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Sinn Féin Westminster 2015 Election Broadcast

Sinn Féin stands for equality and protecting the most vulnerable. Our progressive politics and commitment to the rights of citizens is the only alternative to the extreme austerity agenda of the British government. A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for real and lasting positive change.

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...

Latest Statements


Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Chris Hazzard has said that schools uniforms need to be affordable to every family.

Mr Hazzard stated:

“It has emerged in the past few days that the cost of a school uniform in many schools are exorbitant. 

“The price involved, which includes the need for a PE kit, is putting many families under severe financial pressure.

“It is especially affecting those who have several children at one school and actually influencing their choice of school. 

“Apart from the identity benefit of having a uniform one of the other positive aspects is that regardless of the financial situation of a child’s family, they all dress the same.

“However if we do not ensure that uniforms are affordable to all families then we will break the equality created by the introduction of uniforms.

“It is important that schools follow the guidance set out by the Department of Education and that Boards of Governors work to ensure that their school uniform is accessible to every family.”  


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson says President Barroso "needs too give his head a good shake"

Following President Barroso's speech in the European Parliament Ms Anderson said:

"President Barroso needs to give his head a good shake. Where I come from if something doesn't work then you don't carry on doing it and expect it to work the next time. Mr Barroso is proposing a continuation of the same failed policies that haven't worked in recent years.

"The problem he hasn't addressed is the failure of the policy of chasing after third world conditions in employment and public services. We will not get out of the crisis by lowering wages and destroying jobs and public services, by cutting spending and pouring billions into the banks.

"And now Mr Barroso wants to change the EU Treaties to create a 'federation of nation states'. What he is really about is taking more power away from local, regional and national democratic institutions and putting it in the hands of remote and unaccountable institutions. He wants more power to impose the failed policies of austerity on reluctant peoples 

"I agree with Mr Barroso that we need a debate on the proposals the Commission will be coming forward with. I agree that the elections to the European Parliament in 2014 will be an important part of that debate. He can rest assured that Sinn Féin will take the lead across Ireland in promoting a real debate and in promoting a European Union which genuinely serves the interests of its peoples.

"And I can assure him that the sort of EU that people want is not the EU that he and his golden circle of friends want."



Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson welcomed the release of Iosu Uribetxeberria. Following a meeting with representatives of Herrira (the association for the rights of Basque prisoners) in Strasbourg Ms Anderson said:

"I welcome the release of Iosu Uribetxeberria, who will now be able to spend his final days in dignity and with his family.

"However there are other humanitarian issues facing Basque prisoners.

"There are another 13 seriously ill prisoners who should be released immediately.

"The illegal practice of extension of the terms of prisoners who are approaching their release date must be ended. This practice has already been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights.

"All Basque prisoners should be repatriated to the Basque Country in order to be close to their families.

"The Basque peace process, which is fully supported by the Basque political prisoners, has created a new scenario for a resolution of the conflict. Those opposed to this process should not use prison policy in order to try to derail it."



Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has described as “extremely worrying” the findings from an OECD (Organisation and Economic Co-operate Development) think-tank which suggests that not enough time is being spent teaching science based subjects in Irish primary schools.

The OECD 'Education at a Glance' report reveals that only 4% of classroom time is actually devoted to science, a figure that is half the international average and contrasts with the time spent teaching a subject like religion which stands at 10%.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Despite Ireland being in the grip of a recession, the science and IT based industries continues to flourish to the extent that Irish based firms are being forced to recruit abroad for personnel who can fulfil specialised roles.

“It is extremely worrying that this report’s findings show Ireland lagging way behind other OECD countries in the amount of time allocated in primary schools to the teaching of science based subjects.

“The current figure of 4% is half the OECD average and this places our future workforce at a considerable disadvantage. In addition to this, our education system is ill-equipped to produce graduates who are multi-lingual, another significant impediment to finding employment in a global workforce. These are key issues Education Minister Ruairí Quinn must prioritise and address as part of any reform of science based subjects.

“Children who are taught science at a young age are better able to understand and prosper at the subject in later life. The findings of this report must be scrutinised and acted upon. The report highlights a glaring weakness in the current system.

“There needs to be far greater priority given to the teaching of science based subjects which must be done in tandem with how maths and languages are taught. If we fail to implement this type of reform, then our ability to attract jobs by having in place a highly skilled workforce will be greatly diminished.”



Commenting following the resolution of the Lagan Brick dispute, Cavan/Monaghan Dáil Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that ‘this long awaited news is very welcome.’

The Sinn Féin TD, who has been working to bring about an agreed end to the dispute since it started on December 15th 2011, commended the workers and owners of the company on finally reaching agreement on terms acceptable to both parties.

“With the passage of over 270 days of stoic protest by the former Lagan Brick workforce, this long awaited news is very welcome.

“The detail of the terms of the settlement is a matter for the workers and for the Lagan company representatives. While it is regrettable that it has taken so long to resolve the points of difference between both parties, I nevertheless commend both sides on finally reaching agreement.

“I thank Gerry Adams TD and Councillor Jim McVeigh (Belfast City Council) who have worked closely with me and very especially over the last week leading to the achievement of the settlement terms.

“I also acknowledge the efforts of Minister of State Shane McEntee TD.

“I wish the former workforce success in their search for alternative employment. Whatever the future holds for the closed Lagan Brick plant at Kingscourt, I would hope that the former workforce would be given most favourable consideration in the event that this plant reopens under whatever management” concluded Deputy O Cáoláin.



Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson Phil Flanagan has said that the latest statistics on the number of people unemployed here demonstrates that the continuing pursuance of austerity policies by the both the British and Irish governments is having a devastating impact on communities locally.

Mr Flanagan, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, said:

"Unemployment stands at 8.2%, but more tellingly, only two out of every three people of working age here are actually employed. Add to that the hundreds of qualified and skilled young people that are emigrating every week in search of employment elsewhere.

"This demonstrates that that the continuing pursuance of failed austerity policies by both the British and Irish governments is having a devastating impact on communities here.

"What we need to see is a move away from the failed policies of austerity and a move towards economic recovery that is based on job creation, reducing levels of poverty and on protecting our public services.

"The local Executive realise this with its Programme for Government investing £1bn into the economy. This includes an increased target of £365 million of foreign direct investment, £400 million from indigenous businesses and a £225 million injection into the jobs fund.

"However what is needed to accompany this is the transfer of Fiscal powers to allow local politicians to do more to affect the fortunes of the local economy, instead of fiscal decisions being made at Westminster with a Tory driven austerity mindset."


Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA today launched a social farming initiative aimed at developing linkages between the agriculture and health care sectors.

The ‘Social Farming Across Borders’ (SoFAB) is an innovative project linking the health care and agriculture sectors in the north and south of Ireland to establish a novel social support service to improve health and support farm diversification.

Launching the project at Loughry College alongside Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for Ireland, Fergus O’Dowd, Minister O’Neill said: “Social farming provides an opportunity for a joined up approach to the care and rehabilitation of vulnerable groups in society. Experiencing farming at first hand, combined with physical activity has been shown to help in the rehabilitation of a broad range of vulnerable people suffering from mental health problems, physical and learning disabilities and drug or alcohol addiction.

“This project has the potential to make a difference to the lives of so many people by providing a service which will bring about health, economic and societal benefits. It provides a vital link between health and rural life, and I am delighted that my Department is playing an active role in making it happen. As well as meeting the need for tackling rural poverty and social isolation in rural areas, social farming presents new opportunities for farm diversification. I encourage farmers and farm families to take the time to investigate its potential benefits to their business.”

Minister O’Dowd further added his recommendation to farmers and farm families across the Region to take the time to consider the potential benefits of Social Farming to their business and local community. He said: “The Social Farming project has been awarded funding of almost €700,000 from the European Union’s Interreg IVA Programme. My department welcomes the targeting social inclusion through this initiative. The development of Social Farming Across Borders network further enables farmers and those involved in health and social care services to engage and develop the provision of Social Farming in the cross border region and Northern Ireland.”

Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of SEUPB also welcomed the project by saying: “Social Farming is an innovative project and one which the SEUPB is delighted to be supporting. It addresses one of the core objectives of the INTERREG IVA Programme to contribute to a more sustainable cross-border region. Upon completion, this project will have helped build capacity among service providers and through its pilot programme it will gather crucial information on how best to implement this new concept of service delivery in the eligible area.”

Representatives from the farming and health sectors heard from a number of speakers, including Gaynor Tate from Care Farming UK and Richard Nicol of West Midlands Care Farming and Paul Henry of the Community of Practice Group.

During the next two years, the Social Farming Across Borders project, which has been jointly developed by University College Dublin, Queen’s University of Belfast, Leitrim Development Company and DARD’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) will establish twenty demonstration social farms and a cross border network of farmers, health care professionals and people that use services.


Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on EU Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly has said Jose Manuel Barrosso’s “State of the Union” address today confirms that a federal Europe is the ultimate goal of the EU Commission despite claims during previous referenda campaigns that this was just scare mongering by those on the no side.

Senator Reilly said:

“The mask has finally slipped during today’s State of the Union address by Jose Manuel Barrosso in which he makes the claim that Europe needs to move to a federation of nation states.

“Sinn Féin has consistently warned that a federal Europe is the ultimate goal of those at the helm of the EU project. However we were always dismissed as scare mongers. Today’s comments from Barrosso prove our caution to have been correct.

“We are living in a time of austerity and of dismal economic fortunes yet President Barrosso has chosen to headline his address with a call for an unspecified, undefined ‘Federation of Nation States’.

“This shows how out of touch with the reality on the ground he, and the Commission, must be. Citizens across the EU, especially young people, are struggling with sky-high levels of unemployment and underemployment.

“I can assure President Barrosso that federalist pipe-dreams are not keeping them awake at night. What’s keeping them awake at night is the economic mess caused by the type of austerity policies this Commission is wedded to.

“What citizens in Ireland and everywhere else demand of the EU is practical leadership and some evidence that they are focussing their energies on creating jobs, protecting public services and sheltering the most vulnerable from the outcomes of austerity. This evidence was not to be found in President Barrosso's speech today.

“Sinn Fein will be closely examining the Commission’s proposals on the banking sector and I once again welcome the Commission’s commitment to supporting a Youth Guarantee. In both cases the detail will decide our position.”



Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has called on Minister Brendan Howlin TD to use the existing mechanisms within the Croke Park agreement to once and for all tackle excessive pay across the top of the public sector.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Acceptance by Government Ministers over recent days that there are mechanisms within Croke Park to tackle excessive pay across the upper echelons of the public sector is to be welcomed.

“Over the past year Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has hid behind the agreement as a justification for standing over runaway pay and pensions for senior civil servants, hospital consultants and special advisors.

“The Government’s refusal thus far to tackle runaway pay and pensions at the top of the public sector has understandably created a frustration for citizens with the agreement. Labour and Fine Gael have a real opportunity now to tackle excessive pay and restore the people’s confidence in the public sector.

“Low and middle income public sector workers have seen their pay significantly reduced over the last number of years. New entrants into the service have been disproportionately hit. These workers see the Croke Park Agreement as their last line of defence against Government cuts.

“Low and middle income public sector workers must be protected but this protection should not prevent Government from finally pursuing the high rollers.”



Sinn Féin the only party in the North firmly opposed to austerity - McGuinness


Sinn Féin representatives and members of LGBT groups supporting marriage equality at Stormont.