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No alternative to dialogue and agreement , says McGuinness in major statement on 20th anniversary of IRA cessation

Delivering a keynote address in Derry on Sunday morning on the 20th anniversary of the IRA announcing “a complete cessation of military operations”, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness said there is a real threat to the political institutions in the North from political stagnation and the absence of progress.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD in a keynote statement today has warned that the “political process faces its greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement negotiations in 1998.”

Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people as Israel continues its horrific bombardment of Gaza

Latest Statements


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has urged the speedy implementation by Health Minister James Reilly of the recommendations of the HIQA report on patient referrals from general practitioners to hospitals.

Deputy Ó Caoláin stated:

“The HIQA report clearly shows that there is a glaring lack of standard, effective and efficient referral procedures from GPs to outpatient and radiology services.

“The report shows once again that waiting times for referrals to hospital are unacceptable and unsafe. This has been known for a long time but successive Governments have failed to take the necessary remedial measures.

“The totally inadequate referral system threatens patient safety and makes it very difficult for both patients and clinicians to access information and follow their path of care.

“Many of the essential remedial measures are set out in the HIQA Report and could lead to dramatic improvements without significant expenditure. I urge Health Minister James Reilly to proceed with the speedy implementation of these recommendations.” ENDS


The government is stifling debate on the JLC system, according to Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane

The Senator was speaking in the Seanad today, following the defeat of a Sinn Féin amendment the Order of Business to bring forward the debate on reform of the JLC system.

Senator Cullinane said:

“I am concerned that by the time we in this house have our opportunity to discuss this that the decisions will have already been made by the cabinet. It is essential that we in the Seanad have an opportunity to have our views heard.

“This is an issue which affects thousands upon thousands of the lowest paid and most vulnerable workers. I have been contacted by many constituents who are very fearful for their wage rates, particularly given the many pressures now facing families such as the Universal Social Charge.

“How can Senators on the one hand propound the crucial importance of the Seanad, and yet on the other hand, be satisfied to wait until the government has made its decision, before debating an issue of such crucial importance to the people of this country.

“It is vital that we have this debate as soon as is possible, and I think the government, rather than seeking to stifle debate and to frustrate discussion on this topic, the government needs to allow this house to have its say.”


Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA, Alex Maskey commenting on last night’s disturbances in East Belfast said:

"For some weeks now there have been sporadic instances of anti-social stone throwing across the interface in this area. Local community representatives and politicians have been working hard – with some success - to deal with it. It is important that this good work continues.

"However what happened last night was not anti-social behaviour or a sectarian riot. What happened was a well-planned and orchestrated attack on the Catholic community in the Short Strand by the UVF.

"The activities of the UVF in East Belfast have been giving people cause for concern for some time. These have been well documented in the media by a variety of commentators. There has been a marked increase in UVF flag flying, the painting of new paramilitary murals and significant agitation around Loyal Order parades. This has caused deep unease within both communities in East Belfast.

"Last night this manifested itself with a premeditated violent attack by over 100 masked UVF men on the community of Short Strand.

"It is my clear view that the PSNI could and should have responded better. And I think with the power of hindsight senior officers may well agree with this view.

"Let us act now to make sure yesterday’s UVF actions are not allowed to set the agenda for the summer months in the city of Belfast."


Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams TD and party leas uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald today met Niall O’Dowd.

Speaking after the meeting Deputy Adams said:

“Mary Lou McDonald TD and I met US publisher Niall O’Dowd today. Mr O’Dowd has declared himself a potential candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.

"Sinn Féin is considering how we will participate in the presidential election. That process will conclude in July.

"The party is considering whether to put up a Sinn Féin candidate or support a candidate from outside the party.

"Meanwhile, the party has launched a campaign for voting rights for citizens in the North in this presidential election and has instructed its councillors to support the nomination only of those candidates who also support those rights."


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD this afternoon raised the UVF attack on the Short Strand area last night in the Dáil during Leaders Questions.

Mr. Adams asked the Taoiseach if he was aware of the attack and if he had been briefed on the circumstances.

Speaking later the Sinn Fein leader appealed for calm.

Mr. Adams said:

“The attack last night was clearly orchestrated and planned by the UVF.

“Its purpose is to raise sectarian tensions.

“The consequence of these activities is that it will be the ordinary citizens of East Belfast whose lives will be severely disrupted.” ENDS


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien wholeheartedly welcomes the retirement of Judge Michael Pattwell following his ridiculous comments recently on Newstalk.

Speaking from Leinster House today Deputy O’Brien said:

“It is absolutely nonsensical to believe that any government would cut the pay of a judge if it didn’t like the judge’s ruling as Judge Pattwell stated in his interview.

“Now on the other hand there is a real question surrounding the need for an accountable judiciary and we hope the promised Judicial Council Bill will deal with this by allowing for investigations of allegations of judicial misconduct.

“We need a judiciary that is embedded in the real world and not resident in ivory towers or making decisions based on their own prejudices. These comments also show the dangers of juryless courts, apt enough as we face motions in the Dáil today to renew this state’s draconian legislation as regards the Offences against the Sate Act and the Criminal Justice Amendment Act.

“We are pleased that the retiring judge is apprehensive of the rise of a political party from outside the establishment and obviously he can, as we do, see a changed political landscape in the future.

“I would like to wholeheartedly welcome the retirement of Judge Michael Pattwell and hopefully we don’t have to hear this type of out-dated view from him again.

“I wish him very well in his retirement.”



The ninth annual ‘Youth against Drugs’ Soccer Tournament takes place this weekend organised by Sinn Féin in Dublin South Central.

Up to one hundred and fifty children from within the Dublin South Central constituency are expected to take part in the Tournament in Crumlin’s Pearse Park next weekend. The three-day event is for young people aged from seven to 13 and has gone from strength to strength every year.

Dublin South Central Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, who helped to found the tournament in June 2002 with local community and Sinn Féin activists, said:

“We started this as a way to give young people the opportunity to get involved in something positive during the summer break when there was often little for them to do.

“It’s now become a really popular and established part of summer for local communities. Last year we had a number of professional referees taking part to ensure the games were fair but they’ve always been marked by fantastic levels of sportsmanship and great competition between boys and girls of all ages.

“The aim of the event is to give young people space for a bit of fun over the summer, but there’s also a serious message about providing alternatives and support to anyone who might be tempted to use drugs.

“We’re really grateful for the tremendous work of the volunteer organisers who put the event together every year and make sure everyone has a great time, and for the continued participation from local people.” ENDS

This year’s Youth Against Drugs soccer tournament will take place on the weekend of the 24th/25th/26th June. (Friday @ 5pm – Saturday @ 11am – Sunday @ 12pm).

Age groups are 7-9, 10-11 and 12-13.
Registration is €2 and forms are available from:
Niall @ 087-6184010 or Debbie @ 087-9514653.


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as “appalling” the axing of ambulance transport services for hundreds of cancer and dialysis patients in the HSE West region stretching from Donegal to Limerick.

He said:

“This is an appalling development. Hundreds of patients are to be denied access to ambulance transport to and from vital dialysis treatment and cancer treatments across a huge swathe of the country stretching from the Limerick border with Cork and Kerry to the shores of Lough Foyle.

“The HSE has stated in a letter to hospital managers that the service will be terminated from 1 July. Yet in response to media queries today the HSE describes this as a ‘review’, despite the fact that the process of ending the service has already commenced. Not for the first time the word ‘review’ is being used as a smokescreen for what is a savage cut.

“This cut affects 456 dialysis patients and 125 cancer patients in the West of Ireland. It must be reversed. Health Minister James Reilly must show much more activity and diligence in addressing the crisis in our increasingly chaotic public health services.”


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún said that "the activities supported under the PEACE Programme show the value for the EU in continuing with its support"

Ms de Brún was speaking following a meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Regional Development which discussed the ongoing activities of the Special EU Programmes Body and the International Fund for Ireland with Pat Colgan of the SEUPB and Denis Rooney of the IFI.

Ms de Brún said:

"I welcome the continuing support shown by the European Parliament towards the peace process in Ireland. The activities supported under the PEACE Programme and through the IFI show the value for the EU in continuing with its support.

"The programme benefits a wide range of sectors, areas, groups and communities that were particularly affected by the conflict and encourages cross-community projects. Cross-border social, economic and cultural activities have been an important part of the programme.

"The grassroots voluntary and community sector is well-known for its achievements in confronting social decline and deprivation and is well-placed to help the inclusion of the most disadvantaged in society, which will be an important part of peace building.

More use could be made of this experience in the various regional development programmes.

"I also look forward in the future to the establishment of a Conflict Resolution Centre, as has been supported by President Barroso earlier this year, and to sharing our experience of peace building and reconciliation with others." ENDS


Peace and Reconciliation discussed at Féile


Martin McGuinness speaks to media