Shoe shops.
“Today we have heard that two Republic clothes stores are under threat in Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown.
“These difficulties are replicated across countless small business and retailers who have been put to the wall by landlords and speculators.
“The government has hidden behind unseen and unpublished advice from the Attorney General. While other legal opinion contests that dealing with the issue can be resolved without a cost to the state.
“Last week the government pushed through the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill which in its preamble recognises that, ‘the common good may require permanent or temporary interference with the rights, including property, of persons’.
“If failing banks are allowed to set aside the provisions of the constitution, surely it is good enough for viable retailers and small businesses to be afforded the same protections and to end these rent clauses.
“The damaging fact is the government as a landlord itself has refused to reduce of hundreds of upward only rents contracts.
“The government must reconsider its position before any further jobs are lost. It is time for the government to live up to its promises and either bring forward legislation, support the legislation tabled by myself or hold a referendum.

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Commenting on the leaking of the draft report on the death of Savita Halappanavar, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

“It is unfortunate that the report was leaked and it adds to the distress of the family who have not seen this draft report. The family’s request to be shown the draft report should be acceded to. It is a very, very serious matter if it is the case, as reported, that the clinical review has found a series of medical failures in the care of Savita Halappanavar at University Hospital Galway.

“It will come as no surprise if this report confirms the testimony of Savita’s husband that her request for a termination was denied and not even properly considered.

“The minister should bring forward the publication of the report as an urgency.

“When this report, the HIQA report and the inquest are concluded the Minister for Health will need to act quickly to address whatever other medical, legal or administrative issues arise from this very tragic case.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams, speaking during Leaders Questions this morning in the Dáil, raised with the Taoiseach the lack of funding for deaf children who need cochlear implants.

The Sinn Féin leader urged the Taoiseach to move speedily to resolve this health issue.

Teachta Adams said: “The government has the solution. The amount of money involved is relatively small, even in these straightened times. All that is required is political will by the government.”

The Louth TD welcomed the Taoiseach’s commitment to come to this issue positively and to instruct the Minister for Health to discuss with Beaumont Hospital and the HSE the business plan that Beaumont has produced on cochlear implants.

In his contribution at Leaders Questions Teachta Adams referred to the case of four year old Billy, from Dundalk, who was born profoundly deaf. Billy wasn’t diagnosed until he was 17 months. He was two and a half before he was given a Cochlear Implant. His mammy tells how he cried when they switched it on.

Teachta Adams said: “The transformation in Billy’s life is one example of how modern technology can improve lives.

“However, inadequate funding means that in this state children only receive one implant. Internationally it is considered best practice to implant both ears. Indeed even the HSE accepts that this is best practice.

“The cost of a single implant is between €18,000 and €20,000. Provision of only one implant limits a child’s ability to distinguish where noises are coming from, limits their ability to hear in busy or noisy places like shopping centres, classrooms, or places like this Dáil on occasion.

“The problem is that as the child grows the nerves to which the implant should be connected die if they are not being used. The hope of a further implant is lost.

“These children are in a race against time. This treatment is hugely important for them and for other children who are born deaf. It can help these children reach their full potential.”

Note to Editor:

For more information join the families’ campaign at Happy New Ear on Facebook.

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Condemning last night’s shooting in Ardoyne, Sinn Féin MLA for the area Gerry Kelly said:

 “The news of this young man being in a critical condition after being shot in Ardoyne last night is very worrying for his family.

 "There is absolutely no justification for this act and those behind these types of shootings must come forward and explain their actions.

 "There is good positive work continuing in this area to provide a future for young people and this community is working hard to tackle problems of deprivation which can not be dealt with through actions like this,” said the Sinn Fein MLA

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Speaking during tonight’s PMB on the Magdalene Laundries Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has described the State’s complicity in the incarceration of women in the Magdalene Laundries as an illegal act in its own time.

Deputy McDonald said: 

“There is a simple truth. The State was complicit in the incarceration of women in the Magdalene Laundries and this was an illegal act in its own time. 

“Incarcerating women in the Laundries flew in the face of the League of Nations 1926 Slavery Convention, the 1930 International Labour Organisation Forced Labour Convention, the 1957 UN Supplementary Slavery Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. Ireland signed up to all of these legal protections. 

“It is simply wrong of the government to try and pretend differently, as if to suggest we are now to consider the Magdalene Laundries through a contemporary prism. 

“The forced labour and incarceration of the women and girls in the Magdalene Laundries was an illegal act and the States complicity is writ large. 

“Surviving women of the Magdalene Laundries have told their stories in written submissions, personal testimonials and through a wealth of archival evidence. It is not hard to understand the kind of terror the women and girls must have felt held in these institutions. 

“We need to be very clear that what we are looking for is an apology that openly and fully acknowledges failure of the state to protect these women. We need an unqualified apology that includes every woman and girl held in these institutions. This apology must include those held Stanhope Street and Summer Hill. 

“It will be a profound tragedy if the government succumbs to the circling of the wagon’s by the State bureaucracy in its efforts to protect the state from liability.  Fine Gael and Labour’s response to this tragedy is as relevant to women and their role in society today as it was in the decades prior.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that the government is spinning a defeat as victory in tonight’s debate on the promissory notes agreement.

Speaking this evening Deputy Doherty said:

“Last June An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said there had been a ‘seismic shift’ and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said there had been a ‘massive breakthrough’. That shift was the statement of Eurogroup leaders to separate banking and sovereign debt. It is a measure of the failure of the government that today they are spinning the replacement of the promissory notes with sovereign bonds as a victory.

“In the space of a few months we have gone from a ‘seismic shift’ to more of the same old failed policies burdening the Irish taxpayer with banking debt.

“The government’s claim that they had no choices doesn’t hold water. They could have and should have argued for the Eurogroup to follow through on its commitment on separating banking and sovereign debt. They should have made clear that they would not pay one more cent of the Anglo debt.

“The government should have pushed this issue to a conclusion by insisting on a separation of banking and sovereign debt and refusing to pay one cent more of the promissory notes.
Instead we got Frankfurt’s Way.

“In fact I doubt Frankfurt thought it would succeed in such a comprehensive way. They could only have dreamed that the Irish State would voluntarily latch the most toxic of its banking debt to itself. Frankfurt has got its way and Frankfurt knows the Irish people are now committed more than ever before to repaying every cent of the Anglo-Irish mess.”

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Videos

Sights and sounds from Bodenstown 2015


Photos

Gerry Adams