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A Fair Recovery Is Possible

Sinn Féin has launched a state wide campaign for a Fair Recovery. The campaign will involve a series of public meetings and the distribution of close to one million leaflets door to door.

This campaign is about setting out some of Sinn Féin’s priorities and to start a debate about the future, about what type of country and society we want to live in, about equality, and the type of recovery we want.

Visit our special web section A Fair Recovery Is Possible here

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Some sights and sounds from the Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare on June 21, 2015. Main speaker Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD. During the course of her speech she talked about the need for a fair economic recovery north and south; demanded the British to come clean about collusion; and expressed solidarity with the people of Greece.


Martin McGuinness speaking at Stormont said that Sinn Féin's conditional support for the budget bill will create the space to resolve outstanding issues and ensure the executive has workable and sustainable finances and see the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty has said Minister Noonan’s recent comments that the extension on maturities for Ireland’s EFSF and EFSM loans would yield “billions” have been exposed as pure speculation.

Speaking today Deputy Doherty said;

“Last month, within minutes of a Eurogroup meeting Minister Noonan told media that what had been agreed would yield ‘billions’ for Ireland. Yet today I received a reply to a parliamentary question inviting Minister Noonan to explain exactly how these billions would be saved.

“His reply failed to explain in anyway how he arrived at his billions. Minister Noonan admits that the detail of any extension was unclear and depended on a number of factors.

“Once again we see a government seemingly more interested in spinning our debt negotiations rather than actually delivering progress. By progress, I mean an actual beneficial outcome for citizens and taxpayers. That means less austerity over the coming years.

“Minister Noonan and his colleagues need to know that the public is not interested in any more spin and that their patience is wearing thin with the unproductive government negotiating strategy.”

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Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has urged people to participate in the national parental patronage survey on school preference, currently being taken on a pilot basis in 38 designated towns and areas across the country.
Describing the survey as an “unique opportunity for parents to have their say on the type of school they would like to see in place for their children”, the Cork North Central TD continued: “I believe it is important that when, for the first time, the state is actively seeking the views of parents, that they participate in this survey regarding their preference for the type of school in which they would like to see their children educated.
“The surveys are open to parents who live in the designated areas and have children age 0-12 years old and I hope they will take this opportunity to register their choice, before the survey closes on Friday 8 February 2013.
“Anyone interested in registering their views can log onto the Department of Education's website where they can access information about the areas covered by the survey, the potential patrons and how the survey mechanism works.
“I hope that findings of these surveys will help shape our education system so that it properly meets the needs of our rapidly changing population.”

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Speaking during the Dáil debate tonight on the Technical Group private members’ motion on the promissory note, Sinn Féin spokesperson on jobs, enterprise and innovation, Peadar Toibín said:
“The actions of the Fine Gael/Labour government will determine whether or not every man, woman and child in this state is saddled with €10,000 debt each or the burden is electronically extinguished by the Central Bank.

“The signing of the promissory note has been a disaster for our people. The opportunity lost is enormous. This is money that will not be spent on jobs, hospitals, education, housing, transport infrastructure, garda stations. It directly translates into water charges, home taxes, higher PRSI, USC, income tax and VAT on hundreds of thousands of families living on the edge.

“The wealth of the nation is being retrospectively swapped for the debt of a defunct toxic private bank. This year, as this state falls over the 120% Debt to GDP cliff into unsustainability, neither Enda Kenny nor Eamon Gilmore can summon the nerve to follow through on their mandate and demand a write-down.

“The reality of people’s lives jars grossly with the overpaid government negotiators such as the minister for finance telling people not to get too excited that there is two months to get a deal.

“The IMF, George Sorros, your own selves two years ago broadly agreed with Sinn Féin’s write down position. But your inability to negotiate and your singular strategy of ingratiating yourself with the ECB has so far sorely let Ireland down.
“The government needs to clearly outline negotiation objectives, you need to communicate red lines, pivotally that no deal without write down is acceptable.

“We must demonstrate our deeply held intent in coming to a resolution in partnership with the ECB but equally we must show our preparedness to walk away from the promissory note this March unless a fair resolution is forthcoming.”
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Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has branded Ireland’s facilitation of secret CIA detention, rendition and interrogation programmes as disturbing.

Crowe made the comments after today’s release of a new report from the Open Society Justice Initiative, a human rights advocacy group, which states that Ireland was one of 54 states which helped facilitate the illegal actions of the CIA by permitting the use of its airspace and airports for flights associated with CIA extraordinary rendition operations.

Deputy Crowe said:
“This disturbing report, on the use of Irish airports and airspace by US military aircraft since 9/11, needs to be fully investigated. It highlights grave breaches of domestic and international law, and diminishes our standing as a neutral state.
“The report took information from a variety of high-level sources including the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the UN, all which point towards co-operation with illegal CIA rendition programmes.

“The report also cites documents from legal cases, brought by victims of rendition against some of the companies that aided the extraordinary rendition flights, which suggests that previous Governments allowed the use of Irish airspace and Shannon airport for these rendition flights.

“Additionally the report references diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks which show that previous Governments knew that rendition flights were using Irish airspace and airports, but despite public criticism, they continued to ensure American military transits continued.

“Rendition flights breach domestic and international law, yet it seems the Government of the time did nothing to stop this state’s facilitation of rendition flights.

“In response to concerns that Ireland was facilitating rendition flights, raised by the Irish Human Rights Commission in 2005, the Government stated that inspections of military planes in Shannon were not necessary because it had received assurances from the American administration that detainees had not been and would not be transported illegally through Irish territory. This latest report would suggest that those assurances were either naïve or a bad lie.

“In recent weeks the current Government has reiterated its support for the continued use of Shannon airport as a transit for foreign military flights. Sinn Féin stands against the use of any Irish airport and Irish airspace being used by foreign militaries engaged in aggressive military action. Ireland must uphold its historical tradition of neutrality.

“I am calling on the Government to make a public statement that it will refuse to participate in the CIA’s detention and rendition programme and disclose all information relating to past human rights violations.

“I am also calling on the current Government to create an independent body to investigate the potential human rights abuses and to put safeguards in place to ensure that Irish airspace is not used for illegal rendition flights.”
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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley TD has today demanded that Minister Hogan misleading the Dáil on climate change.
Deputy Stanley said: “Minister Hogan continues to mislead the Dáil on his commitment to introducing a Climate Change Bill, which both Labour and Fine Gael committed to in the Programme for Government.
“Then, the Minster said in November 2011 that a climate change bill was not a priority. Following questioning from me this afternoon the Minister denied ever promising a Climate Change Bill for 2012.
“This is untrue, in a Dáil debate in November 30th 2011 the Minister said, ‘As indicated in the government legislative programme it will be 2012 at the earliest’ when legislation will be introduced.
“He then went on to confirm that the Heads of Bill would be published in December 2012 and set out a road map to achieve this. To date the government has done nothing but break promises on climate change. His road map has led the government into a cul de sac.
“Sinn Féin introduced a comprehensive climate change bill last week. This bill can easily be adopted by the Dáil. It contains all the key components of an effective bill. The bill will see the introduction of five year carbon reduction targets. These will assist in the management of Ireland's reduction of carbon emissions in a planned and phased way.
“It will see the establishment of the Climate Change Commission. This will be independent of government and will prepare an assessment of the potential impact on the state of climate change and it will review on an annual basis the progress made.
“It will advise An Taoiseach on steps to be taken to meet agreed targets. Current government Ministers Phil Hogan, Dinny McGinly and Simon Coveney supported a similar bill in 2010. It is hypocrisy of the highest order that this government will now no longer support our bill simply because they are now in government.
Climate Change is too serious an issue to turn into a political football. I would urge Minister Hogan to reconsider his position and support our bill.”
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Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD, has expressed her deep disappointment at the Taoiseach’s failure to apologise to the surviving women of the Magdalene Laundries for the state’s role in their incarceration in these brutal institutions.

Deputy McDonald TD said:
“The report sets out definitely direct state involvement in the Magdalene Laundries. Governments of the day oversaw the unpaid forced labour endured by the young girls and women who worked in the laundries without pay or proper care. Courts placed women and girls in the laundries. Gardaí returned those who sought to escape.

“The Taoiseach’s response to the Magdalene Laundries report is deeply disappointing. Whilst this is a lengthy report and its details must be studied carefully, state involvement in the operation of the laundries has already been proven. Senator McAleese’s report simply reiterates that fact. So while the manner of compensation for the women requires consideration the absolute need for a full apology does not.

“Time is of the essence for the surviving women. They are elderly and many are unwell. They have lived with the stigma of the Magdalene Laundries and the brutality they experienced during their incarceration for their entire lives.

“The Taoiseach spoke of the courage of the women coming forward to tell their true stories: I only wish that their courage was matched today by some courage on the government’s part.

“The time for an apology is now. These women were not residents voluntarily offering their services and labour but were young, vulnerable women who were held in institutions, imprisoned and exploited.

“I am so disappointed for the surviving women, that the Taoiseach would not say today that the state was culpable and negligent, that the women told the truth and the government believes their stories and for that, it is sorry.

“A Dáil debate on the report is due in two weeks’ time. I am calling on the Taoiseach to come to the debate with a full apology on behalf of the state followed swiftly by details of a transparent redress scheme for the surviving women. Survivors must be compensated for lost wages and pension. Health and housing needs must be provided for.”
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Peadar Tóibín TD Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation challenged the government to act on end upward only rent clauses that are causing hundreds of jobs losses every quarter, business closures and a loss of competitiveness. Following the meeting Peadar Tóibín TD said: ‘To date the government has hidden behind the Attorney General’s unseen and unpublished advice that there is a constitutional bar on dealing with the issue.
“The government has been lobbied extensively by the property sector, by landlords’ bodies and developers to maintain upward only rent clauses. Junior Minister John Perry bizarrely replied to my questioning of him last week that Upward Only Rents were not the cause of business closures.
“This at a time when businesses such as B&Q, HMV, La Senza, PC World, Curry's, Black Tie, Pamela Scott, Game, Atlantic Homecare and many others explicitly point to Upward Only Rents as being a major part of the problem.
“Minister Bruton confirmed his complete confidence in Minister Perry despite the fact he contradicted his analyses. FG/Lab either have another agenda or they are out of touch with enterprise. If as the Minister says that the removal of Upward Only Rents are unconstitutional then the Minister needs to bring forward a constitutional amendment to protect jobs. The Minister continues to refuse that proposal. This is proving to be desperately costly to the economy.
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Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD demanded today that the Minister for Health open a €12 million 50-bed community nursing home which has been empty since it was completed by the HSE two years ago.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: “As part of the planned St Michael's Regeneration Project, a purpose- built community nursing home, with state-of-the-art facilities, was built on the football pitches of the old St Michael's School in St Michael's Estate, Inchicore, Dublin 8.

“It was located next to the Community Care facility because there was an identifiable need for community nursing home beds in this area which is one of the most disadvantaged communities of Dublin and has an aging community.

“It was located here as part of an overall plan for community care. This was to involve additional beds in the now closed Brú Caoimhghín and a refurbishment of the Meath Hospital.

“Two years ago, illogically and at short notice, Brú Caoimhghín, which had 50 beds, was closed but the new facility at St Michael's has not opened.

“Meanwhile, nearby St James's Hospital which was to use the St Michael’s and Brú Caoimhghín for convalescent facilities, is struggling to find nursing home beds for its patients due for discharge because of the lack of beds in the vicinity. Patients are being sent to private beds in private nursing homes.

I am demanding that Minister O'Reilly open the facility immediately, relieve the pressure on St James' Hospital and live up to the commitment that half the beds in the new facility will be for local patients.

There is a financial logic to opening St Michael's Nursing Home. It will allow St James’s Hospital discharge patients sooner after surgery, and so prevent patients being on trolleys in A&E or being in acute beds when they require convalescent or aftercare beds in a nursing home.

I call on the Minister to reject the proposal to run this hospital on a public-private partnership. The privatisation of the public health system needs to end. If the HSE cannot run the facility, why not grant it, with the required operating costs, to St James’s Hospital?
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Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said Marian Price should be released immediately. The Junior Minister was speaking after visiting Marian Price and said her health has deteriorated since the death of her sister Dolours.

The West Belfast MLA said:

“It is a disgrace and totally unjust that yet again the date for Marian Price ‘s Parole Commission hearing has been put back.

“It is clear that her health has worsened since the death of her sister Dolours and it serves no purpose whatsoever to keep her in custody.

“Marian Price has already been granted bail on the charges she faces, yet is unjustly held at the dictate of the British Secretary of State. She should be released on bail immediately.

“I met Justice Minister David Ford last week concerning this case and again call on him to intercede and ensure that justice is served and this clearly unwell woman is released immediately.”

Videos

Sights and sounds from Bodenstown 2015


Photos

Gerry Adams