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Massive crowd in Dublin for Right2Water rally

Some of the sights and sounds of today's massive Right2Water rally on Dublin's O'Connell Street this afternoon (March 21).  Reports that up to 80,000 people from all across Ireland traveled to attend.

Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said documents released today by Sinn Féin clearly show the DUP acted in bad faith over the Welfare Reform Bill.


"If the DUP want to strip benefits from children with disabilities, from adults with severe disabilities, the long-term sick; or push children further into poverty, then they need to explain and justify that. Sinn Féin certainly will not accept that approach." - Martin McGuinness 



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Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has stated that the announcement by Danny Kennedy not to appeal the decision of discrimination in the Alan Lennon case is based purely on political expediency.

Speaking following the announcement Mr Murphy said:

“The decision not to appeal the findings of the Fair Employment Tribunal’s decision in a case brought by Alan Lennon is clearly politically motivated and way of scoring cheap political points at the expense of the truth.

“I understand that this political decision flies in the face of  legal advice from a number of sources which challenged the findings and stated that they should be appealed, all off which the Minister was aware of.

“And yet despite this advice Danny Kennedy has sat on this for 6 weeks and decided at the 11th hour that there will be no appeal.

“Further to this the glaring contradiction stands that my decision not to appoint Alan Lennon is sectarian yet Danny Kennedy’s decision to do likewise stands without any challenge.

“Danny Kennedy took essentially the same decision as I did not to appoint Alan Lennon to the board of NIW. He has not explained the rationale for this.

“I would challenge the Minister to do this and explain how my decision, which I stand over and have explained publicly, is deemed sectarian yet his is not?

“The Ministers response in relation to this has been muted at best and his decision today is one that does the integrity of the public appointments procedures no favours.”

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Do ghlaoigh Peadar Tóibín, Teachta Dála An Roinn Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta Sinn Féin ar an Rialtas inniu chun bheith ionraic faoi an slí ina bhfuil siad ag diúltú reachtaíocht chun deireadh a chuir le athbhreithniú ar ardaithe cíos amháin.

Dúirt Peadar Tóibín;

“Bhí sé soiléir ón ‘Sunday Business Post’ an méid stocaireacht a rinne tiarnaí talún agus forbróir maoine ar an Rialtas chun dul siar ar a réamh toghchán agus a ghealltanas maidir leis an gClár Rialtas a gheall siad chun reachtaíocht a chuir I bhfeidhm a chuireadh deireadh le athbhreithniú ar ardaithe cíos amháin.

“Ag an am, dúirt an Rialtas go bhfuair siad comhairle go mbeadh a leithéid a reachtaíocht dodhéanta, ach mar sin féin, tá siad tareis teip gach uair ar sonraí a sholáthar I dtaobh aon constaicí dleathach maidir leis an reachtaíocht. Tá gnóthaí miondíola, gnó agus vótálaithe, ar fad sáite leis an staid Kafkaesque seo ina bhfuil an Rialtas ag rá ‘no’ agus níl siad ag insint dúinn cén fáth.

“Ba choir go mbeadh sé soiléirithe go bhfuil tuairimíocht eile dlíthiúil tareis rá go bhfuil an reachtaíocht indéanta agus táim féin tareis bille a mholadh faoi seo.

“Tá cumadh ar go bhfuil an Rialtas níos mó buartha faoi riachtanais na Tiarnaí Talún agus forbróirí seachas na gnóthaí miondíola agus lucht gnó beaga atá ag teip de bharr na cíosanna iomarcach a bhí ann le linn an Tíogar Ceilteach. Tá na cíosanna seo ag tiomaint suas an costas don custaiméir agus mar sin tá poisteanna á chailliúint.

“Tá titim leanúnach ar díolacháin miondíol agus an Mhí seo chaite cuireadh 2648 lucht oibre díolacháin breise leis an beochlár. Caithfidh an Rialtas bheith ionraic go dtí na Mion díolaithe agus iad siúd atá di fhostaithe le déanaí ar cén fáth nár choimeád siad a ghealluint maidir le athbhreithniú ardaithe ar cíos amháin agus costais a ísliú don eacnamaíocht réadúil.”

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Peadar Tóibín TD Sinn Féin spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today called on the government to come clean on their refusal to legislate to end upward only rent reviews.

Peadar Tóibin said;

“The Sunday Business Post revealed the extent of the lobby by landlords and property developers to have the government retreat on its pre-election and Programme for Government promise to legislate to end upward only rent reviews.

“At the time the government said that it had been advised that such legislation was impossible however they have failed on every occasion to detail the legal obstacles to legislation. Retailers, business and voters are caught in the Kafkaesque situation that we are told no by the government but not why.

“It should be noted that other legal opinion has demonstrated that legislation is possible and I have proposed a bill to this end.

“It appears that the government is more concerned with the needs of landlords and developers than with the many retailers and small businesses that are going to the wall because of excessive Celtic Tiger era rents. These rents are driving up prices for consumers and costing jobs.

“Since June 2008 there has been a continuing decline in retail sales and only last month a further 2648 sales workers were added to the live register. The government needs to come clean to retailers and the recently unemployed on why it did not honour its promise on
upward only rents and reduce costs in the real economy.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA Michelle, O’Neill, who is also the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development has called on the Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy to outline to fellow Ministers whether he will lodge an appeal into the case of Alan Lennon as the deadline for doing so is the 31st July.

Speaking today Ms O’Neill said:

“I have raised this issue with the DRD minister Danny Kennedy due to the fact that the case has implications for all ministers in terms of public appointments.

“I have received firm advice from the Attorney General that the case should be appealed. 

“The deadline for lodging an appeal is tomorrow 31st July and Danny Kennedy had committed to inform ministers of his decision on the appeal before that date. 

“I am calling on the DRD minister to immediately launch an appeal.”

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Tallaght-based Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe shares the concerns of St Vincent de Paul that a hike in gas prices will force more people into fuel poverty.

Deputy Crowe commented after An Bord Gáis applied to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CNR) to increase the cost for residential gas customers. The CNR have two weeks to consider the request.

Deputy Crowe said: “Bord Gáis provides gas to 70% of Irish residential customers and this increase would raise the average yearly gas bill by €65.

“Last year the St Vincent DePaul Society spent €7 million helping families pay energy bills. Elderly people, in particular, are being placed at risk as they struggle to heat their homes. Many face impossible choices as they decide whether to heat their homes or pay for food and clothing.

“Since 2009, calls to the Society of St Vincent de Paul have risen by 83 per cent. Almost a quarter of all calls the SVP received last year related to appeals for help in getting food, while a further16 per cent sought assistance with bills and energy costs.

“The average amount for electricity bills recorded by the organisation's regional offices in 2011 was €563, while the average for gas bills was €510.

“If Bord Gáis is allowed to increase its charges the lives of some older people will be put at risk as they struggle to heat their homes.”

“With the bad summer many people had to keep their heating on. This is more likely if the person is elderly or ill. The proposed gas price hike, if agreed, will be disastrous for many of these families and individuals.”
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Thug Uachtarán Shinn Féin Gerry Adams dea-shuí agus gach beannacht leis na h-aclaithe Éireannacha go léir.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has extended his best wishes and good luck to all of those athletes from the island of Ireland taking part in the London Olympics.

Mr. Adams said:

“The Olympics games are the ultimate test for athletes, all of whom have been preparing for their events for years.

"It is the culmination of determination, individual courage and team spirit.

"I want to extend my best wishes and good luck to all of those from the island of Ireland who will be participating in events over the next two weeks.

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Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast, Gerry Kelly, has stated that the reported coming together of the Real IRA, RAAD and a number of other micro-factions will not achieve anything.

Speaking today Mr Kelly said:

“The coming together of several dissident groups is not surprising given the fractious nature of those who are behind such groupings. They have over the past number of years come and gone, split and reformed on an ongoing basis.

“What is very clear from this move is that it is further evidence that they have no strategy and their aims are as clear as mud. RAAD for example have claimed to be an anti-drugs group who have now joined a larger dissident group with different aims.  This latest move appears to be more to do with ego’s and personal fiefdoms than anything else.

“That is not to say that they cannot be dangerous. They have in the past killed people, the majority of whom have been from the nationalist community. However these actions can take us nowhere. Meanwhile they are happy to risk the lives and liberty of young, impressionable people to achieve nothing.

“There is no community support for these groups. They need to desist, and they need to realise that they cannot achieve a united Ireland in this way.

“There is a political strategy in place which the vast majority of Irish republicans and nationalists, along with the overwhelming majority of the people on this island, have endorsed.”

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has accused AIB of abandoning rural Ireland after it was announced today that the state owned bank is closing 67 branches across the state.

Deputy Doherty also criticised the bank’s decision to increase its mortgage interest rate by half a percentage point just weeks after the ECB reduced its rate and AIB refused to pass the cut on to its customers.

He said:

“Today’s news will be a serious blow to communities throughout the state particularly rural communities that are already suffering from a lack of investment and a withdrawal of services.

“In my own constituency, Bundoran, Falcarragh, Gweedore, Raphoe, Lifford and Dunfanaghy, will all close during the first half of 2013 meaning more job losses in an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

“AIB is a nationalised bank. The people own it. Yet it is being allowed to abandon rural communities across the state and to hike up its interest rate putting its customers under more financial strain. This is just weeks after the bank refused to pass on the ECB interest rate cut of half a percentage point to its customers.

“The government needs to show its commitment to rural Ireland. Its action plan on jobs means nothing to people in rural communities where more and more jobs are being lost and more and more services are being cut.

“This government was elected on a promise to create jobs yet again and again we hear of major job losses and the live register stands at nearly half a million. Its action to create jobs has been pathetic and subservient to its commitment to pump billions into zombie banks.

“Unfortunately the government’s record in rural Ireland is no better than its job creation record.” ENDS

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Thug Uachtarán Shinn Féin Gerry Adams dea-shuí agus gach beannacht leis na h-aclaithe Éireannacha go léir.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has extended his best wishes and good luck to all of those athletes from the island of Ireland taking part in the London Olympics.

Mr Adams said:

“The Olympics games are the ultimate test for athletes, all of whom have been preparing for their events for years.

“It is the culmination of determination, individual courage and team spirit.

“I want to extend my best wishes and good luck to all of those from the island of Ireland who will be participating in events over the next two weeks.

“I am sure they will give 100% and be proud and exemplary ambassadors for Ireland. Go n-éirí go geal libh go léir.”

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Videos

Massive crowd in Dublin for Right2Water rally


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Sinn Féin Dublin South West