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Sinn Féin budget supports fair and sustainable recovery - Pearse Doherty

Sinn Fein’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said Sinn Fein’s alternative Budget would repair communities, rebuild the economy and renew society. The budget lays out how Sinn Fein would abolish the local property tax and water charges and our programme for investing in disability services, health and education.

Download Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget 2015 here




Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin MLA and member of the Justice Committee, Sean Lynch, said Justice Minister David Forde must take ownership of the radical change needed in the Prison Service.

Speaking after a Sinn Féin motion calling on the Justice Minister not to delay in implementing the recommendations of the the Prison Review Team Sean Lynch said:

“The reform of the Prison Service is one of the biggest challenges David Forde will face in his role as Minister of Justice.

“The Anne Owers Review is the latest in a series of critical reports and reviews into the Prison Service. All had a common thread - the Prison Service is not fit for purpose, living in a different era and in need of fundamental root and branch change.

“What they present in their recommendations is the need for radical transformation to bring the prisons here into the 21st century.  The words of the Review team were clear – ‘Incremental improvements are not enough’.

“The momentum must not be lost and change should not be left to those who have been in charge to date.  I call on the Minister to ensure this happens.  He must take ownership and become the driver in the overall managing process.

“The report states clearly ‘that the next six months are vital’ and I agree. A delay will give those with the intention of cherry-picking and who have a culture of resistance, the chance to gain the upper hand, leaving the Minister with an even greater challenge.” We must therefore see action now.”

 

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Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Michelle Gildernew in supporting World Diabetes Day (today 14th November) has called for more awareness of the illness to be brought into the public arena.

Michelle Gildernew said:

“It’s important that World Diabetes Day is taking place. It comprises of hundreds of campaigns, activities, screenings, lectures, meetings and more, and is proving internationally effective in spreading the message about diabetes.

“There needs to be a focus on helping to try and raise awareness of this illness, to alert patients to the early warning signs and to increase knowledge and awareness about diabetes and its treatment.

"For many adjusting to the news that they are diabetic, or a member of their family has diabetes, takes time and it is often helpful to meet other people who have been through a similar situation. They can offer understanding, help and support at an important time

“Diabetes for the main part can be managed if people are given the correct information so it is important that we get as much information into the public domain as possible.”

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Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson, Deputy Seán Crowe has expressed alarm at reports that the government is planning to abolish all financial support for new postgraduate students.
A report in the Sunday Business Post claims that from next year existing grants and maintenance support for postgraduates will be scrapped.
Deputy Crowe said: “Any attempt by the government to abolish support for postgraduate students will have serious implications for the majority of people who wish to continue their studies at third level.
“I join the Union of Students, Ireland (USI) in calling for the minister for education, Ruairí Quinn, to honour his pre-election pledge that there would be no increase in fees or cuts to the maintenance grant.
“The withdrawal of funding for postgraduate funding will mean many students are prevented from studying for a master’s degree or PhD.
“Irish postgraduates will be forced to leave Ireland to avail of research opportunities. It will banish thousands of Irish students from accessing postgraduate education, which will have a detrimental impact on Irish universities that depend on postgraduate research to boost their rankings, generate additional economic output and enhance our international reputation.
“This government is taking decisions that are in danger of making third level education the preserve of the wealthy. That is unacceptable and it makes little sense at a time when we are attempting to produce highly skilled well educated graduates, who are an incentive for high tech industry to come to these shores.”
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Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the decision by the north’s Attorney General to re-open the inquests of 10 people from the greater Ballymurphy area who were shot dead by the British Parachute Regiment 40 years ago.

Mr. Adams described the decision as a “landmark legal judgement which provides the families with an opportunity to get to the truth of the killing of their loved ones.”
Mr. Adams added: “The decision by the Attorney General is evidence of the importance of having policing and justice powers transferred”.

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“The killing of 11 people in Ballymurphy 40 years ago by the British Parachute Regiment came just five months prior to the murder by that same regiment of 14 civil rights marchers in Derry. Subsequently, Paratroopers also killed others, including a 14 boy in Lenadoon, a 17 year old in the Clonard area, a student teacher from Downpatrick outside St. Comgalls in Divis Street and Robert McKinnie and Robert Johnstone from the Shankill.

“Six months after Bloody Sunday, on 9 July 1972, they shot dead five people in Springhill. Among the dead was the second Catholic priest to be killed in greater Ballymurphy. He was administering the Last Rites to victims when he himself was cut down. Of the four others killed, three were teenagers and the last was a father of six children who was with the local priest.

“On 9 March 1973 the Parachute Regiment arrived in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast. Within weeks they had shot and killed 5 people, one a 12-year-old boy. In South Armagh a 12 year old schoolgirl was shot dead on 14 August 1976.

“None of those killed had any connection to any armed group. They were all innocent civilians. And there deaths were part of a planned policy by the British government to pacify the community.

“The inquests held into the Ballymurphy victims were a fraud and part of the process of cover-up that accompanied British state killings in the north.

“The decision by the Attorney General is evidence of the importance of having policing and justice powers transferred. Despite the clear evidence in support of the reopening of these inquests a British Attorney General would never have agreed to it.

“The new inquests, held under different rules, provide the families with the possibility of getting to the truth.

“The inquests must now be held without delay and the families must be provided with the necessary resources to ensure that all of the facts are uncovered.

“The AG decided not to reopen the inquest into the death of Pat McCarthy. The families and Sinn Fein will continue to campaign for his inquest to be reopened.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has described as “disgraceful” revelations that Mr John Browne TD has been receiving a Ministerial pension despite being a sitting TD.

Deputy Adams has called on Mr Browne to make a full public statement in the Dáil on the issue.

“This money needs to be repaid to the exchequer immediately. People across the state are suffering real hardship and were shocked at the extravagant pension arrangements for former Ministers revealed last week.

“It is disgraceful that a sitting TD is in receipt of a Ministerial pension that he is not entitled to.

“There also needs to be a thorough investigation into how this situation arose and was able to continue undiscovered for nine months.

“Had Sinn Féin not submitted our PQ on ministerial pensions this situation could have continued indefinitely.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has welcomed the news of a new initiative by the Library services in the North in which library users can now download eBooks.

Cathal Ó hOisín said:

“This is a welcome development and keeping in step with the advances of modern technologies. Library members can now download almost 25,000 eBook items in the Libraries NI catalogue to most eBook readers and handheld devices, including some mobile phones as well as to personal computers.

“There are thousands of titles now available and they can be downloaded 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This free service is open to library members across the North.

“There is also the added bonus that there are no reservation fees and no fines, with the books automatically expiring when the loan period finishes. This service will appeal to a wide range of people who may not be able to pop down to their local library on a regular basis or live those that live in an area that hasn’t a regular library.

“If people are not already a member of their local library I would encourage them to go along and join up today. It’s important that we support our library services and ensure that as many people as possible get access to the wide range of services on offer."

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Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has welcomed the announcement of 100 new jobs by Prometric in Dundalk.
Deputy Adams described today’s announcement as “a welcome development.
The Sinn Féin TD said: “Dundalk and County Louth have suffered badly as a result of the current economic crisis. Today’s announcement is a welcome development with the potential of more jobs to come in the years ahead.”
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Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has called for the rationalisation of mobile roaming charges across the island of Ireland.

Speaking ahead of a motion tomorrow Phil Flanagan said:

“While I welcome the work done across Europe to lower the roaming charges, we still have a disparity across the border region of Ireland where businesses are being disadvantaged due to expensive data and phone roaming charges.

“It is important that we create a level playing field in attracting new businesses and the creation of the all Ireland tariff would help attract high tech industries to the North.

“According to the most recent Ofcom report in 2007, inadvertent mobile roaming alone was costing people in border areas as much as £11m per year. This was at a time before the proliferation of smart phones and a massive surge in the amount of data being used on mobile phones, so it is anticipated that the total amount lost to the local economy is far higher than previous estimates.

“I am particularly concerned at the cost of roaming data charges being applied across the border as these tend to be very expensive for businesses trading in border areas. 

“While the price of telephone charges have dropped considerably over the years, data charges have remained high and with the onset of e-commerce it is critical that companies along the border areas are given the opportunity to compete on an even basis.”

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What: Launch of Sinn Féin Submission to Budget 2012
When: Tuesday 15th November, 11am
Where: Georgian Suite, Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street
Who: Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald, Pearse Doherty and Peadar Tóibín

Sinn Féin’s Submission to Budget 2012, ‘The Route to Recovery’, will be launched in Buswells Hotel tomorrow, Tuesday 15th November, by Party President Gerry Adams, Vice President Mary Lou McDonald, Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty and Enterprise Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín.

For more information contact Shaun Tracey on 0877735218.

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