Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Latest Statements

Sinn Féin President elect Mary Lou McDonald TD gives her first major speech to party activists


Toggle

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the government’s roadmap for growth was the latest in a long line of glossy reports that promised much but delivered little.

He said the Medium Term Economic Strategy, published today, sets out business as usual but is based on economic assumptions from a government which had consistently mis-forecast growth projections.

Deputy Doherty said:

“This government is big into reports, but not into action. It’s easy to see that it paid external consultants €70,000 to advise them on this report because it is full of spin but vague on facts.

“This is the seventh set of growth assumptions from this government and if it gets it right, it will be the first time. Nothing gives me hope that they will meet these targets because they are committing to pursue the same policies which will entail continuing with austerity, continuing to be hands-off on the mortgage crisis and failing to stimulate the economy with the reserves available to the State in the NPRF and other avenues.

“For the hundreds of thousands that have been left on the dole queues from this government the message is cross your fingers and hope that you’re not one of the nearly 10% that will still be unemployed in five years’ time.

“In addition, while this is a growth plan which is supposedly about addressing recovery, it does not address how it will fix what this government and the last has destroyed over the last six years. There is talk of keeping spending low and no further tax increases but there is no plan for fixing the ailing health service which will see more cuts in the New Year, nor of reducing the tax burden for low and middle income families.

“Finally, the government still has its head in the sand when it comes to our unsustainable debt burden. The passing reference today to last year’s ‘game-changer’ shows that the government is not seriously pursuing the strategy to separate banking debt from sovereign debt. It is waiting for Europe to offer up a debt solution, but it is failing to press the issue and ensure Europe knows that the Irish people refuse to continue carrying this debt.”

ENDS

Toggle

Sinn Féin Clondalkin Councillor Eoin Ó Broin has described the South Dublin County Council budget for 2014 as “good for communities and good for jobs”. The budget was agreed by the County Council last Thursday with a near unanimous vote.

Cllr Ó Broin said:

“The budget passed by South Dublin County Council last Thursday is good for communities and good for jobs. It provides for an additional €6million investment in community services and economic initiatives.

“Despite the fact that central Government refused to pass on the local property tax raised in South Dublin to the Council our budget for next year will allow the Council to do more.

“Additional money will be invested in playgrounds, maintenance of key public spaces and developing the villages of Clondalkin, Lucan, Tallaght and Rathfarnam.

“The Council will also continue to spend up to €1million in the window replacement programme.

“In addition Sinn Féin & Labour Councillors will invest a portion of their Council expenses into funding disability extension grants.

“Unlike many other local authorities across the country, Council tenants in South Dublin will not be charged the property tax.

“The Council also plans to increase investment in assisting small and medium sized businesses and attracting further investment into the County.

“At a time of savage cutbacks from central government in other areas the Sinn Féin and Labour controlling group on South Dublin County Council has managed to work with Council management to produce a budget that is fair and that will increase investment in community services and economic regeneration.

“While 2014 will be a very challenging time for many people and for the Council, the budget agreed last Thursday will see real improvements in Council services.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha has said that Fine Gael and Labour councillors across the State should be putting pressure on the Government not to proceed with the hand-over of water services to Irish Water on 1 January.

Cllr. Mac Donncha said:

"The Report of the Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan has clearly exposed the major flaws in the proposed hand-over of water services from Dublin City Council to Irish Water on 1 January. The City and the citizens will suffer major financial losses and all this is being done to facilitate the imposition of domestic water charges and, ultimately, the privatisation of water services. In addition, Dublin faces the prospect of increased commercial water charges, thus damaging business in the capital.

"A Government that claims to be reforming and empowering local democracy is actually taking more powers and responsibilities away from Councils. Fine Gael and Labour councillors in Dublin and across the State should be putting pressure on the Government to halt this plan and not to proceed with ramming the Water Services No. 2 Bill through the Dáil this week."

Toggle

Sinn Féin EU candidate, Matt Carthy, has hit out at EirGrid for again failing to listen to the demands and concerns of communities living along the route of the proposed North-South Interconnector.

Carthy made his comments following the publication of EirGrid’s proposed final line route for the scheme this week.

Cllr Carthy said:

“Clearly the word consultation means nothing to EirGrid as they have completely disregarded and ignored the demands of the communities that the proposed lines be under-grounded.

“The genuine concerns expressed by residents who are expected to live along the routes of these power-lines over the impact on land values, agriculture, tourism and the potential consequences on human health are validated by international evidence. EirGrid has chosen to ignore these voices and have instead pressed on with their proposed route of overhead high-voltage power-lines despite the wishes of the communities affected.

“Undergrounding of the power-lines is the safest and best option and has been recognised by an International Expert Commission, employed by the government as ‘a viable option’.  It is my firm view that should EirGrid continue to pursue their current plans they will be costing themselves money, time and good-will.  

“I am reiterating my call for EirGrid to initiate a change in policy and develop an underground strategy for the high-voltage grid networks.  I am also appealing to the government to intervene to direct that this scheme go ahead only on the basis that the lines are placed underground” he concluded.

Toggle

Sinn Féin has opposed the establishment of Irish Water from the start. We firmly believe it is the Trojan horse to allow creeping privatisation of essential services. This view is further substantiated by legal opinion given to Dublin City Council which indicated that the bill gave no guarantee against privatisation.

Toggle

Speaking in the Seanad this morning Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane said it was unacceptable that Fergus O’Dowd is refusing to answer important questions regarding the transfer of water services from local authorities to Irish Water.

Senator Cullinane said:

“The Minister is like Manuel from Faulty Towers. It doesn’t matter what question he is asked his response is always the same – I don’t know.

“Well the ‘I know nothing’ defence just doesn’t wash. The Minister has a responsibility to the House and the people of Ireland and he should stop being so evasive and answer legitimate questions that are put to him from the floor of the Seanad.

“The haste with which the Water Services Bill has been rushed through the Seanad is a cause for concern. This Bill will establish Irish Water and transfer assets from Local Authorities to them.

“Sinn Féin has grave concerns are opposed to the introduction of water charges for already hard pressed households.

“How can Enda Kenny say in his state of the nation speech that he plans to reduce taxes now that the Troika have left, while on the other hand his government is ready to introduce water metering which is yet another tax on households?

“In light of such hypocrisy, one has to view the establishment of the Commission for Energy Regulation as a convenient smoke screen behind which the Government will hide when challenged about charges and rates.

“The lack of an ability to pay clause or poverty proofing in the legislation is yet another example of this Government’s lack of concern for ordinary families who are struggling to get by.

“This tax will result in a substantial yearly bill for households and transfer public assets from Local Authorities to a semi-state company that will eventually be privatized.

“The Minister and Enda Kenny should deal with the many concerns that have been raised by Sinn Féin and by others including Owen Keegan, Dublin City Manager.”  

Toggle

Tá sé curtha i leith an Aire Phil Hogan ag an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh go bhfuil pobail tuaithe fágtha in áit na leathphingine aige lena leasuithe ar an gcóras rialtas áitiúil.

Ag labhairt dó sa Seanad ar an mbille um Leasú Rialtas Áitiúil 2013, deir an Seanadóir Ó Clochartaigh:

“An tionchar a bheidh ag na leasaithe atá molta ag an Aire Phil Hogan ina cháipéis 'Putting People First', maidir leis an gcóras rialtas áitiúil ná chun na pobail tuaithe a fhágáil ar deireadh má chuirtear i bhfeidhm iad. 
“Lagóidh an bhille an daonlathas áitiúil agus tabharfar breis cumhachtaí d'oifigigh agus lucht maorlathais in san infreastruchtúr sa gcóras rialtas áitiúil. 
“Cé go bhfuil gnéithe dearfacha sa bhille, tá imní orm ach go h-áirithe ar an tionchar a bheidh ag na h-athruithe molta ar na ceantair tuaithe. 
“Creidim gur chóir go gcoinneoidh, go gcaomhnóidh agus go bhforbróidh na hÚdaráis Áitiúla a gcuid córais poiblí uisce féin, chun foinse uisce d'ardchaighdeán, saor in aisce ag an bpointe soláthar a dheimhniú do shaoránaithe. 
“Tá an-imní orm maidir leis an smacht atá dhá éileamh ag na hÚdaráis Áitiúla maidir leis na cistí LEADER ó na comhlachtaí forbartha áitiúla a bhfuil tuiscint agus gaol i bhfad níos fearr acu leis na riachtanais atá ag a gcuid pobail féin. 
“Ba chóir níos mo neamhspleáchais a thabhairt do na hÚdaráis Áitiúla maidir le h-infreastruchtúr na mbóithre agus cúrsaí iompar, ach níor choir go mbeadh cead acu na Tionscnaimh Iompar Tuaithe ina gceantair a ghabháil chucu féin. 
“Ba mhaith le Sinn Féin chomh maith go mbeadh na hÚdaráis Áitiúla níos freagraí as póilíneacht chuntasach agus cur i gcoinne coiriúlacht ar an dóigh céanna is a fheidhmíonn na Páirtnéireachtaí Póilíneachta ó thuaidh. 
“Is é fírinne an scéil ná go bhfuil an reachtaíocht seo ag baint an bonn de na comhairlí chontae agus cathrach agus ag iarraidh aird a bhaint do na fíorcheisteanna a bhaineann le h-acmhainní a chur ar fáil dóibh lena gcuid oibre a dhéanamh ag an leibhéal áitiúil.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has accused Minister Phil Hogan of putting rural people last with local government reforms.

Speaking in the Seanad on the Local Government Reform Bill 2013, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“Minister Phil Hogans's document on local Government Reform entitled 'Putting People First' is actually going to result in putting rural people last if implemented.
“The bill will dilute local democracy and hand more power to officials and bureaucrats in the local authority infrastructure.
“Although there are a number of positives in the bill, I am concerned in particular at the impact the changes will have on rural areas.
“I believe that Local Authorities should continue to own, maintain and develop the public water system to provide water for human consumption free at the point of delivery
“I am also very concerned at the power grab that is going on in relation to LEADER funding by local authorities away from the local development companies, who have a much better understanding of the needs of their communities.
“More autonomy should be given to local authorities in relation to road and transport infrastructure, but they shouldn't be allowed to take over the very successful rural transport projects in their areas.
“Sinn Féin would also like to see local authorities become more central to accountable policing and crime prevention similar to the District Policing Partnerships in the North. 
“The reality here is that this bill is being used to further undermine our county and city councils and as a distraction from the real issue of not providing the resources needed to do work at a local level.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin councillor Jim McVeigh said those behind recent attacks in Belfast city centre, including last night’s attempted fire bombing, need to face reality.

The Sinn Féin leader on Belfast City Council said:

“Those behind these attacks need to face the reality that this is 2013 and not the 90s, 80s or the 70s.

“The reality is that there is a peaceful way open now for republicans and nationalists to achieve a United Ireland, something that was never there in the old Orange State.

“Being wedded to using physical force for the sake of it and not facing the reality that it has miniscule support and actually will not achieve anything, is plainly self-defeating. The main people suffering from their actions are those within the nationalist community either through disruption or sending young people to prison.

“These people appear to be the mirror images of the most right wing unionists and are full of rhetoric but silent when it comes to a strategy or explaining how their actions will actually achieve their goal.

“Their supporters are more interested in attacking Sinn Féin than sitting down and rationally trying to work out how a better life can be achieved for all the people of Ireland.

“It is well beyond the time that they took stock of what they are doing, who’s agenda does it actually suit, clearly those that don’t want change, and came to the only sensible decision to call a halt to their anti-people and self-defeating actions.”  

Toggle

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has accused Minister Phil Hogan of putting rural people last with local government reforms.

Speaking in the Seanad today on the Local Government Reform Bill 2013, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“Minister Phil Hogans's document on local Government Reform entitled 'Putting People First' is actually going to result in putting rural people last if implemented.

“The bill will dilute local democracy and hand more power to officials and bureaucrats in the local authority infrastructure.

“Although there are a number of positives in the bill, I am concerned in particular at the impact the changes will have on rural areas.

“I believe that Local Authorities should continue to own, maintain and develop the public water system to provide water for human consumption free at the point of delivery

“I am very concerned also at the power grab that is going on in relation to LEADER funding by local authorities away from the local development companies who have a much better understanding of the needs of their communities.

“More autonomy should be given to local authorities in relation to road and transport infrastructure, but they shouldn't be allowed to take over the very successful rural transport projects in their areas.

“Sinn Féin would also like to see local authorities become more central to accountable policing and crime prevention similar to the District Policing Partnerships in the North. 

“The reality here is that this bill is being used to further undermine our county and city councils and as a distraction from the real issue of not providing the resources needed to do work at a local level.”

Toggle

Speaking today during the debate on the Government’s plans to reform local Government, Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane called the proposals short sighted and an attack on local democracy.

Senator Cullinane said:

“While I welcome aspects of this Bill I am disappointed with the overall plan for the future of local government.

“The Bill follows a long line of government efforts to disempower the local and to ensure that power is centralised in Leinster House.

“Successive governments have consistently chipped away at local government by reducing its powers and its budgets with the result that it was severely restricted in its capacity to engage in active governance.

“Sinn Féin on the other hand favours strong local government which we feel is essential for active and participatory democracy in communities across Ireland.

“Housing, transport, the environment, and policing all of these important issues have local specifities that impact directly on communities and towns in quite unique and diverse ways.

“This Bill shows a complete disregard for the peculiarities of place and for the richness and value of local decision making and local politics.

“We should be encouraging people to become more involved in their areas, not disempowering local authorities and the communities they serve. 

“Genuine reform of local government would broaden the space of local democracy, not shrink it.

“A properly resourced and relatively independent local government system has the potential to rejuvenate politics.

“Local government is the link between the public sphere and the political sphere. Under-mining one sphere seriously damages the other.  

“Clearly Fine Gael and Labour don’t trust people to manage their own cities and towns. This is disgraceful and it displays yet again a total disregard for real political reform.”  

Toggle

Following the publication of a report on food poverty in Ireland, Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has called on the government to take urgent action to address the issue.

Senator Cullinane said:

“It is appalling that one in ten people in Ireland – or around 457,000 children, women and men are experiencing food poverty.

“The report from the Mandate and Unite Trade Unions clearly shows that while food poverty fell between 2004 and 2007, it has steadily increased since 2010 in the wake of a succession of austerity budgets.

“The most recent data from the ESRI bears this out and shows that the poor, the unemployed, the vulnerable, and those in low paid and contract type employment bore the brunt of the Government’s cost cutting initiatives.

“There is clearly a direct link between low pay, unemployment and cuts to social welfare transfers, and people’s ability to provide food for themselves and their families. 

“It is not acceptable that a section of our population is going to bed hungry.  

“A state that cannot feed its own people is a failed state.

“Enda Kenny’s muted triumphalism during his ‘State of the Nation’ address last evening and the relentless Fine Gael media spin means little to people who depend on soup kitchens and penny dinners for their basic survival.

“Food poverty is a function of low incomes. In order to address it the Government will require a targeted and focused strategy to boost the incomes of low earners and the working poor and those dependent on social protection.

“It is just not acceptable that people should have to depend on soup kitchens for food – this is 2013 and not 1845.

“Government policy created this situation. I am calling on Fine Gael and Labour to immediately rectify it.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin’s EU candidate for the south constituency of Ireland Liadh Ní Riada has responded to the Taoiseach’s televised address.

Ms Ní Riada said:

“The very clear message from the Taoiseach was that his government is firmly wedded to austerity and cuts. Nowhere will this become more evident than in the health service.

“The adherence to austerity will be seen very soon with a new avalanche of cuts which will decimate health care in this state. The HSE Service Plan for 2014 is set to inflict €666 million worth of cuts on a system which is already at breaking point.

"Was Mr Kenny including a ravaged health service when he spoke of the ‘sacrifices’ which the Irish people have made? Does he really believe that people agreed to the abject decimation of such a vital pillar of our social infrastructure? Of course they didn’t.

“The televised address, used to disguise the fact that the Irish people will paying back the debt of bankers for generations to come, is simply an outworking of some over active imaginations in Fine Gael and Labour.

“The reality is that exiting the bailout will have very little impact in the lives of ordinary people.

“The forthcoming round of cuts to our health service is one of the real products of government policy and Enda Kenny's leadership.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Councillor Arder Carson has slammed those responsible for leaving a viable device in Glenmeen Close just off the Upper Springfield Road in Hannahstown. 

Speaking today Cllr Carson said:

“Whoever was responsible for leaving this device has endangered local families living in the estate.

“It is a viable device and could have gone off at any time. This is completely reckless and is done with total disregard for local people, many who have had to leave their homes.

“Those behind the leaving of this device will once again be invisible in explaining to this community their actions. They continuously fail to do so.

“Those responsible have succeeded in yet again causing further disruption for this community while they carry on their visionless agenda, which is becoming more and more self-defeating.”

Toggle

Speaking after Enda Kenny’s televised statement last night, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Ferris TD, said that the Taoiseach is divorced from the reality of life in rural Ireland.

Deputy Ferris said:
“Maybe the Taoiseach is protected by his many handlers from contact with real people, but to say that we are out of the woods is a gross exaggeration. Those of us from rural Ireland know the reality of unemployment, emigration, and the growing isolation of rural communities.
“We have fewer schools, post offices and garda stations, while every small town and village is scarred by boarded up windows of shops and businesses which have closed down.
“Wake up Taoiseach! Rural Ireland is suffering greatly from your austerity policies and no amount of spin will change that. What this economy needs is stimulation, not austerity.”

Toggle

While the state may have exited the so-called 'bailout', Irish citizens will still be forced to pay back a debt that is not theirs.

Toggle

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams today attended the funeral service and graveside service for Nelson Madiba Mandela.

Speaking afterward, Deputy Adams said:

“My thoughts are with Madiba’s family and his ANC comrades, after ten long days of waking him.

“It was a great honour to be in South Africa, at this time of national unity and pride in a country which not so long ago was inflicted by the obscenity of apartheid.

“Nelson Mandela’s legacy lives here.

“Hopefully it will live also in other parts of the world, including the island of Ireland.”

Toggle

Notice:

Vigil in honour of Nelson Madiba Mandela, organised by Sinn Féin, to be held outside the GPO this afternoon at 4pm.

Speakers include Sinn Féin foreign affairs spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, and Steve Shiang of ANC Ireland.

All welcome to attend.

Toggle

"We were honoured and privileged to be part of Guard of Honour for Madiba today."

Toggle

 Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said that those who left an explosive device in the Talbot Street area of Belfast city centre this evening clearly could care less who they injured or killed.

 The North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA said:

 "From the early information I have, there was no warning given and the police only became aware of the device after being alerted by a member of the public. As the PSNI were clearing the area, it appears part of the device exploded.

 "This indiscriminate and reckless action was an attack on all the people of Belfast and those that had come into the city centre to shop or enjoy the build up to the festive holidays.

 "Thankfully no one was hurt. Those that voice support for these groups, whose only allegiance is to violence, need to come forward and explain to the people what they aim to achieve by this reckless action.

 “They are visionless and opponents of change who will not stop the people of Belfast and beyond from moving forward to a more equal and peaceful society." 

Connect with Sinn Féin

Photos

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir speaking during a debate.

An Phoblacht Ad

Videos

1916 Lost Leaders March


Like us on Facebook

Sinn Féin Shop