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Arguments against the controversial siting of four waste management operations, including a seven council super-dump, around the village of Ringsend outside Coleraine, Co Derry will be brought to the heart of Brussels this Thursday, October 1st.

Sinn Féin councillor Billy Leonard has successfully brought the case to the attention of the European Parliament Petitions Committee. He will address the committee in Brussels this week on the failure to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment at one site and to measure the combined effect of the dumps on such a small community.

Within the area, residents have had very bad experiences with the existing landfill site, yet are faced with a number of new proposals including the application for the super-dump. This is being handled in a piecemeal way without any overview of the impact of a cluster of landfill sites on the one area.

Councillor Leonard said:

“There is huge anger and widespread concern across this community about the impact of this proposed super-dump and the accumulative effect of concentrating all of these sites within such a small area.

“There is also a frustration at the way the Department of Environment has handled this application and ignored the legitimate concerns of local residents. The DoE has failed this small community who believe if all the plans go forward their village and surrounding area will change forever.

“The Department of Environment should have insisted that an Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out as a very controversial dump re-opened after legal proceedings against the previous owner: they didn’t.

“This is an important example of how a local community can engage directly with the EU by bringing this very local issue to Brussels.

“Bairbre de Brún MEP has played a significant role in the process of bringing this petition to the European Parliaments Petitions Committee.

“The campaign is looking to the EU to act in accordance to their own Directives on waste management and to hold our local Department of Environment to account.

“The present owner of this same dump has now applied for a significant increase in the types and volume of waste it can accept. The Department should insist on a full planning application: they won’t. They should have a robust way of assessing how all the dumps will affect the community in accordance with EU Directives: they haven’t.

“I will be putting that case to the Petitions Committee on behalf of the local community and asking them to look further into the entire affair. If they agree to do that it will be a very significant step forward.”

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Sinn Féin will hold its final press event of the campaign against the Lisbon Treaty tomorrow morning at 12noon at the GPO on O’Connell Street.

Party President Gerry Adams, Vice President Mary Lou McDonald and Dublin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh will be joined by party activists for the event at which Gerry Adams will give the party’s final message to the electorate ahead of Friday’s vote.

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Speaking in Dublin this morning Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams accused the Labour Party leadership of trying to be all things to all people. He said “One minute the Labour Party are attacking the government and the next they are lining up behind Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan in their rush to be Europe’s yes men in Ireland. They can’t have it both ways.”

Mr. Adams said:

“Throughout the campaign Sinn Féin has set out the facts. We have analysed the treaty, analysed the commentary from the government and set out our alternative.

“The government knows it cannot sell the contents of the treaty. So they are trying to frighten the electorate into submission at a time when people are worried about the future.

“They have been joined in this effort by the Labour Party leadership, Fine Gael and a strange mix of right wing elements. Labour are trying to have it both ways. On the one hand they are attacking the government on its awful economic and social policies while at the same time they are supporting the government on Lisbon.

“This referendum comes down to trust. Unlike Labour, Sinn Féin does not trust a government which bails out bankers and developers and their other friends in high places, a government of dig outs, backhanders and sweetheart deals, NAMA and An Bord Snip.

“It is Sinn Féin’s view that handing Ireland’s future to an EU elite would be disastrous. Once we hand that power away we will never get it back.

“I believe that it is in Ireland’s national interests to vote ‘No’. Voting ‘No’ will ensure that:

· Ireland will keep its permanent Commissioner.

· Ireland will maintain its current voting strength.

· Ireland will keep its automatic right to a referendum on future changes to EU treaties.

· Ireland will have the opportunity to secure a protocol protecting workers’ rights.

· Ireland will have the opportunity to secure a protocol on neutrality.” ENDS

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Caitríona Ruane meets AWARE group members

 

South Down Sinn Féin Assembly Member Caitríona Ruane met last Friday with Andrea Kerns and James Knox from AWARE, Defeat Depression Group.

Describing the meeting as 'extremely useful' Ms Ruane said it provided an opportunity for members of the group to explain the work they are doing to help support people with depression and the expectations they have from Assembly Members.

 

Ms Ruane continued: “This was a useful meeting that allowed Andrea and James to explain the essential work being carried out by AWARE.

 

“Research shows that one in four of us will experience depression in our lifetime so at the very least we will all know someone who has this very debilitating mental illness.

 

“AWARE have a number of self help groups, one of which is based in Downpatrick, that enables those affected by depression to share experiences and find information and support.

 

“Depression is still a widely misunderstood illness and the stigma attached to mental health prevents many people from asking for help.The community outreach programme has doubled in the last year and I commend everyone working to help provide support for people with depression.

 

“Throughout the year groups like AWARE have been promoting the importance of the Mental Health First Aid Programme that is designed for any person or group that might be in a position to help individuals recover from a mental health problem. These courses are being delivered to teachers, youth, workers, police officers and trade union officials and they are one way of providing much needed support to the many people affected by this issue.

 

“There is also an innovative educational programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy that is available and AWARE Defeat Depression believes providing information about depression is an important tool to aid an individual’s recovery.

 

“This was an informative discussion about their programme and Sinn Féin will do everything possible to ensure the treatment of people with a mental illness is a priority.” ENDS

 

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Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness this morning addressed a fringe event at the British Labour Party Conference in Brighton. As part of a wide ranging speech Mr McGuinness challenged the rejectionists on all sides and warned that progress on transferring powers on policing and justice was crucial in the time ahead.

 

During the course of the speech Mr McGuinness said:

 

“There are those opposed to the Good Friday and St. Andrews Agreements and the working practise that underpins our institutions. On the republican side we have dissidents who have no clear strategy, who have no plan and no public support. They seek only to make themselves relevant by carrying out actions which destabilise the institutions and seek to bring us back into conflict.

 

“On the Unionist side we have some opposed to the institutions, to north south arrangements and opposed to power sharing. They want to drag us back into a negotiation that was concluded 11 years ago. They believe that an international agreement and the will of the people north south, who voted in referendums can be set aside. They believe that nationalists and republicans would consider a move away from equality and power sharing. It is alarming that these positions are gaining some currency within our partners in the DUP.

 

“Only yesterday the deputy leader of the DUP was calling for the end of the Equality Commission, the ending of the Human Rights Commission and the ending of North South Bodies. We have had the leader of the DUP and my partner in Government seeking fundamental change to the structures of power sharing.

 

“This is at best, the politics of playing to the gallery or at worse a case of self delusion. What was agreed on Good Friday and again in St. Andrews is the way forward.Sinn Féin and I believe the two governments are committed to the arrangements agreed on Good Friday. However we need all others to work the agreement in partnership and as equals. We need to make it work and to deliver.

 

“That is my message to the rejectionists within Unionism and Republicanism. I speak to them with the same message for although they profess to be ideologically opposite, they share the same objective. To end power sharing and the Agreement.

 

“Rejectionists on both sides have used policing as a touch stone issue. Unionist rejectionists have put forward the position that Sinn Féin cannot have a role or that more time is required so that we can demonstrate our bona fides. That is clearly offensive and unreasonable. We stand as equals with all other parties on the basis of our mandate.Rejectionists on the republican side have propagated the position that policing is still in the hands of a British Minister and subservient to British National interests.

 

“For our part Sinn Féin has sought to develop a fully civic policing service and separate out British National Security interests. We want a police service that all sections of our community can support to tackle criminality,anti-social behaviour and to contribute to community safety. We believe that we have made progress on this and acknowledge that it will take time to change the procedures, practises and ethos of policing. We are engaged with all sections of the policing system to make this happen and to hold them to account for any failures.

 

“However we also need to have a locally accountable Minister in place, not because it is a republican demand, or as a tick box exercise. We need a locally accountable minister to build confidence and to make informed decisions based on local experience and need.

 

“We have been engaged in detailed discussions with the British Prime Minister to put in place financial arrangements which will address the legacy of underfunding of some aspects of the policing and justice system. Our goal has been to achieve a settlement which will allow for the policing and justice system to be run effectively. The British Prime Minister has said that finance would not be a block to transfer. We need him to deliver on this commitment.

 

However now also need to be realistic, to conclude a deal that will meet the needs of the policing and justice system and not allow ourselves to be hostage to unrealistic demands. The effect of not striking a deal will only leave those who have underfunded the service, in charge of the purse strings.

 

Nor should the issue of finance be allowed to become an excuse for not making decisions. I am mindful of the implications for not making a decision. Does anyone believe that a future British Government be they Labour or Conservative would be in a better position to offer additional support.

 

By seizing this moment we can plot a new way forward, a way forward together in partnership and as equals, That is how we can ultimately defeat the combined forces of the rejectionists.” ENDS

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Reacting to news that the American Chamber of Commerce is calling for a 'Yes' vote in the second Lisbon Treaty referendum campaign, Sinn Féin Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said today:

"It comes as no surprise that the American Chamber of Commerce supports the Lisbon Treaty. They have taken that position because Lisbon will lead to greater liberalisation of public services, international trade and energy provision and downward pressure on wages.

"The kitchen sink is being thrown at this campaign by the yes side - from free flights in and out of the country to free ice-creams outside of Croke Park.

"The position of the American Chamber of Commerce does not change the facts that this treaty has nothing to with the economy or job creation.

"This is more to do with certain multinationals seeking to retain the favour of the government and of the EU commission than it has to do with the impact of a 'No' vote.

"The only thing the EU has done in relation to multinationals locating here is to give approval to the Polish Government's €54.5 million aid package to Dell to relocate 1,900 jobs from Limerick to Poland.

"The announcement by the American Chamber of Commerce stands in stark contrast to comments by Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland who, speaking to the Oireachtas sub-committee on the Future of Europe on 21st October, 2008 said, 'I have not seen any material impact on jobs, market access or sales in recent months attributable to the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.'

Saying 'No' to Lisbon in 2008 had no impact whatsoever on jobs. The same will be true if we rejected the Treaty on 2nd October.

"The reality is that companies will continue to invest in Ireland on the basis of economic potential. Voting 'No' to the Lisbon Treaty poses no threat to that potential."

ENDS

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Speaking after a report on MLA expenses was leaked to the media this evening, Sinn Féin Assembly Group Leader John O’Dowd said;

“Sinn Féin supports full and open transparency in Government which is why we publish our accounts annually and also put them on our website for scrutiny by the general public.

It is understandable that attention is coming on claims made by Assembly members given the current economic climate; however it is important to remember that Sinn Féin representatives each take home the average industrial wage, we utilise our office costs to ensure that we provide a first class constituency service right across the north; working on behalf of the people.” CRÍOCH

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will tomorrow launch five key reasons for voting against the Lisbon Treaty.

Mr. Adams will be joined by Dublin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh at the EU Commission office on Molesworth Street for a media doorstep at 11am.

Mr. Adams will also be canvassing in Dublin North West with Councillor Dessie Ellis in the afternoon. Any media wishing to go on the canvass should meet at the Clearwater Shopping Centre (Tesco’s), Finglas at 2:30pm.

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Sinn Féin MLA and Chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee Jennifer McCann has stated that the DUP ‘s Finance Minister has not grasped fully the implications of the affect NAMA would have on the local economy if £5bn worth of assets currently held in the north were released onto the market under the Irish Governments proposals.

Speaking after today’s debate in the Assembly on NAMA MS McCann said:

“The failure of Sammy Wilson as the DUP’s finance minister to realise the actual impact that NAMA could have on economic recovery in the north is bewildering.

“The Irish government estimates that £5bn in assets are held within the north which the they are buying off the banks under NAMA.

“Currently there is no agreement on when the finances that will be spent acquiring these loans will be recouped.

“If this land were to come onto the local market in the next few years there would be significant deflation of current values, leaving many more people in negative equity and having a long term detrimental effect on overall economic recovery plans.

“Let’s get realistic here. Despite reassurance from Brian Lenihan to his counterpart Sammy Wilson, that is all they are - reassurances. If the southern economy takes a further downturn nothing precludes the Irish government dropping these assets on to the market in order to recoup what it has invested in NAMA.

“What we need to see is an all island economic summit to deal with NAMA and its effects island wide. Furthermore it should not be the situation that the two economies, north or south, are acting in isolation. We need to find common practices and close co-operation in future economic planning on an all Ireland basis.”

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Sinn Féin West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann, Chairperson of the Assembly Finance and Personnel Committee has said that the Irish Government’s National Assets Management Agency proposals (NAMA) will have detrimental implications for the economy across the Island of Ireland.

Sinn Fein has submitted a motion to the Assembly where the economic implications for the island will be debated today, Monday next 28th September.

Speaking in advance of the debate in the Assembly Ms McCann said:

“NAMA is a scheme which the Irish Government has devised in order to buy ‘bad loans’ from the banks. It is the opinion of many, including Sinn Féin, that the plan from the outset is highly flawed and will place an immense economic burden on taxpayers both North and South while banks and developers walk away scot free.

“If the Irish Government is allowed to proceed with NAMA there will be profound repercussions for people living in the north as it is estimated that €4.8bn of assets are held in the north which would fall under the control of NAMA.

“Currently there is no stated timeframe for NAMA to take place. The very real danger is the possibility of NAMA having a rapid time frame and a minimal discount on the loans bought up. This could lead to a quick sale of land and properties in the North that will be included in this scheme.

“This, given the €4.8bn total would be a staggering amount of land to be placed on the market which in economic terms could see a plummeting of local prices and the free fall of the economy.

Concluding Ms McCann added:

“What is urgently required is not the private reassurances given to the Finance Minster, Sammy Wilson by his Dublin counterpart Brian Lenihan but an open and full debate in an All Ireland economic summit to find alternatives to NAMA and an all-Ireland strategy towards mutual economic recovery.

“The two economies cannot operate in perfect isolation. Politicans in the north cannot bury their heads in the sand and let this blow over. Both economies are inter-dependant and measures must be taken in order to find common practices and close co-operation in future economic planning on an all Ireland basis.” ENDS

Note to Editors

The motion for debate by the Assembly in the North of Ireland today, Monday 28th November, read:

That this Assembly expresses deep concern at the possible negative economic consequences for the island of Ireland if the National Asset Management Agency legislation currently under consideration by Dáil Éireann is passed; and calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to raise the issue at the North South Ministerial Council to agree a way forward regarding these assets which will ensure the economic stability of the island of Ireland and movement towards economic growth.

[Mr M McLaughlin]
[Ms J McCann]
[Mr P Butler]

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Dúirt Francie Brolly, Ball Tionóil Dhoire Thoir agus urlabhraí ar Ghaeilge sa tuaisceart inniu go bhfuil sé thar am ag aontachtaithe glacadh le cearta teanga lucht Gaeilge anseo.

Déardaoin seo caite shocraigh Cathaoirleach Choiste DCAL, Barra Mac Ghiolla Dhubh do thoscaireachtaí ó na rialtais i mBaile Átha Cliath, ón Bhreatain Bheag agus ó Albain teacht os comhair an choiste le fianaise a thabhairt ar chleachtas acht teanga sa pharlaimint s’acu.

Cruinniú iontach fiúntach a bhí ann agus ba léir ón mhéid a bhí le rá ag gach duine acu gur mór an fiúntas i bhforbairt agus i dí-pholaitiú na teanga, reachtaíocht teanga a thabhairt i bhfeidhm.

Ansin ag an deireadh seachtaine léigh mé an tuairisc a d’eisigh Coimisiún um Chearta Daonna ar chomhlíonadh an Chairt Eorpach ar Theangacha Réigiúnaí. Nó b’fhearr dom rá teip ar chomhlíonadh na cairte ag Rialtas na Breataine agus ag DCAL chomh maith.

4 mhí ó shin dhiúltaigh Sinn Féin, in Oifig an Chéad agus Leas Chéad Aire, síniú suas don tuairisc do Choiste na Saineolaithe san Eoraip ón Aireacht DCAL. Bhí bréaga a insint ansin faoin méid a bhí déanta ar son na Gaeilge agus ní thiocfadh linn seasamh leo.

Má léann duine ar bith an tuairisc comhroghnach ón Choimisiún um Chearta Daonna tcífidh siad ansin na fáthanna nárbh fhéidir linn glacadh leis an chuid a scríobh DCAL agus tuigfidh siad fosta cad chuige go bhfuil sé práinneach dúinn anois 3 bliana i ndiaidh dóibh síniú suas don Chomhaontú Chill Rímhinn go gcaithfí Acht Gaeilge a chur in áit le stádas na Gaeilge a chosaint agus le cearta lucht labhartha na Gaeilge a normalú.” CRÍOCH

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The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Workers Rights, Martin Ferris TD has expressed his support for a one day strike by members of the Unite union employed by Bank of Ireland which is to take place on Wednesday September 30th. The strike by workers in the bank’s life assurance section is in response to Bank of Ireland’s refusal to implement a Labour Court recommendation of June 3rd last that they honour an agreement to implement agreed pay increases.

Deputy Ferris said, “The refusal of Bank of Ireland to pays the agreed increases is inexcusable, as is its arrogant decision to ignore the decision of the Labour Court. The workers in question have already been subject to an effective cut in their earnings and are entitled to the increase.

“The refusal of the bank to honour the agreement is particularly unacceptable in light of the fact that they have been effectively saved by the state and that it now chooses to ignore the agreed mechanisms to resolve disputes of this matter between employers and trade unions, something which Unite has already done and indeed in doing so deferred an earlier mandated strike action.

“It is now incumbent on the Government to insure that the Labour Court ruling is adhered to and that the agreed increase is paid immediately.” ENDS

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Sinn Fein West Tyrone MP MLA Pat Doherty says that he is confident that one of the long term obstacles which has stood in the way of economic regeneration in Strabane will soon be cleared after having received written confirmation from DETI Minister Arlene Foster that Invest NI has now selected a preferred site which will deliver sufficient land, circa 44 acres, to develop a new Business Park at Melmount Road to meet the need of client companies over the long term.

 

He said,

 

“In recent years, the lack of industrial land in Strabane District has been a major obstacle in terms of the regeneration of the local economy. This was amply illustrated when, earlier this year; I highlighted the fact that four locally owned client companies with proposed expansion projects could not be accommodated within the District because of the failure of Invest NI to acquire additional industrial zoned over and above its longstanding 2.1 acres holding to met demand.

 

“Following extensive lobbying, I met with Minister Arlene Foster and Invest NI officials in March of this year to press for speedy progress on this issue.At that meeting I was told that the acquisition of additional industrial land in Strabane was now deemed to be a strategic priority and that they hoped to be in a position to submit a planning application, following the completion of financial arrangement for suitable site/sites

 

“In response to my latest letter to the Minister on the issue, she has now confirmed that Invest NI has now selected a preferred site which will deliver sufficient land, circa 44 acres, to develop a new Business Park at Melmount Road to meet the need of client companies over the long term. A planning application for development of a new business park was submitted at the end of August.

 

“She also stated that her Environment Minister Edwin Poots has advised that the applications are being handled by the Strategic Projects Team at Planning Headquarters which should assist with the processing and consultation procedure which is now underway in respect of this application.

 

“This news is extremely welcome and will facilitate the clear potential which exists for not only business expansion in the District but also for inward investment.ENDS

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Sinn Fein West Tyrone MP MLA Pat Doherty says that he is confident that one of the long term obstacles which has stood in the way of economic regeneration in Strabane will soon be cleared after having received written confirmation from DETI Minister Arlene Foster that Invest NI has now selected a preferred site which will deliver sufficient land, circa 44 acres, to develop a new Business Park at Melmount Road to meet the need of client companies over the long term.

He said,

“In recent years, the lack of industrial land in Strabane District has been a major obstacle in terms of the regeneration of the local economy. This was amply illustrated when, earlier this year; I highlighted the fact that four locally owned client companies with proposed expansion projects could not be accommodated within the District because of the failure of Invest NI to acquire additional industrial zoned over and above its longstanding 2.1 acres holding to met demand.

“Following extensive lobbying, I met with Minister Arlene Foster and Invest NI officials in March of this year to press for speedy progress on this issue. At that meeting I was told that the acquisition of additional industrial land in Strabane was now deemed to be a strategic priority and that they hoped to be in a position to submit a planning application, following the completion of financial arrangement for suitable site/sites

“In response to my latest letter to the Minister on the issue, she has now confirmed that Invest NI has now selected a preferred site which will deliver sufficient land, circa 44 acres, to develop a new Business Park at Melmount Road to meet the need of client companies over the long term. A planning application for development of a new business park was submitted at the end of August.

“She also stated that her Environment Minister Edwin Poots has advised that the applications are being handled by the Strategic Projects Team at Planning Headquarters which should assist with the processing and consultation procedure which is now underway in respect of this application.

“This news is extremely welcome and will facilitate the clear potential which exists for not only business expansion in the District but also for inward investment. ENDS

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Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane has said that attitudes to domestic violence must change as early as possible in life.

The Minister was speaking following a meeting held with Women’s Aid. The Minister said: “For too long domestic violence was not spoken about openly. That attitude is changing and it is important that our children and young people become aware as early as possible in their lives, that violence against women and children is totally unacceptable.

“Women’s Aid has been working in some of our schools to promote healthy relationships and encourage safe behaviours. This work with our children is very valuable and I wanted to explore with Women’s Aid the potential to match funding already given by the DHSSPS.

“It is important for our children and young people to build relationships that are strong and based on respect for each other.”

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Sinn Féin Equality spokesperson Martina Anderson has today reiterated Sinn Féin’s position that the issue of equal pay for civil servants must be addressed and resolved by the Minister for Finance without any further delay.

 

Speaking today Ms Anderson said;

 

“This issue was previously debated in the Assembly in June of this year, it called on this matter to be resolved urgently; here we are 4 months later and no closer to an outcome.

 

Sinn Féin supported the resolution of this issue then and we support it now.

 

The reality is that there has been and remains an under representation of particular groups at certain levels of the civil service. Women and Catholics are underrepresented at the higher grade level, while young protestant men are under represented at the lower grade levels.

It is estimated that almost 13,000 civil servants, mostly women and Catholics, are entitled to receive payments due to them not being paid equal wages.

There is a clear onus on Government and employers to speed up the pace of change and ensure that women get the same money as men for doing equal work.

 

Essentially, it is time for Sammy Wilson to get the finger out and act to resolve this issue as soon as possible for the many people who are affected.” CRÍOCH

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Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy today announced new winter gritting arrangements for areas around rural schools.

The new arrangements follow an examination of the Department for Regional Development’s Winter Service operation around rural schools, commissioned by the Minister, following the severe wintry conditions in December 2008. The examination was conducted by a team of senior Roads Service officials and the new measures will be implemented this winter.

The Minister said: “Most people understand that in exceptional winter conditions there is bound to be some disruption. But there is always scope to improve the way we handle these events, and Roads Service has used the experience of last winter to develop better measures for dealing with areas around rural schools which are regularly affected by bad weather.

“Roads Service will be introducing new procedures, which mean that affected schools can contact their local Roads Service depots to request salting during severe weather conditions and that if Roads Service become aware of ice or snow in these areas they will act immediately. Salt piles and salt bins will also be provided to affected schools upon request.

“I believe that the implementation of these additional measures will help parents, pupils and staff reach these rural schools safely and assist in avoiding closures and high absentee levels in future adverse weather conditions.”

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Sinn Féin has launched a series of hard-hitting advertisements in the national media this morning calling on people to vote no to another bad deal. Speaking in Dublin Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said “On October 2nd the Irish people are being asked to vote on the same treaty, by the same government and they should be given the same answer.” He went on to say, “Fianna Fáil has got it wrong on NAMA, they have got it wrong on Bord Snip and they have got it wrong on Lisbon as well. And their handling of the controversy over former FAS chief Rody Molloy shows just how out of touch they are.”

Mr. Adams said:

“On October 2nd the Irish people are being asked to vote on the same treaty by the same government and they should be given the same answer. Fianna Fáil are wrong on NAMA, they are wrong on Bord Snip and they are wrong on Lisbon as well. Their handling of the controversy over former FAS chief Rody Molloy shows just how out of touch they are.

“The Lisbon Treaty is Fianna Fáil’s Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty contains the same failed right wing policies that brought the economy into recession.

“The key question for voters is; if Fianna Fáil have got is so wrong on NAMA and on Born Snip Nua how can anyone trust them on Lisbon.

“As the party who have presided over the loss of 200,000 jobs in 12 months how can Fianna Fáil's claims that supporting Lisbon will bring jobs and economic recovery be taken seriously.

“Scaremongering about economic ruin is not only a lie it is damaging to our reputation abroad. The Irish and international business community want clarity and certainty. After Lisbon Ireland will still have access to European markets, and we will still be in charge of tax policies. The fact is that economy recovery has to be driven by a change in domestic policies and assisted by change at EU level.

“There was a 14% increase in inward investment in 2008 according to the IDA despite the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.

“We need a new Treaty, containing new policies, that will enable Ireland and Europe to meet the new challenges which we are facing. On October 2 vote for a better deal by vote No to the Lisbon Treaty.” ENDS

Note to editor: Sinn Féin’s advertisements appear in the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Mirror and The Star.

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will be on the campaign trail in Dublin tomorrow. Mr. Adams and Party Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald will address the media at the Kildare Street entrance to Leinster House at 11am tomorrow morning before canvassing in the inner city in the afternoon.

For more information contact Shaun Tracey on 0877735218.

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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has today slammed the offer by Europe for Ireland and Ryanair to fly supporters of the Lisbon Treaty into Ireland free of charge.

McDonald said:

“The Europe for Ireland website is today advertising to fly supporters of the Lisbon Treaty to Ireland free of charge with Ryanair to canvass for the Treaty, with Europe for Ireland offering to pay any additional flight taxes.

“Their website asks people if they are ‘Interested in traveling to Dublin to work for the Lisbon Treaty?’ and that, ‘Ryanair have offered us some free seats for people who volunteer to canvass for the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland.’

“The offer also makes clear that anyone interested ‘must agree in writing to canvass for a ‘Yes’ vote while in Dublin. ‘We will put you in touch with one of the relevant organisations in Dublin. (If you do not turn up to canvass, your return flight may be jeopardised’.’

“The ‘Yes’ side is clearly resorting to bribery in the final days of the campaign.

“Already we have seen major corporate interests spending enormous amounts of money on the Lisbon Treaty campaign, with Ryanair and IMB spending up to €1 million between them.

“The European Commission office in Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs have also spent between them €1million in ‘informing’ people about the work of the EU in the final weeks of the referendum campaign.

“It is estimated that the ‘Yes’ campaign will spend €10 for every €1 spent by the ‘No’ side.

“Not content with spending massive amounts of money the government and their supporters on the Yes side are now trying to bribe people with offers of cheap flights.” ENDS

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