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Sinn Féin launch a 'PEOPLE'S PACT'

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said Sinn Féin's progressive politics is the only alternative to austerity.

Some of the sights and sounds of today's massive Right2Water rally on Dublin's O'Connell Street this afternoon (March 21).  Reports that up to...


Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said documents released today by Sinn Féin clearly show the DUP acted in bad faith over the Welfare Reform Bill.



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has described Phil Hogan’s decision to withhold millions of euros from Local Councils as “bully boy tactics”.  He said that “imposing more cuts on local government will have a serious impact on the provision of services for hundreds of thousands of families.” 

Deputy Doherty said:

“The introduction of the Household Charge was a bad idea.  It was ill-conceived, badly implemented and has no public support.  The whole issue has been mishandled from the start.

“Last December the Department of the Environment told councils across the state what their 2012 allocation from the local government fund would be. Councils agreed their annual estimates on this basis. At no stage were councils told that this funding was dependent on the collection of the household charge.

“Now half way through the year Phil Hogan is saying he is going to immediately withhold millions of euro from Councils which will have a serious impact on the provision of essential services for hundreds of thousands of families.  This is an utter disgrace and the fact that this is happening on the day that the Dáil is going into recess makes it even worse.  Once again Phil Hogan is trying to avoid any public scrutiny of his disastrous policies.

“We accept that the government has to raise public finance but once again they go after the most vulnerable in society, who are more reliant on the services provided by local government.  Sinn Féin has set out how we would raise the necessary finance and have proved that the deficit can be addressed in a fair and equitable manner.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has welcomed the decision by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill to apply for protected geographical status for Irish salmon.
Mr. McMullan said,
“Irish salmon is a unique species and therefore should be afforded PGI status by the European Union.  This is the first application for a species on an all Ireland basis so it represents co-operation between both DARD in the North and Department of Agriculture DAFM in the South.“Not only will allow Irish Salmon to be advertised uniquely as such across the globe but will also protect the species and protect the fishing industry.“In the past 12 months New Season Comber Potatoes, Lough Neagh Eels and Armagh Bramley Apples have all been granted PGI status so there is no reason why Irish salmon cannot add to this list of products, which are distinctive due to their geography.“I support the Minister in her application and call for all other elected representatives who are interested in protecting the fishing industry and stocks to also support her in her endeavour.”

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Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has insulted the Dáil this morning by refusing to answer a Leaders’ Question posed by him on how the Tánaiste learned of the resignation decision of HSE CEO Cathal Magee, only to reveal later to the media that he learned of the departure from yesterday morning's radio news.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore refused to answer my question in the Dáil this morning when I asked him when and how he first learned of the resignation decision of HSE CEO Cathal Magee. He then insulted the Dáil by later confirming to the media the important information that he only learned of Mr Magee's resignation on the radio yesterday.

“It is quite extraordinary that both the Labour Party Tánaiste and the Labour Party Minister of State for Health Róisín Shortall learned of this major development through the media. Is this the way the coalition cabinet deals with the vital issue of healthcare in this State? Not only do the coalition parties seem to be at odds over the management of our health services, they seem to be incapable of communicating with one another.”

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Sinn Féin MLA and education spokesperson Daithí McKay has welcomed the forward progress on ESA following agreement reached on a number of issues by the First and deputy First Minister last night.

Speaking today Mr McKay said:

“I would like to congratulate the OFMdFM in successfully concluding talks on ESA. This is a positive move for education and is to be welcomed.

“Sinn Féin has been in support of ESA as a replacement to the local Education and Library Boards in order to bring efficiencies into local education.

“The implementation of ESA can bring savings of up to £20 Million each year at given the extended pressure placed on all budgets due to the Tory cuts agenda we must look at ways of saving administration costs in order to protect frontline services.

“The education of our children is the most important factor in looking to advance the educational agenda and bringing together the regional Boards into one authority. This makes perfect sense for the overall education sector and will see better cooperation across the present board areas to the benefit in areas such as the management of the schools estate and effective forward planning.”

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Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has today criticised Vodafone, after their having publicly admitted that it is more expensive to send a text in Irish than in English.

Speaking during the order of business in the Seanad today, the Cavan based Senator said that there was a need for the Government and Comreg to ensure that this discrimination is ended.

“The Taoiseach said yesterday, that there will be money available to ensure that participants will be facilitated in using Irish during the forthcoming EU presidency, and that is welcome.

“However, we hear today that it is three times more expensive for Vodafone customers to send a text in Irish, if there is a síneadh fada included, than in English. Clearly this is discriminatory to Irish Speakers.

“I call on the Government and on Comreg to put pressure on Vodafone to put an end to this extra expense and to ensure fair and equal treatment for Irish.”

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Tá an Seanadóir do chuid Sinn Féin Kathryn Reilly, tar éis Vodafone a cháineadh inniu, tar éis dóibh a ghlacadh go poiblí inné go bhfuil sé níos daoire téacs a sheoladh as Gaeilge, ná as Béarla.

Ag labhairt sa Seanad inniu le linn Ord an Ghnó, dúirt an Seanadóir ón Chabháin go raibh gá don Rialtas, agus do COMREG, a chinntiú go gcuirfear deireadh leis an éagóir seo.

“Dúirt an Taoiseach linn inné go gcuirfear airgead ar fáil chun a chinntiú go mbeidh daoine in ann an Ghaeilge a úsáid le linn uachtaránacht Aontas na hEorpa atá le teacht, agus is maith an rud é sin."

“Ach cloisimid inniu go bhfuil sé trí n-uaire níos daoire do custaiméirí Vodafone téacs a sheoladh trí Ghaeilge má bhaintear úsáid as an síneadh fada, ná as Béarla. Is léir go bhfuil sé sin éagórach ar Gaeilgeoirí. "

“Iarraim ar an Rialtas, agus ar Comreg brú a chur ar Vodafone deireadh a chur leis an costais breise seo, agus cothrom na féinne a thabhairt don Ghaeilge.”

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Sinn Féin TDs were today joined by Fianna Fáil and the Technical Group in a walkout protest against the Government’s Gaeltacht Bill.

According to Deputy Tóibín the language has reached crisis point with research showing that the Irish language has between fifteen and twenty years left as a spoken language in the Gaeltacht.

In 1926 the Gaeltacht Commission Report stated that unless the state engages with the Gaeltacht in Irish it will have an anglicising influence. In 1986 another Gaeltacht Commission said that the state was the biggest anglicising effect on the Gaeltacht.

Today on a daily basis when people want to engage with the state they have to use English. This happens with the Gardaí, the courts and government departments such as agriculture and social protection. Spending on the provision of Irish language services in the latter equals 0.0006% of its budget.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“This is the first Gaeltacht Bill in 60 years and it is being forced and guillotined through the Oireachtas. There have been well over 130 amendments submitted of which we in Sinn Féin have 76. Few if any of these would have been reached because the government forced the bill through on the last day. Despite this bill containing some positive changes its overall effect will be negative. All Irish language groups are calling for it to be suspended to allow amendments to fix the problems.

“One of the major issues is the government’s plans to end directly elected Údarás na Gaeltachta membership. From now on County Councillors will be nominated to a reduced Údarás board. Also and most significantly for the Meath Gaeltachtaí, Rathcairn and Baile Gibb will lose a full time Údarás representative. This will have negative implications for jobs, community development and the language itself in Meath.

“In surveys 25% of parents say that they want to send their children to a Gaelscoil. Yet Gaelscoileanna only serve 5% of children. Fine Gael and Labour got rid of Scéim labhairt na Gaeilge and replaced it with a support package for families. The package includes one CD and one book that are available already through other government funded organisations.

“The government has reduced the power of the Coimisinéir Teanga and a large number of its departments are breaking the law with regards to Irish language provision without sanction. The survival and indeed the growth of the language can be achieved. Irish needs more that empty platitudes.  Minority languages have been strengthened in the Catalonia, Wales and the Basque Country, through strategic planning, modest resources but most importantly political will.”

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Dúirt an t-urlabhraí Gaeltachta Shinn Féin Peadar Tóibín go raibh díomá uafásach ar mhuintir an Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachtaí.

“Tá fadhbanna ollmhór ag baint leis an reachtaíocht seo. Fadhbanna a déanfaidh damáiste don Gaeltacht. Ta a lán rudaí in easnamh anseo freisin. Déanann an bille seo neamhaird ar na deiseanna atá ann chun fuinneamh nua a anáil isteach sa Gaeltacht. Bheadh sé furasta na heasnaimh seo a réitigh da mbeadh and rialtas dáiríre faoin Gaeilge, da mbeadh an Aire dáiríre faoi an próiseas comhairliúcháin leis na eagrais Gaeilge agus dá mbeadh an Aire dáiríre faoi an próiseas daonlathas san Oireachtas.

“Ta an Gaeilge in áit an leathphingin sá stáit seo. I rith an díospóireacht gairid chualamar beagáinín níos mó ná platitudes agus uaireanta focal nimhneach chomh súil le Language Imperialists ar thug an Teachta Creed ar Gaeilgeoirí. Fiú amháin i gcoiste inné dúirt an Teachta Flanagan go raibh sé in éadain airgead a caitheamh ar eolas sláinte a foilsiú i nGaeilge sa Gaeltacht.

“Táimid ag teacht chuig deireadh na bliana, bliain inar dhearna an rialtas seo dochar do Gaeilge. Dochar don Coimisinéir Teanga, dochair do Gaelscoileanna, dochair do Scéim labhairt na Gaeilge. Bhí sé déistineach a fheiceáil an rialtas ag bagairt Dónall Ó Cnáimhsí a bhí ag labhairt ar son muintir na Gaeltachtaí.  

“Is léir nach bhfuil suim dá laghad ag an Roinn no ag an rialtas plé oscailte daonlathas a chuir ar siúil anseo inniu. Mar sin diúltaím leis an próiseas in a iomlán. Nílimid sásta fanacht agus táim chun siúil amach chun mo déistin a thaispeáint ar an córas seo.”

Shiúil an freasúra ina iomláin amach tar éis na óráid gairid. D’fhág siad an t-Aire McGinley chun labhairt leis féin.

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Sinn Fein North Belfast Councillor Gerard McCabe has vowed not to be deflected from representing the Ardoyne community by the latest of a series of attacks which saw his family car spattered with paint last night.

Speaking today Councillor McCabe said:

"This latest cowardly attack in the early hours of Thursday morning involved splashing paint all over our family car.

"This is only one in a series of attacks over recent months on my family and other local republicans who are highly respected by this community. The attacks have generally been with paint and also involving graffiti and fly postering in the district during the night.

"I won't be deflected from representing this community that elected me last May.

"My family and the families of other local republicans that have been attacked suffered assassinations during the conflict at the hands of British soldiers and Loyalists.

"These few cowardly thugs are beneath contempt and already I've been proud to have many calls of solidarity from neighbours and constituents.

"I will continue to do my utmost to deliver for my community regardless of mindless acts like these."

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Sinn Féin launch a 'PEOPLE'S PACT'


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Sinn Féin Dublin South West