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Team Sinn Féin - Putting Ireland First

The largest gathering of Sinn Féin candidates in the history of the party took place in Drogheda, 350 local council election candidates contesting seats across all 42 councils in the 32 counties of Ireland joined with Sinn Féin's 4 EU election candidates for a final strategic planning day with the party leadership before the local council and EU elections on the 22nd May in the 6 Counties and the 23rd May in the 26 Counties.

Despite Government attempts at revisionism regarding his role in the recent series of controversies involving the Gardai, the Minister is in fact a central actor, and the author of a litany of catastrophes in this whole affair.


Sinn Féin is opposing cuts throughout Ireland because it is the right thing to do. The DUP need to be mature about this, face up to the consequences of the cuts on the people we represent and challenge the British government on their cuts agenda.



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has accused the British government of being in breach of the Weston Park agreement on inquiries.

Mr Adams today raised the issue of an inquiry into the Pat Finucane case during Leaders Questions in the Dáil and he urged the Irish government to make clear to the British Prime Minister “that the Irish government supports the family and that nothing less than the enquiry they are demanding is acceptable to the Irish government.”

The Sinn Féin leader told the Dáil that he had just spoken to one of the Finucane family members who had been at the meeting at lunchtime with David Cameron.

Mr Adams said that the family “are devastated and hugely upset by the refusal of the British government to honour the Weston Park agreement and to establish an inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane.

“The British and Irish governments agreed at Weston Park to set up an inquiry by retired Canadian Judge Cory to look at four specific cases where it was alleged that collusion had occurred between British forces and loyalist death squads.

“These were Rosemary Nelson, Billy Wright and Robert Hamill and Pat Finucane.

“Judge Cory concluded that inquiries were necessary in all of these cases but in particular that of Pat Finucane. Three of these inquiries have now taken place.

“The enquiry into Pat Finucane has not taken place and the family went to today’s meeting believing, on foot of discussions they had held with British officials, that an enquiry was to be established.

“Instead they were told that a QC would be appointed to review the papers and speak to those involved. He would then come to a conclusion.

“No enquiry. No legal redress for the family. No access to papers or witnesses, or an opportunity to cross examine.

“In short the family have been offered less than the Cory inquiry and what was agreed at Weston Park.

“This is a clear breach by the British government of an agreement with the Irish government and the rest of us.

“If flies in the face of the huge support given to the family by the government here, by the UN, by Amnesty International and a host of international agencies and political leaders, including in Washington.

“The Irish government needs to make it clear to the British government that it supports the family and that nothing less than the inquiry they are demanding is acceptable to the Irish government.”

Concluding Mr Adams said:

“The nub of this issue and what explains the British reluctance to hold this inquiry, is that the Pat Finucane case illustrates the extent to which collusion went on between British State forces and loyalist death squads.

“This British government had no part in that collusion and thus Mr Cameron should be liberated to do what was promised at Weston Park and to the family. He has failed.

“The Irish government needs to press the British government and to do so with all urgency, to hold the full inquiry promised ten years ago at Weston Park.” ENDS

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The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, should apologise for remarks he made during a Seanad debate yesterday in relation to the development of the Corrib gas field, according to Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh. The Minister described some of the reasons for the delaying of the development of the pipeline for 17 years as ‘daft’, that it 'is not exactly a great signal for this country to send out’, and that ‘In a warmer summer there would have been more people seeking to delay construction.’
Senator Ó Clochartaigh said that the Ministers remarks are scandalous and that he wants him “to apologise to the community in Mayo - his own native county.”

“The attitude and phraseology the Minister used were implying, in my opinion, that the people who opposed this development in a peaceful and democratic way were unreasonable. It appears that he is siding with big business in this case and making a mockery of the people who wanted to protect their rights. I do not think that this is appropriate from a government Minister, particularly when one looks at the role of the State in the whole process.

“I would also like to know when the Labour Party policy on this issue changed?”, says the Senator. “Previously, their party President, Michael D. Higgins was very vocal on it. In 2010 at the launch of a book by Lorna Siggins on the matter he likened it to the Land Wars, calling what has happened ‘tragic’, saying ‘The suggestion that what happened in Mayo was a simple law-and-order issue and what you had to do was exercise the authority of the State was such a distortion of what was taking place’, he said.”

During the debate in the Seanad, the Senator pressed the Minister to clarify whether he intends to implement the recommendations in a SIPTU report on the oil and gas industry in relation to a greater State return and changes to the licensing regime. “The people of Ireland should be getting a far greater return from our natural resources. The Minister wasn’t answering my questions”, said the Senator, “and one would get the impression from the answers he did give that this government is going to follow the policies of the previous government. The recommendations in the SIPTU report and international best practice show that this country could strike a much better deal, but apparently the Minister does not intend any significant policy change to ensure that happens.

“The Labour Party can’t ride two horses at the same time, having their spokespeople making public statements that they will stand up for peoples’ rights and the democratic process when their Ministers and Leinster House representatives do the opposite”, according to Ó Clochartaigh.

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Ba cheart don Aire Cumarsáide, Fuinneamh & Acmhainní Nádúrtha leithscéal a ghábhail maidir le ráitis a rinne sé i Seanad Éireann inné maidir le tobar gáis na Coiribe. Dúirt an tAire leis an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Sinn Féin, go raibh cuid de na cúiseanna a chuir moill ar fhorbairt an phíoblíne gáis i Muigh Eo ‘seafóideach’, go raibh moill rófhada dhá chuir ar an bhforbairt agus ‘dá mbeadh an Samhradh nios fearr ann gur dócha go mbeadh tuilleadh daoine ag iarraidh bac a chuir ar an an tógáil’.

Dúirt an Seanadóir Ó Clochartaigh go raibh dearcadh an Aire scannalach agus go bhfuil sé ag iarraidh air leithscéal a ghabháil le pobal Mhuigh Eo, a chontae dhúchais. ‘Bhí meon agus friotal an Aire ag tabhairt le fios, dar liom, nach raibh réasún ag baint le h- iarrachtaí an phobail stop a chuir leis an bhforbairt seo ar bhealach síochánta agus daonlathach. Ba léir go bhfuil sé ag taobhú leis an gcomhlacht sa gcás seo agus ag magadh faoin dream a bhí ag troid ar son a gcearta a chosaint. Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil sé sin inghlactha ó Aire Rialtais, go háirithe i bhfianaise ról an Stát sa bpróiséas ar fad.

‘Ba mhaith liom fáil amach freisin cén uair a tháinig athrú ar dhearcadh Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre ar an gceist seo?’ a deir an Seanadóir. ‘Roimhe seo bhíodh Michael D. Higgins, Uachtarán an Pháirtí, ag labhairt amach go poiblí ar son an dream a bhí i gcoinne an togra seo. I 2010 agus é ag seoladh leabhar le Lorna Siggins ar an ábhar, chuir sé an scéal i gcomparáid le Cogadh na Talún, ag rá go bhfuil sé ‘tragóideach’ a bhfuil tarlaithe ann agus go raibh ‘I bhfad nios mó i gceist ná an Stát ag iarraidh Dlí & Cirt a chur i bhfeidhm’.

Le linn na díospóireachta, bhí an Seanadóir ag iarraidh air an Aire Rabbitte tabhairt le fios an bhfuil sé i gceist aige moltaí SIPTU maidir le leasuithe sa tionscal ola & gás agus an córas ceadúnais a chuir i bhfeidhm. ‘Ba chóir go mbeadh buntáiste i bhfad níos mó dhá fháil ag muintir na hÉíreann as na hacmhainní nádúrtha atá againn. Ní raibh sé ag freagairt mo chuid ceisteanna’, a deir an Seanadóir, ‘agus tá gach cosúlacht ón méid a duirt sé go bhfuil an rialtas seo chun leanúint le polasaithe an rialtas a chuaigh rompu. Léiríonn moltaí Coiste Gás & Ola SIPTU agus deáchleachtais idirnáisiúnta go bhféadfadh muid margadh i bhfad níos fearr a fháil ó na hacmhainní seo ach ní cosúil go bhfuil an tAire chun aon athrú suntasach polasaí a chuir i bhfeidhm chun sin a dheimhniú’.

‘Ní féidir le Páirtí an Lucht Oibre a bheith ag marcaíocht ar dhá chapall ag an am céanna agus urlabhraithe dá gcuid ag rá go bhfuil siad ag seasamh le cearta na ndaoine agus leas an phobail agus a gcuid Airí Rialtais agus a gcuid ionadaithe i dTeach Laighean ag déanamh a mhalairt’, dar leis an Seanadóir.

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Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has said people are shocked at the decision by the HSE who today confirmed that St. Brigid’s Home, Crooksling, a long term care unit in Brittas Co. Dublin will close over a phased 3-6 month period.

Deputy Crowe, who has been lobbying for the long stay care home to remain open said:

“Today’s announcement that St Brigid’s is to close is a serious blow to both the staff working there and the 80 plus people under their care. For some time there have been concerns that the home was to close and on the 28th of September I asked the Minister for Health James Reilly, in a Dáil Question, what were the plans for St. Brigid's.

“His response was to simply refer my question to the HSE. So much for the Minister's promise of more accountability. Today we got the news that many people were dreading.

“For decades St Brigid’s has been a vital amenity that has provided long term care for many people some of whom have spent most of their lives in the home. Being forced to move will cause significant disruption and disorientation to what is a very vulnerable group of people.

“The transfer of residents and staff to Hollybrook Community Nursing Unit in Inchicore and other units around the Dublin/Mid Leinster area must be carried out sensitively. The HSE must also honour its commitment and ensure that families will not be forced to pay additional costs for the care of their loved ones whenever they are relocated.

“What makes this decision even harder to understand is that during the past two years over €2 million had been spent on new Palliative Care and Physio Care Units at the Brittas facility.

“Despite the money spent on improving the home, the HSE has now taken the decision to close St Brigid’s and there are fears other long stay nursing homes will meet a similar fate.

“These types of facilities care for patients that private nursing homes will not cater for. Its closure means alternative arrangements will have to be found for the people living there.

“This announcement is also a massive blow for the dedicated staff of St Brigid’s and every effort must be made by the government to ensure they find alternative employment close to where they live. Some of the staff have lived at the facility and will now have to find a new home as well as a new job.

“The staff and the community of Brittas, West Wicklow and South Dublin are appalled at this decision and Minister James Reilly should reverse it.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has extended his deepest sympathies and condolences to the Caraher family following the death of Peter John Caraher this morning.

Peter John’s son Fergal was shot and killed by British soldiers in Cullyhanna in December 1990 along with his brother Micheál who was seriously wounded, in a shoot to kill action.

Mr. Adams said:

“I have known Peter John for many years. He was a decent, hardworking family man, a republican, who was widely known and respected, especially within his home area of South Armagh.

“After the death of Fergal he helped organise an international based public inquiry into the events surrounding the shooting of his two sons.

“He was hugely supportive of the peace process and a stalwart defender of the rights of his community.

“On behalf of Sinn Féin and republicans everywhere I want to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to Peter John’s wife Mary, their three daughters, Maria, Therese and Joanne and five sons, Francis, John, Micheál, Phelim, and Cahal, and the Caraher family, his friends and neighbours.

“Go ndeanfaid Dia trocaire ar a n’anam dilse.” Críoch

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Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has condemned the HSE decision to close St Brigid’s Public Nursing Home in Crooksling, County Dublin.

He said:

“The decision to close St. Brigid’s Nursing Home is part of the drive by the HSE to privatise all nursing home care for older people. It is a terrible decision and I am calling on Health Minister James Reilly to intervene to prevent it going ahead.

“St. Brigid’s is a large campus in extensive grounds and much public money has been spent on it. The decision to close is yet another example of a report from HIQA – which did not recommend closure – being used to justify the closure of a public facility.

“HIQA’s report on St. Brigid’s published in 2010 said that the standard of care in the home was high but that significant improvements were required in the facilities. The HSE should ensure that these improvements are completed, instead of letting the axe fall on another public nursing home.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said the government should reject any proposals to cede more power to the European Union as a response to the Eurozone crisis.

Deputy Doherty also said that the Irish government should be represented at talks to resolve the Eurozone crisis as equal partners in the European Union.

Speaking today Deputy Doherty said:

“While it is encouraging that the focus of European leaders is turning to an overall solution to the Eurozone crisis it is highly insulting that Ireland and other nations have not been invited to the table to discuss this.

“It has been rumoured that the response to the crisis will include changes to the current EU treaties, the establishment of a single European Finance Ministry and Minister and a new Eurobond.

“All of this represents further and significant surrender of Irish sovereignty to the European Union and the Irish government should reject any plan that included these proposals.

“These are issues all of which Sinn Féin warned were coming down the road at the time of the Lisbon Treaty debate but we were labelled scaremongers at the time by proponents of the treaty.

“The response to the Eurozone crisis must ensure that sovereign states no longer have to fill the holes in the books of private banks. This is a role that must be filled by the ECB.” ENDS

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