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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.

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Speaking with regard to the announcement of a major private sector investment in sustainable energy Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Peadar Tóibín TD said:

“Sinn Féin has called for government investment in sustainable energy to enhance security, drive down energy costs for business and households and generate profit to the state.

“While we welcome this investment it is another opportunity lost by this government.

“It’s ironic that on the day the government launched its timid anaemic stimulus plan we have learnt that an American company is investing €8 billion in harnessing Irish wind energy to be sold to Britain for a guaranteed price.

“This was an opportunity teed up for the Irish government. The ESB was set up in difficult times in 1926 to do practically the same thing. They built Ardnacrusha to harness Irish resources which drove the Irish economy and made profit for the state.

“However the lack of action by this government means that the profit from this investment will not be realised for the people of this state. It will go on the bottom line of a foreign business.

“We are concerned that the government is poised to make the same mistake with regard to broadband with the private sector taking the profit making investment and the state, households and local business will pick up the bill.”



Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today called on the government to make time in the Dáil calendar to introduce a Statute of Limitations Amendment Act that would set aside for a 12 month period the statute of limitations in respect of several hundred victims of symphysiotomy.

The Sinn Féin leader raised the issue in one of the last Leaders Questions before the summer recess.

Teachta Adams described the Taoiseach’s response – which said that the Minister for Health is examining the recent court judgement in the Olivia Kearney case – as “inadequate, insufficient and disappointing.”

The Louth TD reminded the Taoiseach that symphysiotomy “is an 18th century surgical operation performed on women that unhinges the pelvis, splits the pubic joint and its ligaments with a surgical knife or a saw. Patients were rarely asked for their consent, they were never told of the nature of the surgery or its risks, or offered the safer alternative of a caesarean section.

“Approximately 350 of the estimated 1500 symphysiotomy’s were carried out in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, many without the consent of the women victimised by this procedure.

“There have been statements in the Dáil and in the Seanad on this issue. In opposition both government parties, including the Minister for Health, gave full support to the women involved.

“There are now 200 or so survivors of symphysiotomy and some are quite frail. They are all very elderly and carry deep physical and emotional scars from their experience.

“In order that justice is done the government should introduce legislation to lift the statute of limitations so that those who want to can seek redress through the courts. There is precedence for this. It was done previously on the issue of child abuse.

“Such a decision does not exclude the creation of a redress scheme for those who do not wish to take the route of court action.

“I am quite confident that all deputies and parties would support such a move.”



Sinn Fein health spokesperson, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has described the health element of the government’s so-called ‘stimulus’ announcements as “vague, over-complicated and minimalist”.

He said:
“Health Minister James Reilly has contributed to the spin of the government’s so-called ‘stimulus’ announcements by listing 35 locations, 20 of which will be selected for development of Primary Care Centres. The basis for the selection of 35 locations is unclear as is the rationale for their reduction to 20 that will be actually commissioned.

“This vague, over-complicated process, involving public-private partnerships which are poor value for public money, is minimalist in terms of the actual need for primary care.

“At the end of 2011 there were less than 400 Primary Care Teams established across the state – even though the need for 600 such teams was identified as far back as 2001.

“In February 2010 the current Health Minister James Reilly was a member of the Oireachtas Health & Children Committee which published a key report on Primary Care. Today’s announcement falls far short of that report’s recommendations. In fact it deserves the response to the last government contained in Fine Gael’s Fair Care document – ‘We are concerned that the government has been exaggerating the effectiveness of its strategy’.



Sinn Fein finance and enterprise spokespersons and Pearse Doherty and Peadar Toibín, said today that the government is spinning on stimulus while people are waiting for real action on jobs. They said the announcement was too little for the people on the dole and too late for the people who have left the state.
While welcoming the government’s concession that stimulus is needed - Deputies Doherty and Toibin said the government cut the capital budget last year and intends to cut it next year and the following year, meaning a slashing of long-term, stable investment which leads to tangible jobs.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Today the government announced a multi-annual stimulus plan of €2.25 billion which will span up to 2018. Yet the government still intend to proceed with cutting the capital budget by over €3.5 billion between now and 2014. How you can claim that spending €2.25 billion on capital projects, while cutting cumulatively €3.5 billion from capital investment, is a stimulus, is beyond me.
“The projects announced today are all worthy and there are many more across every county that haven't made the list. That is why Sinn Fein has been arguing for a real stimulus package with additional money that would go some way to filling the gaps in our health, education, energy and other vital infrastructure needs, over a period of three years, while at the same time putting thousands of people back to work. Today's announcement is little more than window dressing and clever accountancy and the net result of the government's plans will see a reduction in billions of euro on capital spend, vital infrastructure not being built and an opportunity missed to put people back to work.
"The fact that some of this investment is dependent on the sale of profitable state assets is of huge concern."
Deputy Peadar Toibín said:
“The largest crisis facing the Irish people is unemployment and emigration. Since this government has come into power unemployment has continued to increase. The GAA generation is being deleted from our society and the creativity and energy of whole sector of Irish society is finding expression in Canada, Australia and elsewhere. There are nearly 200,000 people long term unemployed. This announcement today is too little for people on the dole and too late for those who have left the state.
"A genuine stimulus is welcome, but this is not what is happening today. Sinn Fein has called for a €13 billion stimulus plan focusing on infrastructure and new enterprises. This money could be sourced from the discretionary portfolio of the National Pension Reserve Fund, matching funding from the European Investment Bank and an investment from a more than willing Private Pension sector. Stimulus needs to be invested into strategic sectors which will bring about the greatest multiplier effect. It also needs to have an even regional delivery. Our stimulus along with enterprise reforms and supports would help kick start the Irish economy, and create long term competitive advantages.
“If the government is serious about stimulus, if they are serious about tackling unemployment, they need to move beyond this timid, anaemic step, and deliver a stimulus solution that is proportionate to the catastrophic unemployment and emigration crisis in Ireland today.“ ENDS
Note to editor - That capital budget spend was cut by €755 million in 2012, meaning €755 million less each year for the foreseeable future. The Government has previously announced it intends to cut capital spend by €562 million in 2013 and €120 million in 2014. The cumulative effects of these cuts are €3.5 billion over three years up to 2014.


The news that Paypal has had to employ around 500 people from overseas in its new facility in Louth has been described by Louth TD Gerry Adams as a “damning indictment of the government’s lack of adequate investment in modern language teaching in schools and a failure to plan for future inward investment which depends on a workforce with the necessary modern language skills.”

Teachta Adams said:

“The announcement by Paypal several months ago that it was to create up to 1000 jobs in Dundalk was heavily promoted by the government as a success story. Minister Richard Bruton claimed that he was ‘determined to ensure that thousands more families around the country will get news like this over the coming years’.

“However, it is now clear that the reality is different and that despite support from the IDA the full benefits of this investment have not been realised for the families of Dundalk or the greater Louth/Meath area.

“Paypals decision to invest in Louth highlighted the critical importance of developing a knowledge based economy and an education system that is able to provide the educational opportunities for children so that they can learn a second language at a young age.

“At the same time as Paypal made its announcement the government’s lack of a modern language strategy was evident in its decision to scrap the Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative. That initiative was focused on developing a positive attitude towards language learning.

“Paypal very clearly stated its requirement for around 500 employees with a working knowledge of a second language. That our education system could not provide these employees and that Paypal had to go overseas to fill these jobs is a disgrace.

“The failure to prioritise modern language teaching and the scrapping of the
Modern Languages Initiative was short-sighted and potentially damaging to the future prospects of attracting skilled, multinational jobs to these shores.”



Sinn Féin TD for Donegal South West Pearse Doherty has hit out at what he called the “blatant censorship” of local Irish language and Guth na Gaeltachta campaigner Donall Ó Cnáimhsí.

Doherty was responding to media reports today which show how Mr Ó Cnáimhsí, a gardener in Glenveagh National Park, was issued a letter from his employers in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht after he criticised the Gaeltacht Bill which is currently going through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The letter states that Mr Ó Cnáimhsí “may have breached” the terms of his employment by speaking out against the Bill which Gaeltacht groups and opposition TDs believe is being rushed through the Dáil without adequate debate.

Speaking from Leinster House today Deputy Doherty said:

“I find it incredible that someone like Donall Ó Cnáimhsí, who is rightfully seen as a champion of the Irish language, should be effectively gagged and prevented from airing his views on this issue which is so important for the future of the language. This blatant censorship is nothing short of outrageous.

“At a time when citizens are rightfully encouraged to engage in the democratic process it really does smack of hypocrisy that someone should have their job threatened for doing just that.

“Guth na Gaeltachta is an organisation that has done Trojan work for the language. Were it not for this and the many other organisations like it, the Irish language would be in an even worse state. Far from censorship the state owes a debt of gratitude to these organisations for their efforts in keeping the language alive and vibrant.

“Questions need to be answered here. It is hard to believe that this originated from an official in the department far removed from Donegal. It is also hard to believe that a HR official made the connection between Donall Ó Cnáimhsí who spoke on Raidió na Gaeltachta and “Mr Bonner” to whom the letter is addressed.  What knowledge did the Minister of State have of this letter?  Who is behind it?

“I am calling on Minister of State McGinley to ensure that this letter is withdrawn and an apology issued to Mr Ó Cnaimhsí without delay.”


Labhair Teachta Dála Shinn Féin do Dhún na nGall Thiar Theas, Pearse Doherty amach go láidir in éadán an ‘chinsireacht smachtúil náireach’ a táthar a dhéanamh ar ghníomhaígh Gaeilge áitiúil agus feachtasóir de chuid Ghuth na Gaeltachta Dónall Ó Cnáimhsí.   

Bhí an Teachta Doherty ag tagairt do thuairiscí sna meáin inniú go bhfuair an tUasal Ó Cnáimhsí, garraíodóir i bPáirc Náisiúnta Ghleann Bheatha, litir oná fhostóirí sa Roinn Ealaíon Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta i ndiaidh do an Bille Gaeltachta atá ag dul trí Thithe an Oireachtais a cháineadh. 

Deir an litir “go mbéidir gur sháraigh” an tUasal Ó Cnáimhsí a chuid tearmaí fostaíochta trí labhairt amach in aghaidh an Bhille, Bille a chreideann grúpaí Gaeltachta agus Teachtaí Dála an fhreasúra a táthar ag sciurdadh go gasta trí an Dáil gan go leor plé nó díospóireachta. 

Ag labhairt ó Theach Laighean inniu dúirt an Teachta Doherty:

“Tá sé go hiomlán dochreidte go ndéanfaí seo le duine mar Dónall Ó Cnáimhsí atá feicthe mar churadh na Gaeilge, go gcuirfí bac air a chuid tuairimí a nochtadh faoin cheist seo atá chomh tábhachtach do thodhchaí na teanga.  Tá an chinsireacht smachtúil seo uafásach agus náireach. 

“Ag an tráth seo agus saoránaigh á spreagadh chun páirt a ghlacadh sa phróiséas dhaonlathach, i ndáiríre tá boladh bréan na fimíneachta as go ndéanfaí bagairt mar seo ar phost duine mar gheall air labhairt ar son a theanga. 

“Is eagraíocht í Guth na Gaeltachta a bhfuil obair Thraíoch déanta aici ar son na teanga.  Murach an obair seo agus obair eagraíochtaí cosúil léi, bheadh an cás na Gaeilge i staid i bhfad níos measa.  In áit na cinsireachta smachtúla seo, is altú agus buíochas as a n-iarrachtaí an teanga a shlánú agus a chaomhnú atá tuillte acu ón Stáit. 

 “Tá ceisteanna le freagairt anseo.  Is deacair a chreidiúint go dtáinig an litir seo ó oifigeach sa Roinn atá i bhfad ar shiúl ó Dhún na nGall.  Tá sé deacair a chreidiúint fosta go ndéarna oifigeach Acmhainní Daonna an ceangail idir Dónall Ó Cnáimhsí a labhair ar Raidió na Gaeltachta agus “Mr Bonner” ar seoladh an litir chuige.  Cén t-eolas a bhí ag an Aire Stáit faoin litir seo? Cé atá taobh thiar dí?

“Tá mé ag glaoch ar an Aire Stáit McGinley cinnte a dhéanamh de go dtarraingeofar siar an litir seo agus go ngabhfar leithscéal leis an Uasal Ó Cnáimhsí láithreach”


Sinn Féin Tourism Spokesperson, Maeve McLaughlin MLA (Foyle) has called on Minister Arlene Foster to reverse her decision not to cooperate with the Irish government's tourist project being marketed worldwide for 2013 under the banner of 'The Gathering'.
Maeve McLaughlin said:
"I believe that failure to capitalise on the tourism opportunity provided by the Irish government's promotion 'The Gathering' directed at the worldwide Irish diaspora encouraging as many of them as possible to make a trip home in 2013 would be unbelievably short-sighted. 
"Minister Foster's rationale for not grasping the opportunity to increase tourist numbers on the back of this major international promotion displays a small-minded parochial attitude that would seem to be based on the fact that the appeal is directed at the 'Irish' diaspora rather than on any objective analysis of the potential benefits.
 "I met with Micheal Ring TD the Irish Minister for Tourism and Transport in Derry on Friday last. I got the impression that he is of the strong opinion that "The Gathering " event next year must encapsulate the whole island. Taking account of the City of Culture festivities also planned for 2013 and other events throughout the North it would be folly not to cooperate through Tourism Ireland by having all of these events included in the promotional literature being despatched around the world as part of promoting 'The Gathering'.
"Obviously in my discussions my emphasis was on promoting the North West in terms of next year and City of Culture and our commitments to incorporate and ultise the assets of our hinterland of Donegal. What better vehicle to achieve the full tourism potential of the City of Culture and the North West than to have it included in 'The Gathering' programme of events.
"I will be encouraging my Ministerial colleagues in the Executive to take every opportunity at all-Ireland Ministerial Council meetings to have this issue on the agenda.
"In the meantime I intend to maintain contact with Minister Ring to ensure that Derry and the North West benefits as much as possible from any potential spin-off from this major tourism promotion." CRÍOCH


North Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Tierna Cunningham has condemned last night’s paint bomb attack on the Clifton Street Orange Hall at Carlisle Circus.

Speaking today Mrs Cunningham said;

“I want to condemn this attack and make it very clear that these kinds of incidents serve absolutely no purpose other than to increase tensions for residents in the north of the city.” CRÍOCH


Sinn Féin launch a 'PEOPLE'S PACT'


Sinn Féin Dublin South West