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Gerry Adams launches Sinn Féin proposals for 1916 Revolutionary Quarter

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

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


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



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Sinn Féin Policing Spokesperson Gerry Kelly said the fact that the Ombudsman’s Office had to withdraw part of a statement released after the damning Spotlight programme, revealed another example of the ineptitude of Al Hutchinson’s leadership.

“The claim in relation to the Criminal Justice Inspectorate adds to the growing reality that under Al Hutchinson’s leadership the integrity of the office is continuing to be undermined.

“If Al Hutchinson wishes to prevent further damage to the office then he needs to go now. Continuing to hang on by a loose thread will only make it more difficult for the Ombudsman’s Office to recover from this series of operational failures.”

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The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure today published economic estimates for the creative industries in the north of Ireland.

In summary:

· Gross Value Added (GVA) for the Creative Industries was £737million in 2008. This was equivalent to 4.2% of the region’s total GVA.
· The estimated number of businesses in the creative industries sector was 2,200 in 2010. This represented 3.2% of all business units.
· The number of people in creative employment in 2009 was estimated at 31,000. This represented 4.1% of total employment in the region.

Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “The creative industries are recognised across the world for their potential for job and wealth creation. The sector can help to rebuild and rebalance our economy by stimulating the innovation, R&D and creativity needed to drive export focused growth.”

She added: “The creative industries can also support the wider economy by collaborating and adding value to other business sectors. The Executive is committed to supporting the creative industries and developing an environment from which creative ideas, creative talent and creative entrepreneurs emerge and flourish.”

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Sinn Féin Junior Minister, Martina Anderson has called on Magee University Campus to prepare a solid business case for increased student numbers in anticipation of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) being accepted by the Department Finance & Personnel (DFP).

Martina Anderson said:

“It is my understanding that University of Ulster has submitted an SOC to the Department of Employment and Learning in relation to the expansion of Student numbers at Magee Campus in line with DFP requirements prior to moving forward with a full business case.  DEL has approved it and sent it to DFP.

“Following approval by DFP of the Strategic Outline Case a full Business Case would then be required at which stage a detailed needs assessment would be undertaken to fully demonstrate need prior to fully developing and evaluating a range of options.

“I believe that a number of queries were raised by DFP concerning the original SOC some of which were dealt with by the University and others by DEL.

“I would urge Magee to begin to develop a strong business case now in anticipation that the queries raised by DFP are resolved and should additional resources become available to increase student places the University can move immediately to secure them for Magee.

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Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has challenged the British Secretary of State Owen Patterson to reveal the truth and hold a full public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

Speaking after a meeting with Patterson, the Sinn Féin MLA said that not only was the decision to refuse a public inquiry the wrong one but that the treatment of the Finucane family showed a total lack of respect by the British Government.

John O’Dowd said:

“The refusal of the British Government to honour the Weston Park agreement and to establish an inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane is a diabolical decision and I let Owen Patterson know how strongly that feeling is.

 

“The Finucane family have shown great dignity and determination over the last 22 years and I have no doubt their campaign for an inquiry will continue.Owen Patterson and the British Government have not only insulted the Finucane family but they have also I’m sure, steeled the resolve of the Finucane family to continue their search for the truth.”

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Speaking today in the Seanad on a private members motion on the issue of barracks closures, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly said the government argument that it is has no choice but to close the barracks is untrue.

Senator Reilly said:

“How dare the Government condemn any person for standing shoulder to shoulder with their local communities’; for representing their friends, colleagues and neighbours? I went to school with families of soldiers, I socialise with them, I play sports with them. We in Sinn Féin are not the ones playing politics with people’s lives under the pretext that it is the final dictat of the troika.

“The Dáil debate on this issue was dominated by the narrative that Ireland has no choices. That is untrue. The Government is free to adjust the terms of the bailout agreement on condition that the final outcome remains the fiscal adjustment to which the agreement commits Ireland.

“Was it not the Minister’s party who campaigned and got elected on a mandate of ‘we will renegotiate’, ‘we will get a better deal?’

“On the issue of costs and savings, there is no economic gain from closing barracks like in Cavan. What does Minister Howlin have to say in relation to his comprehensive spending review when you look at the costs of paying extra travelling allowances to approximately 600 people for up to nine months, or the substantial capital investments that will be needed in other barracks to accommodate those who are dislocated, or the substantial security and maintenance bill for the closed sites?

“If you look at Dún Úi Neill Barracks in Cavan and its location – already the recession in the private sector has left its mark with empty retail sites littering the Dublin road and now this Government wants to close this state of the art facility, hitting the area a final knock out blow.

“That doesn’t sound like savings to me or the best possible return for the country. Not least when the reality is that no financial gain could be made from the sale of a barracks or a closed barracks in the current property market.

“A further displacement by soldiers and their families with all that entails is grossly unfair and may force some to leave. Is the dole queue their only future? What will a serving member who is already in negative equity do? The towns involved are the towns where people bought homes for record prices during the boom. But will there be a bail out of these men and women and their families?

“Shutting these barracks is not the answer. And the rouse of savings, of no alternatives and of appeasing the troika will not wash.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Peadar Tóibín TD, speaking during the Dáil debate on Aviva redundancies this afternoon, demanded, that the government provide personnel and resources to Aviva staff and their union, Unite, to thoroughly scrutinise the company’s business pan with a view to saving as many jobs as possible.

Deputy Toibín said, “This has been a slow motion catastrophe, 950 staff lost their jobs and 300 will have their jobs outsourced. These job loses will mean a loss of €36 million in wages to the economy and potentially €19 million in increased in the social welfare bill. The staff have been in limbo for weeks now and still many do not know their fate.

“Aviva is one of the largest insurers in the state, it’s profitable both internationally and in Ireland. The government's Pontius Pilot approach is unacceptable in this situation. The government must now take up the fight to save as many jobs as possible. The government must make officials from the Department of Finance available to Aviva and Unite, the representing union, to allow for a full analysis of the business plan and save as many jobs as possible.

“Immediate savings can be made. From the top heavy management structure within the business, to the complete burden of the Aviva Stadium being placed on the Irish operation, debts from the European operation, to the upward only rent being paid on Aviva’s trophy office block which was entered into at the height of the boom to the reform of the rates charges to all business, to reform of the energy sector which could lessen the burden and save jobs.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has welcomed the Government’s decision to finally withdraw its appeal to the High Court ruling in Pearse Doherty’s favour in relation to the Donegal by-election.

The decision came today in the Supreme Court which was hearing a motion from Deputy Doherty to have the case dismissed.

Speaking after the appeal was withdrawn this afternoon Deputy Doherty said:

“I welcome the fact that the government has finally relented and withdrawn this appeal.

“This follows an instruction I gave to my legal team to bring forward a motion to the Supreme Court to have the case dismissed on the basis that we have already had the by-election and a general election and, most importantly, we have had a change in the law regarding by-elections which ensures that no citizen will ever again have to go to court to secure their constitutional rights.

“Despite repeated requests made by me to the government to have this case dropped this Fine Gael/Labour Government has pursued it for the past six months at a cost to the exchequer and a huge waste of the Supreme Court’s time.

“It was also an insult to the people of Donegal South West who were denied their constitutional right to representation for more than a year and a half.

“It was wrong of the Fianna Fáil led government to take this appeal against my case and it was also wrong of the current government to continue with the case for a further six months.” ENDS

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