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Responding to the Victims Commissioners proposals on the issue of Truth recovery, Sinn Féin spokesperson on victims issues Francie Molloy said that their report was ‘a missed opportunity to recommend a process that respects the rights and needs of all victims and survivors’.

Mr. Molloy said:

“The British Government cannot be arbiters of a Truth Recovery process. The many victims of State violence believe that the actions and policies of the British Government must be part of any truth recovery process. Republicans have made it clear that they will be prepared to take part in a truth recovery process which is international and independent.

“We believe that the Victims and Survivors have missed an opportunity to recommend a process that will respect the rights and needs of all victims and survivors.

“The central thrust of the Commissions proposals is that there must be a political consensus including Unionist support for any truth process. In effect a political veto. Let’s be clear, the rights of victims and survivors to discover the truth cannot be set aside for such. If it had been up to the Unionist parties there would have been no Saville inquiry and the innocence of those killed that day would still be under question.

 ‘Already this morning I have had several comments from victims angry at the view expressed by the Commissioners that the ‘Recognition Payment’ was a ‘scandal’ and echoing former British Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward’s, view that it should not be introduced to appease unionism. This is wrong. All victims need to be treated equally. The ‘Recognition Payment’ was an example of this equality and needs to be introduced immediately.”

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Commenting after recent media reports about the activities of South Armagh man Declan Gregory and his conviction today for gun running, including an Irish News interview with Colm Murphy, part of which contained a handwritten confession from Gregory detailing his role as an MI5 agent, Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy today said that there is a widely held belief locally that Declan Gregory was ‘controlling, manipulating and directing’ the activities of the RIRA for over a decade.

 

Mr Murphy said:

 

“There has been a significant amount of media reports in recent weeks about the activities of South Armagh man Declan Gregory. This includes an Irish News interview with Colm Murphy which contained a handwritten confession from Gregory detailing his role as an MI5 agent.

 

“I have to say that there is a widely held belief in South Armagh that Mr Gregory has been controlling, manipulating and directing the activities of the RIRA in this area for many years at the behest of MI5. The recent media reports appear to confirm this.

 

“According to reports Mr Gregory, who had no previous association with Irish republicanism, agreed to assume the role of an agent provocateur after he was arrested for a serious sexual assault. At that time the authorities did not proceed with any charges against him.

 

“The case of Mr Gregory confirms what Sinn Féin have been saying for sometime with regard to these dissident gangs. In addition to many of them containing known criminals and informers within their ranks there has been a long held view that the hidden and sinister hand of anti-peace process British State Agencies are at work in the background.

 

“Sinn Féin have raised the Gregory case with the PSNI, the Justice Minister and both governments. We will continue to expose the work of these faceless securocrats and continue to campaign to see their malign influence in Ireland brought to an end.”

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Sinn Féin MLA, Barry McElduff, who is also the Chair of the Culture, Arts and Leisure committee has slammed the Culture Minister, Nelson McCausland, for devising ‘a charter to do nothing’ in relation to the Irish language. This follows a three year period of total inaction with regard to developing a language strategy.

 

Speaking earlier Mr McElduff said:

 

“The Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Nelson McCausland, will be appearing before the Committee tomorrow morning (10am). It is clear from papers submitted to committee members ahead of the meeting that he is still not yet at the point of bringing forward the long awaited language strategy.

 

“The Minister is in violation of the the Good Friday Agreement, the St Andrews agreement and the recent Hillsborough agreement.

 

“This is wholly unacceptable. Two departmental consultations were held. Both overwhelming endorsed the need for Irish Language Act. Despite this successive DUP Ministers have ignored the findings and stated that they would bring forward a language strategy instead. This has still, in 2010, not appeared.

 

“One of the main stumbling blocks that Minister McCausland has produced is the notion of parity between Ulster Scots and the Irish languages. This is a nonsense and has been challenged by international language experts.

 

“The Irish language and Ulster Scots are at significantly differing levels of development. This is recognised in the EU Charter for Regional and Minority Languages and the European Committee for Experts on languages (COMEX) have stated just this, and that “language measures specifically directed towards each language are needed.”.

 

“So if Nelson McCausland thinks he can adopt a charter to do nothing until he further indulges his ideologically-driven and baseless notion of parity he is sorely mistaken. The time to bring forward a language strategy is now. There can be no further excuses and no further delays.”

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A Sinn Féin delegation led by party President Gerry Adams including Justice spokesperson Alex Maskey and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness this morning met with the Justice Minister David Ford.

 

Speaking after the meeting Mr Maskey said:

 

“This mornings meeting covered a range of issues. Chief amongst them was the ongoing situation in Maghaberry and a number of upcoming contentious Orange Parades.

 

“We made it clear to Mr Ford our firm view that a number of the problems in Maghaberry including 23 hour lock up, restricted movement and access to education and other provisions can and should be sorted out without delay by the prison administration. This is simply an issue of political will and an issue that Sinn Féin are determined to see speedily resolved.

 

“We also took the opportunity this morning to raise with the Minister our concerns around ongoing attempts by the Orange Order to continue to march through areas they are not wanted and the knock on rise in tensions that this causes particularly in interface areas.”

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Commenting on the application by Iaranrod Eireann for a Railway Order to allow work on the Dart underground to go ahead, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald has insisted that the project ‘cannot be steamrolled through local communities and must be value for money’.

The Sinn Féin Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald said while the expansion of the rail network is to be welcomed she was deeply concerned that there has been no proper local consultation.

She said, “It is deeply concerning that there has been no proper local consultation on the project. At a public meeting in East Wall last night, local residents expressed their anger and frustration that Iaranrod Eireann was attempting to steam roll their plans through the area.

“It is unacceptable that communities will only have six weeks to study and make submissions on a project that will seriously disrupt their lives over the six years construction period. Residents need technical expertise to do this. I am calling on Iaranrod Eireann must make funds available to the local community to avail of independent, expert advice. This approach was adopted by the RPA in the case of Metro North. It is the correct and fair approach that needs to be adopted by Iaranrod Eireann.

“In relation to the over all project, while it is welcome, it is alarming that at a time of massive government cutbacks and economic uncertainty that there is no definitive costing for it. We need absolute assurances that the costs associated with this project will not spiral out of control once works begin. We also need to see a local economic benefit from the project in terms of employment. A local labour clause must be used to ensure that a fair share of the estimated 7000 jobs that this project will go to local people.” ENDS

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Speaking during statements on the Saville Report in to Bloody Sunday in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has urged the Irish Government to support calls for an international investigation in to killings by the same Parachute Regiment of the British Army of 11 civilians in Ballymurphy prior to Bloody Sunday. He went on to describe as “disgraceful” the Taoiseachs failure to raise with the British Prime Minister the unanimous call of the Dáil in 2008 for the British Government to “furnish and international judicial figure with all files in its possession relating to the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.”

Opening his contribution to the Statements on Saville Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “The Report of the Saville Inquiry is a vindication of the 14 dead and the injured of Bloody Sunday, 30 January, 1972 in Derry. It is an affirmation of the steadfastness of the families of the dead who campaigned for truth and justice for all of 38 years. I begin by saluting the families, the survivors and the very brave people of the Irish city of Derry whose courage has long been a beacon for freedom-loving people in Ireland and across the world.

“It has taken nearly four decades for the British state to finally acknowledge that fact. Long, long overdue as the acknowledgement is, it is still hugely significant. It ends 38 years of denial and cover-up by successive British governments.

“In all of its major conclusions Saville consigns Widgery to the dustbin of history.

“Widgery was designed to shield the entire chain of command from Downing Street to the soldiers who fired the shots. It gave them immunity and they acted accordingly afterwards. In July 1972 the Paras shot dead five people in Springhill in Belfast.

“Far less well known is the prelude to Bloody Sunday from August the previous year. Over a three-day period following the imposition of internment without trial on 9 August 1971 the same Parachute Regiment of the British Army shot dead 11 people in the Ballymurphy area of West Belfast in similar circumstances to the Derry killings. All were unarmed civilians, one a mother of eight who had gone to the assistance of one of the injured, another a parish priest administering the last rites, some who were shot on the ground while mortally wounded.

“We support the call of the Ballymurphy families for an international investigation into these killings and we urge the Irish Government to fully back that call and to urge the British government to co-operate with such an inquiry.

“The people of Ballymurphy were attacked by the British Army as it imposed internment without trial, imprisoning hundreds of people indefinitely on the basis of a ministerial order. The people of Derry were attacked by the British Army on Bloody Sunday because they were participating in a Civil Rights demonstration against internment.

“The people of Ireland and friends of Ireland were outraged by Bloody Sunday and the British Embassy in Dublin was burned to the ground. And people in the 26 Counties were attacked by British forces as well. Seeing the upsurge in support for Irish republicanism in the 26 Counties in 1972 the British deployed their counter-gangs, the heavily infiltrated unionist paramilitaries. They bombed Dublin in December 1972, killing two people. In May 1974 they bombed Dublin and Monaghan, killing 34. The purpose was to strike terror into the people in this State, to make them fear any show of solidarity with the oppressed nationalist people of the North. This strategy was complemented by the Irish Government which sought to blame republicans for the bombings and which tightened political censorship and repression in this State.

“The Saville Report has given hope to the bereaved and the survivors of Dublin and Monaghan and of the other cross-border bombings and fatal acts of collusion in this jurisdiction. And they badly need some hope. I have to say that it is a disgrace in the context of this debate on Bloody Sunday and the Saville Report, with its vindication of the families, that we have an Irish Government which has cut funding for the only victims group in this State, Justice for the Forgotten.

“It is equally disgraceful that we have a Taoiseach who has failed to raise with the British Prime Minister the unanimous call of this Dáil for the British government to furnish to an international judicial figure all files in its possession relating to the Dublin/Monaghan bombings and the other fatal acts of collusion in this jurisdiction.

“The Saville Report took so long and cost so much for one reason and one reason only – the refusal of the British government and its agencies to tell the truth. But the truth has triumphed.” ENDS

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Cllr. Larry O’Toole has co sponsored a motion to Dublin City Council, which if successful may save the three Dublin Swimming Pools (Coolock, Seán McDermott St, and Crumlin) which are under threat of closure.

Cllr. O’Toole said: “JC Decaux has a contract with the DCC to provide the now very successful Dublin Bikes Scheme. This contract also includes funding for the provision of public conveniences for the City of Dublin. Recognising the fact that there is no need or demand for stand alone public toilets in the city centre, while at the same time there is clear and urgent need for the essential public pools, in the interest of public amenities, services and common good for all and in pursuit of positive social activity, we are calling on the City Manager to apply the available resources, for public conveniences in the JC Decaux contract, to the provision of public conveniences through the refurbishment of the pools.”


For further information call Cllr. Larry O’Toole at 086-8541940.
MOTION;
JC Decaux has a contract with the DCC to provide the now very successful Dublin Bikes Scheme. The citizens of Dublin have given the scheme strong support from the start. That contract also included funding for the provision of public conveniences for the City of Dublin. Three Swimming pools, under the remit of Dublin City Council, are in urgent need of capital expenditure to repair and restore the pools to modern operating standards.

Recognising the fact that there is no need or demand for stand alone public toilets in the city center, while at the same time there is clear and urgent need for the essential public pools, in the interest of public amenities, services and common good for all and in pursuit of positive social activity the elected members of Dublin City Council call on the City Manager to apply the available resources, for public conveniences in the JC decaux contract, to the provision of public conveniences through the refurbishment of the pools and thereby facilitate Dublin citizens’ needs for positive social and physical activity in Dublin City.

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Speaking today after the release of the Live Register figures for June that showed an extra 5,800 people have joined the dole queue in the last month, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Arthur Morgan has said that economic growth in the absence of jobs is insignificant particularly when there are 444,900 people on the dole.

Deputy Morgan said:

“A combination of austerity and financial repression is failing to deliver economic recovery. Ireland may have technically emerged from recession, with a growth of 2.7% in GDP but this is insignificant to the hundreds of thousands of Irish people on the Live Register today. There is no economic recovery when there is still an absence of jobs.

“The Taoiseach keeps telling us that the economy has turned a corner, but in reality we have turned a corner and hit a wall. We are in a situation where 444,900 people are dependent on the dole. This is a home-grown situation where the absence of stimulus will mean that half a million people will be languishing on the Live Register by the end of the year.

“It is about time that the Government’s humpty dumpty attitude to economic recovery realised that deflationary policies will cripple growth, retard job creation and leave us with out-dated infrastructure.

“In the last two months alone over 12,000 people have signed on, while thousands more have emigrated. This is not a job creation policy. Fianna Fáil’s subservience to keeping a zombie bank afloat is squeezing the lifeblood out of the economy, as today’s figures show.” ENDS

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West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has accused Nigel Dodds of ‘staggering hypocrisy’ after he placed a motion before Westminster calling on constituency services to be denied to those citizens who elect Sinn Féin MPs.

 

Mr Doherty said:

 

“The hypocrisy of Nigel Dodds bringing a motion on Sinn Féin constituency expenses in Westminster is staggering. This is the head of the Dodds family political dynasty who routinely cash in expenses and wages cheques from the public purse from the Assembly, from Westminster and from Brussels and until recently Belfast City Council as well.

 

“He is the deputy leader of a party that has been embroiled in scandal over its relationship with property developers and whose members routinely employ and rent offices from relatives all from the public purse. Only last week the DUP rejected a new expenses regime in Stormont which would have seen a reduction in MLA expenses.

 

“For the record Sinn Féin MPs do not receive Westminster salaries or personal expenses. We do receive an allowance to operate our constituency offices in order to provide much needed services for our electorate.

 

“I think it would be better for Mr Dodds to get his own and his party’s house in order when it comes to expenses, employing relatives and relationships with property developers before he wastes parliamentary time seeking to deny ordinary citizens their rights to constituency services.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin MP for Newry Armagh commenting on the  incident at Low Road in Meigh in which two  members of the PSNI  were injured has said:

“The incident, which has occurred following a multi-agency operation against smuggling, is to be condemned. As a result two police officers have been badly injured, one of whom is in a critical condition. Our thoughts are with those who are injured.

“We would expect that a full investigation into what happened will reveal more information. I understand that two people have been arrested and I welcome the fact that a significant amount of illegal cigarettes has been seized.”

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Responding to the news that the European Commission has today extended the State’s guarantee over the liabilities of Irish banks until the end of December, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Arthur Morgan has hit out at the measure that will further expose Irish people to debts that they did not create themselves. He said that the State would be keeping bad banks on life support, while taxpayers themselves are penalised heavily.

Deputy Morgan said:

“The decision by the European Commission today to extend the State’s guarantee over the liabilities of Irish banks until the end of December will further expose Irish people to debts that they did not create themselves, further making them liable for the toxic debts of our financial institutions.

“Both the Government and the European Commission have a brass neck to extend the blanket guarantee further given that they are on a trajectory to inflict a further litany of harsh budgetary measures on the people of this State.

“A report released yesterday from the Bank of International Settlements warned that if measures like extensive bank guarantees were kept in place, never mind extended, there was an inherent risk of creating zombie banks dependant on direct support. Essentially the State would be keeping bad banks on life support, while taxpayers themselves are penalised heavily through pay cuts, welfare cuts and infrastructural
deficits.

“The Government and the European Commission are going down a dangerous road without a map – continuing to extend the bank guarantee without taking the tough decisions and making fundamental reforms will cripple the economy.

“Sinn Féin believes the only way to deal with the current crisis is to nationalise the two main banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, turning these two banks into a state bank. Sinn Féin has always advocated for creating a state bank that will offer far greater security for the taxpayer, that will give credit to and invest in small and medium enterprises, that protects family homes and that will restore confidence in the Irish economy. With a state bank, the Government can adequately protect the investments and deposits of ordinary citizens and small businesses whilst wisely investing profits back into the public purse to the advantage of all.

“Our current Government needs to leave behind their obsession with the banking sector and worry less about extending the blanket bank guarantee and instead focus on ensuring each and every unemployed person in this State can secure a job.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin Education spokesperson John O' Dowd has said that it is clear from the Ministers statement today that without an injection of cash by the Executive there will be no new schools built in this financial year as a result of the constraints on the Education budget.

Mr O' Dowd said
 
“Despite the best efforts by some of those in the Chamber and some outside the chamber to muddy the waters the facts are quite clear.Schools affected by the Capital Review will be informed directly of their status by the Minister and despite the protests of some MLAs schools should be informed before anyone else! The school build programme cannot go ahead without an injection of money as the Minister has already spent 99% of her allocated budget in building new schools. What part of those two pieces of information do certain MLAs not understand?
 
"In recent weeks senior departmental officials have reported to the Assembly Education Committee that the new build budget is under severe pressure. Those reports have been confirmed by budget updates.
 
"The antics of the Education committee chair will not result in one brick being laid in any school but if the Assembly and the Executive approach this issue in a mature professional way then I believe we can bring some relief to those schools awaiting new builds.

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Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O'Neill has met with Health Minister Michael McGimpsey as part of a delegation to discuss the future of the mid Ulster hospital.

 Ms O'Neill stated:
 
"I met today with the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to highlight my concerns around the future of the mid Ulster Hospital. I emphasised to him the importance of maintaining the services currently available at the hospital and about the need to ensure that there is equity in health service provision in the Mid Ulster area.

"I will be continuing the campaign on Thursday when I will meet with the departmental officials and management of the local health trust to again underline the importance of hospital services to the people of Mid Ulster." crioch

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A Sinn Féin delegation will meet with the Justice minister David Ford tomorrow morning. The delegation lead by party President Gerry Adams will also include Martin McGuinness and Alex Maskey.

 

Speaking today in advance of the meeting, Sinn Féin spokesperson on justice issues Alex Maskey said that the current situation in Maghaberry would be on the agenda.

 

Mr Maskey said:

 

“Tomorrow a Sinn Féin delegation will meet with the Justice Minister David Ford. Amongst the issues being raised will be the ongoing situation in Maghaberry and in particular the conditions in Roe House.

 

“People being held in prison regardless of why they are there deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The conditions in Roe House in our view currently fall well below this standard.

 

“Sinn Féin delegations have visited the prison and met with prisoners relatives and support groups on the outside. We are determined to see the situation in Maghaberry resolved and a humane system put in place.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin MLA for Mid Ulster and health spokesperson Michelle O’Neill has stated that the increase waiting times for A&E departments highlights that the decision to close many A&E departments is not the way forward and that the Health Minister must now re-evaluate this policy.

 

Speaking today Ms O’Neill said:

 

“The latest figures released show that waiting time targtes are not being met in relation to A&E departments with many patients waiting over 12 hours to be seen. This is despite the Health Minster stating that targets must be met by the health trusts.

 

“The Health Ministers position is one of a conundrum to most people. On one hand he is saying that targets must bemet yet on the other he has presided over the closure of several A&E departments including Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey, with a focus now being placed on the future of the Mater Hospital’s A&E in Belfast.

 

“This begs a very obvious question, why close A&E departments if there is an increasing demands for these services?

 

“While health staff are doing an excellent job addressing peoples needs, actually having the majority of patients seen within a four hour period, they are coming under severe pressure with increased numbers attending A&E alongside ever depleting resources.

 

“The Health Minster must come forward and say how he will square this circle. He cannot hide behind the mantra that he needs more money. All departments are under pressure but savings can be made as opposed to cuts, many of which Sinn Féin have placed in front of the Minster and his officials at meetings and in the Health Committee.

 

“We must now see an immediate re-evaluation by the Health Minister of decisions to close A&E’s and deplete front line services. To do nothing but issue statements saying taregts must be met is a Pontius Pilate move on behalf of the Minister. He must now take the responsibilties he is charged with.”

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Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaugthlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the announcement by Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson in regards to rating of Empty Houses but voiced concerns about the number of exemptions attached to the proposals.

 
Mitchel McLaughlin said:
 
"While there are thousands of people suffering from homelessness and waiting lists continue to grow we must find ways to encourage speculators and developers to bring these properties into the housing market. That should be the priority rather than maintaining the conditions where those who helped create the unsustainable development bubble are able to continue to manipulate and distort the housing market.
 

"Many developers and speculators were part and parcel of the housing crisis resulting in the inevitable collapse of the construction industry. For these reasons I welcome the Minister's statement on empty homes. I remain concerned however, about the number of exemption clauses and will insist that these are deployed in an appropriate manner and are rigourously monitored to ensure that no abuses occur.

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Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said the HSE is attacking patient safety in the North East region with the closure of the Emergency Department at Louth County Hospital in Dundalk and the removal of both the Rapid Response Vehicle and the Patient Transport Ambulance from Monaghan to Castleblayney. He stated:

“Today is another bleak day for health services in the North East region but especially for people in North Monaghan and North Louth. From this morning the HSE axe has fallen on the Emergency Department at Louth County Hospital in Dundalk. And from today also both the Rapid Response Vehicle 24/7 service, with its Advanced Paramedic, and the Patient Transport Ambulance, staffed by two emergency medical technicians, are being removed from Monaghan to Castleblayney.

“This is an attack on patient safety in the North East. The Dundalk closure will place further enormous pressure on the already overstretched Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

“The removal of vital ambulance services from Monaghan is directly related to the Dundalk closure as the ambulances will be based in Castleblayney to now serve both Louth and Monaghan.

“It is an outrage that people in the North Monaghan and Clones areas are having these emergency services moved a further half an hour’s driving distance from them, thus increasing the risk to patient safety across the biggest population area of the county.

“In April 2008 in its so-called ‘Transformation’ plan for the removal of emergency and acute in-patient care from Monaghan General Hospital, the HSE promised that emergencies would be catered for by ‘extending and enhancing the ambulance service’. We are seeing the reality of contracting services with key elements of that same ambulance service required to cover a bigger population and a greater geographic area.

“The ultimate responsibility for all this lies with the Fianna Fáil/Green Government whose disastrous health policies have hit the people of the North East especially hard.” ENDS

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Speaking at the event Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South Central, Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said that the party “will mount a vigorous campaign of opposition” to any attempts by the FF/Green Government to introduce charges, which he described as a “regressive” form of double taxation. Deputy Ó Snodaigh was joined by a number of Sinn Féin representatives including, Mary Lou McDonald, Cllr Dessie Ellis, Cllr Sean Crowe, Cllr. Larry O’Toole and Cllr. Seamas McGratten. They were pictured with a giant tap with €500 notes pouring from it.

He said, “Everybody acknowledges that clean water is a precious resource which costs money to produce. Indeed everybody justifiably understood that it was already paid for it through their taxes.

“Minister Gormley is trying to claim that water metering and additional taxes are necessary to prevent wastage and over consumption. While preventing waste is a laudable and desirable motivation we believe the course being set by the Minister is a disingenuous attempt to introduce other revenue streams for the Government by targeting hard pressed householders for additional taxation.

“Depending on what figures you go by up to 40% of treated water is being lost through leaking pipes and poor infrastructure before it even reaches households. Households it is reckoned account for just 16% of water wastage. Logic would suggest that the first port of call in any attempts to stop wastage would mean addressing the antiquated water infrastructure that currently exists and targeting businesses who still owe almost €30 million to local authorities.

“Introducing very expensive water metering systems across the country to address the estimated 16% of households who waste water makes no sense whatsoever. Educating people about the necessity of water conservation and assisting households in introducing water saving technology would be a much more economically sensible approach.

“It is this reality that leads Sinn Féin to believe that the motivation behind this move by Minister Gormley and the FF/Green Government is about trying to create new tax revenue streams rather than conserve water. It is a regressive form of taxation that will further punish already hard pressed households. We will be mounting a vigorous campaign of opposition.” ENDS

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Speaking in reaction to the outcomes of the G20 summit where too much emphasis was put on austerity rather than stimulus, and reports that too much austerity is choking off economic recovery in Ireland, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Economy Arthur Morgan has said that tightening our belts fiscally will choke economic growth in the long-term. He said that policies being embarked upon by Government equal a self-fulfilling prophecy of deflation and depression for years to come.

Deputy Morgan said:

“The social impact of the deflationary austerity measures being undertaken by this Government will be felt for generations. Unemployment stands at nearly 13% and long term unemployment had doubled in a year to 5.3%.

“The Government cannot afford to wait for the resumption of strong economic growth to begin the process of stimulus, job creation and investment in critical infrastructure. Sinn Féin has been to the fore in advocating that expansion and stimulus is a pre-requisite to long-term sustainable economic growth.

“The Government are intent on tightening the belt of our Budgets, which will have the effect of choking economic recovery. What this State needs are policies that focus on long-term productivity gains and immediate help for those left behind. What this Government need to realise is that you can’t deflate your way out of debt.

“The massive bailout for banks via increasing debts to taxpayers and cuts in Government spending are creating the conditions for a renewed economic crisis in this State. The policies adopted to cover its costs have lead to harsh austerity measures that only deepen the recession, encourage the growth of unemployment, and attack labour and pension rights. We are witnessing a self-fulfilling prophecy of deflation and depression that will inevitably prolong the economic crisis in this State as joblessness and emigration surge.

“Taxes that governments rely on to service their debts have plunged and actually led to wider deficits. Feeding the parasitical bank shareholders and pouting billions of euros into Zombie banks rather than injecting stimulus, as called for by Sinn Féin, is stunting Irish recovery and growth.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún today called on European Commissioner, Maire Geoghagan-Quinn, to "not provide research funding for Israeli companies which engage in research on technologies which have military applications."

Ms de Brún said:

"The European Commission ends up helping the Israeli war machine when it funds research activities that can have military applications by companies which develop military technology. This needs to stop."

"I have submitted a question to the European Commission asking how much funding has gone to companies which are likely to use the results of their EU funded research for military purposes; the measures the Commission has taken to ensure that EU funding can not be used for the development of technologies which can have a military application; and asking the Commission to prevent further such funding while Israel fails to comply with international human rights standards" ENDS

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