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Adams dismay as Kenny again rejects European Debt Conference

"The financial and economic crisis in this State was caused by a small, unrepresentative, wealthy elite. €62 billion in bank loans were in the hands of just 190 borrowers. 50% of the Irish loan book of Anglo Irish bank was held by just 20 individuals.  Ordinary citizens cannot understand the Taoiseach’s refusal to pursue options that could make our debt sustainable and fair." – Adams

I have been made aware of a warning put through my constituency office that stated that there is a bomb planted outside of my home. The cowards behind the threat and their accompanying actions are beyond contempt.

An increased role for pharmacists is essential for the future of Irish healthcare. The western world needs radical change in the way it deals with health care provision. We currently see up to 1 in 7 attendances at GPs and 1 in 12 at Emergency Departments that could and should be dealt with by pharmacists.

Latest Statements


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has welcomed this morning’s confirmation by the Tánaiste that voting rights for emigrants in Presidential elections will be on the agenda for the constitutional convention.

The Sinn Féin leader called for this debate to be extended to include the right of Irish passport holders and of citizens in the north to vote in Presidential elections.

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“Sinn Féin has been constantly pressing the Irish government on voting rights for the diaspora and for citizens in the north in recent years.

“I have raised this matter on a number of occasions directly with the Taoiseach in the Dáil and in our recent conversations on the constitutional convention.

“Specifically in our recent submission to the Irish government on the constitutional convention Sinn Féin has called for it to have a mandate that will allow it to discuss ‘the extension of voting rights for northern citizens and citizens in the diaspora’.”



Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast, Pat Sheehan has called on those groups responsible for issuing threats and expulsion orders against people in the Upper Spingfield area and across Belfast to immediately withdraw these death threats and expulsions.

Speaking today Pat Sheehan siad:

“It is my understanding that there have been a series of threats and expulsion orders emanating from groups mimicking the actions of vigilante groups like RAAD in Derry and the North West against individuals in the Upper Springfield area and indeed across Belfast.

"Local people are concerned about the criminal anti-community activities of these groups masquerading as protectors of the community. The vast majority of people reject the activities of these groups attempts to impose their will on the community.

"The seriousness of this situation cannot be understated and I condemn whoever is behind these latest death threats. The local community is demanding that these gangs disband and lift the atmosphere intimidation hanging over our people.

“It is common knowledge that many of these threats emanate from personal disputes some of which are as frivolous as being overhead in social circles criticising the activities of these people. Their activities and use of republican titles besmirch a proud tradition that has always acted in the best interests of the people. Anyone connected with them who harbours the least bit of affinity to republicanism should do the honourable thing and walk away.

"I would urge the public to act in the interest of the community by providing the PSNI or other statutory agencies or public representative with any information you may have concerning the activities of these pseudo gangs. Likewise if you have information about those involved in drug dealing or other anti-community activity bring that forward also so that the courts can deal with the situation."


The Sinn Féin spokesperson on public expenditure Mary Lou McDonald TD has described as “outrageous” the salary received by Bank of Ireland chief Ritchie Boucher.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Ordinary people are footing the bill for this banker’s outrageous salary. It is bad enough that Ritchie Boucher was awarded the whopper payment of €623,000 but what makes this even worse is the fact that this breeches the government’s own pay cap by €123,000.

“It is absolutely scandalous that the head of a bank that has received such a huge injection of taxpayers’ money should be awarded this ‘pension cash allowance’, but what is even more scandalous is that this has been allowed to happen.

“The government need to cop themselves on and put a stop to these situations where bank bosses are quids in at the expense of taxpayers.”


Responding to reports today that Minister Michael Noonan said he would not rule out a deal being done on the €3.1 billion promissory notes due on the 31st March, Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the Government should not make this payment and tell the ECB that that is the deal.

Deputy Doherty said the Government should not be waiting on the sidelines for a deal to be handed to them, but that they should be standing up for the rights of Irish taxpayers.

Doherty said:

“This Government cannot pay the €3.1 billion due to IBRC, formerly Anglo and Irish Nationwide, on 31st March. The state cannot afford to hand over money which will go to the Irish Central Bank to be burnt. Sinn Féin has repeatedly highlighted the unjust nature of this debt and called for the Government to inform the ECB that Ireland cannot and will not carry this debt.

“The Government at this point needs to tell EU institutions that this is the deal. We should not be waiting for a deal to be struck on lengthening the timeframe or whatever other hare-brained idea the Minister has which still boils down to this debt being carried by the Irish people.

“This Government needs to stand up for its own taxpayers and citizens in the same way that other European Governments have done for their countries. The current Government and the last have adopted a policy of the class pet when it comes to Europe and it has not worked. We have received no help in bailing out the banks. We have implemented austerity for years and we've been given a loan that has conditions attached which attempt to dictate the future of our economy for years ahead. Current policy is not working. It is time for the Irish Government to stand up and be counted.”


The Sinn Féin TD for Cork East Sandra McLellan has urged the Minister for Health James Reilly to ensure that the victims of symphysiotomy finally receive justice.

Deputy McLellan is one of the Sinn Féin representatives on the Oireachtas All-Party Support Group for Symphysiotomy.
Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy McLellan said:

“Today is a monumental and emotional occasion for all victims of symphysiotomy. We in Sinn Féin would like to acknowledge the fantastic resilience and commitment of all those survivors, victims and campaigners, who actively campaign for justice for the victims of this barbaric procedure.

“The consequences of the symphysiotomy procedure for mothers was horrendous. The long-term physical effects only tell half the story. Many mothers had great difficulty bonding with their children and I as a mother of three find this one of the most heart-breaking consequences of this unnecessary procedure. The brutality of the practice of symphysiotomy turned what should be the most memorable and joyous occasion of childbirth into a nightmare.

“We as elected members of parliament have a duty to ensure these women, who’s constitutional and human rights were violated by these pelvis-breaking operations, finally receive justice”


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the Minister for Health to authorise a full public inquiry into the practice of symphysiotomy saying that “nothing less will suffice.”

Mr. Adams was speaking during this morning’s Dáil debate on Symphysiotomy in which he described the practice as “institutional abuse involving acts of butchery against women.”

Deputy Adams said:

“Unless the victims are given satisfaction, the campaigning but more importantly the hurt, the anguish, the grief, the bereavement goes on. Given the increasing age of the victims and the chronic pain and constant medical intervention they require as a result of symphysiotomy, it is urgent that the Minister deal with this now.

“Our focus must be to ensure that this deep wrong is finally brought to a conclusion and in a way that is acceptable to the victims.”

The Sinn Féin leader also appealed to the Minister to ask the government to “agree to the lifting of the statute bar to enable victims to seek redress through the courts.” He pointed to other justice campaigns which he said can be resolved in this term of the Dáil.

“These groups include Justice for the Maggies, for other victims of institutionalised abuse, including in Bethany Home, and in our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, and victims of symphysiotomy.

“All these causes are crying out for justice. Victims and survivors of symphysiotomy deserve the support of this Dáil and this government.

“They have been failed by this state. That wrong can be righted. We as Teachtaí Dala, elected by our peers, have a duty to make this happen.”


Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said there are answers needed from Department of Enterprise Trade & Investment Minister Arlene Foster as to whether public money had been used by Independent News and Media to pay for redundancies in the Belfast Telegraph.

Jennifer McCann, who is a member of the DETI Committee at the Assembly said:

“Invest NI gave the £3.5 million pounds between 2005 and 2009 to secure jobs at the Belfast Telegraph while the company have been intent on rolling out redundancies.

“I will be raising the matter today at the meeting of the DETI committee and have also put in a priority written question to the minister to explain how this public money was used.

“Sinn Féin representatives have already met with the Unite union and the workers. This is obviously a matter of concern that workers jobs are threatened but that public money ear-marked to save those jobs may have been used to make workers redundant.

“The Minister needs to get answers from the company and explain to the wider public and specifically the workers where this public money went to.”


A new online resource for teachers launched today will help young people engage with and learn from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

‘Aspire, Aim and Achieve’ is aimed at pupils at Key Stages 2 and 3 and contains a range of interesting and educational classroom activities, PE games and video material based on the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Speaking about the resource, Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “Aspire, Aim and Achieve is an inspirational eLearning tool that enables teachers to get pupils involved in activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and that help them learn about the world around them. The virtual learning environment provides a novel and engaging way for pupils to connect with subjects including history, geography, art and citizenship.

“I urge teachers across the north of Ireland to make use of the range of opportunities that Aspire, Aim and Achieve offers.”

The Minister added: “The resource is the result of significant collaboration between my Department and a range of local educational and sporting organisations and I commend all of those involved in developing the material for the website.”

Aspire, Aim and Achieve also offers teachers the ability to arrange video conferences with local sporting personalities, elite athletes and with other schools, enabling pupils to network directly with their peers and work together on a cross-community basis.

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “This project really demonstrates how the Olympic and Paralympic Games can be a catalyst for learning and engagement across a range of subjects. Through the Games, its history and ethos, pupils here can explore relationships between sport and the arts, and between different countries and cultures. This eLearning tool will be an excellent legacy of the Games for local schools which they can continue to use in years to come.”


Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill, has appealed to farmers to make greater use of the online facility for submitting their 2012 Single Application.

The Minister was speaking today as she outlined the 2012 Single Application process.

Highlighting the benefits the online Single Application service brings to farmers and their agents, Minister O’Neill said:

"Farmers or their agents can choose to use on-line or use a paper application. I recommend the online option because it has several advantages over the paper form. The 2012 online Single Applications service, which is available from 20 March, automatically checks application for errors and omissions as the form is being completed online. This helps reduce the time my Department has to spend on processing and checking claims after they are submitted and helps to produce faster payments. The service is easy to use and available 24 hours a day, including weekends. Broadband users will also be able to access their maps, based upon the latest available aerial photographs, online in advance of them being delivered by post.”

Paper copies of the application and guidance material will be received by farmers around 28 March 2012. Urging farmers to submit their applications early, the Minister said: “Farmers who want to submit a claim to the 2012 Single Farm Payment, Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances and the new Countryside Management and Organic Farming Schemes, must submit a 2012 Single Application Form. Farmers should complete their forms carefully and ensure they are submitted well in advance of the closing date of 15 May 2012.”

Minister O’Neill advised that farmers will also shortly receive aerial maps based on existing field boundaries, but enhanced with ineligible features which the Department can see from the aerial photographs being used for the map improvement project. All permanent ineligible features should be captured along with trees and scrub greater than 0.1 hectares.

The Minister said: “The aerial photographs will be issued to arrive around the same time as the SAF packs being posted to farmers. They can also be accessed online approximately one week before they arrive by post. We know that some farmers are still claiming for land that is not eligible. Other farmers are not declaring all the agricultural land on their holding. It is important that all farmers refer to the latest aerial photographs and the guidance material provided when walking their farm to check for ineligible features before completing their 2012 application. I am appealing to them to get their claims right.”

Referring to the Countryside Management and Organic Farming schemes, the Minister said: “Farmers who wish to claim management payments for the claim year which started on 1 January 2012, must do so by submitting a 2012 Single Application.”


2014 - Year in Review


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