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Next election a choice between Fine Gael or Sinn Féin-led Government - Gerry Adams TD

"The next election will be a choice between a Fine Gael-led or Sinn Féin-led Government. It is a choice between two diametrically opposed visions for Irish society." - Adams

There is a need for new political and human relationships based on trust and respect. We may never agree on the past but that must not be allowed to hold back the future.

Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD this morning launched his party’s alternative internship scheme which he says will replace the current government’s JobBridge Scheme if his party is in power after the next election.

Latest Statements


Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed the announcement by Education Minister John O’Dowd that extra money has been made available for education.

The Sinn Féin education spokesperson said:

“The announcement today by Education Minister John O’Dowd that over £72 million in extra investment is available for various education services is to be welcomed.

“The money will be spread across various areas including allowing more families on low income access to grants for school uniforms and free school meals.  The extra funding will also be aimed at extending the Youth Services, Area Learning Communities, training for school governors and the Extended School Programme.

“This investment will have a huge impact especially in areas of high deprivation by helping young people and their families gain a positive educational experience.

“I particularly welcome that some of the funding will be used to ensure more school buses are fitted with the proper signage and warning lights to identify them as carrying children. The money going towards the school maintenance budget will also help the construction industry.

“The Minister indicated that more money would be available for capital projects in the near future and I look forward to see the school estate being improved in the time ahead.”


Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill today hosted a breakfast briefing in Brussels for Irish MEPs and selected COMAGRI MEPs to discuss her response to the CAP reform proposals.

Speaking after the meeting Minister O’Neill said: “This was a very constructive meeting I was able to highlight to MEPs the key elements within my response to the Commission’s reform proposals.

“In particular, I was able to discuss the detail of my suggestions for a smooth and orderly transition towards a flat rate support regime. I also presented my suggestions to simplify the proposed greening requirements so that they are more focused and easier to administer, while avoiding potential negative unintended consequences.

“We had a very useful discussion on my proposed alternative, and much simpler, approach to the active farmer test based on past production activity, as well as the need for maximum regional flexibility to tailor CAP support to meet regional needs.”

The Minister concluded:

“We are still at the early stages of the CAP reform process and I am very pleased that I have been able to engage with MEPS in an extremely positive and constructive fashion. I intend to build on this engagement and to promote our views of how the CAP framework can be shaped to meet the needs of our local industry.”


East Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan said the separation of ‘agriculture-crime’ from general rural crime would assist in helping target resources to tackle the issue.

Mr McMullan speaking after an Assembly debate on agriculture theft, said:

“I am pleased that the Justice Minister accepted my argument that agricultural crime should be separated from general rural crime as this would allow the PSNI to have better and more up to date information on ‘agri-crime’ as it happens.

“Agri-crime’ is basically the targeting of the assets of farmers whether it is machinery or livestock as compared to other crimes such as burglaries, assaults etc. At present on their own admission the PSNI’s present system does not distinguish between the two classifications so it is harder to inject resources into tackling it.

“There are organised gangs who are targeting both machinery and livestock and exporting them abroad and this is costing farmers huge amounts of money and time.

“The rural economy generates billions of pounds each year so it is important that any threat to the industry is tackled with the utmost urgency and that the PSNI are properly resourced to do so.”


Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson, Phil Flanagan MLA (Fermanagh/S.Tyrone) has called for transfer of all responsibility for the Crown Estate inventory to the Executive, so that local communities can benefit from the substantial benefits from the offshore renewable energy opportunities being exploited on our doorsteps. Mr Flanagan was commenting following an eventorganised by Invest NI and The Crown Estate on the potential of the offshore renewable energy sector.

Phil Flanagan said:

“While I share Minister Foster’s enthusiasm in promoting the opportunities available in the offshore renewable energy sector I believe that there would be much more benefit to our economy if the Executive negotiated transfer of all responsibility for licencing these projects from Crown Estates to the Assembly.

“The Minister highlights the ‘opportunities in the Irish Sea region alone are currently valued in excess of £17billion for areas under licence from The Crown Estate’. Can the Minister inform us as to the potential revenue that will accrue to Crown Estates through the issuing of these licences, revenue that will go directly to the British Treasury instead of directly into projects that would benefit local communities?

“What percentage of any grants allocated to successful bidders will be funded by Crown Estates?

“While I would join with the Minister in encouraging local businesses to explore opportunities in the supply chain either on their own or in collaboration with others, I believe that all the people could benefit substantially if the licences were issued by the Executive and the revenue raised used to alleviate the effects of the Tory cuts on Health, Education, Roads and Transport etc.

“Full transfer of responsibility for all Crown Estate assets here to the Executive would give the people of this Region control over how public assets are used, rather than leaving decisions that could deliver beneficial outcomes for our economy to an unelected quango."


Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said the increase in human trafficking in the North and throughout the whole island was an extremely worrying development.

The West Belfast MLA was speaking prior to chairing an all-party group at the Assembly today which has been set up help tackle the problem through awareness-raising and building co-operation with elected representatives throughout Ireland and in Britain.

A member of the Justice committee at the Assembly, Jennifer McCann said:

“The increase in the level of human trafficking in the North of Ireland and the Island as a whole is a worrying development. It's an international problem which brings in a profit of 31 billion per year for the criminal gangs involved in.

“There have been a total of 75 women rescued in the North over the past three years, and all have been brought here for sexual exploitation.

“More needs to be done in terms of raising the awareness of the problem, ensuring that the proper legislation is in place to deal with those who are involved in the trafficking trade including those who use the ‘services’ of people who are trafficked, because without a demand there would be no supply.

“The aftercare services for those who are rescued also needs to be fully resourced and co-ordinated better.”


‪Fisheries Minister Michelle O'Neill has attended the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels to discuss reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.Speaking after the Council, Minister O'Neill said:

"The main agenda items at the meeting covered those aspects of Common Fisheries Reform dealing with the achievement of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in fish stocks, and the priorities for financial assistance under the future European Marine and Fisheries Fund. It has long been my view that there is a need for flexibility in each of these areas, and I was particularly concerned about the need for these objectives to be met by 2015 in a mixed fishery like the Irish Sea. 

"I am relieved that the Commission now recognises that it will not be possible to move all stocks to the MSY level at the same pace. In the Irish Sea we will need to gather more data to better understand the measures required to achieve sustainability for all stocks, and the impacts that these measures may have on our fishing fleet. I also welcome the proposal from the Danish Presidency to allow more flexibility for Member States to manage their own fish quotas. We operate a well established system and flexibility is necessary so that existing arrangements can be respected.”


Sinn Féin Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has commended Short Strand youth and community worker Paul McCrory, on being awarded the Community Relations Council’s ‘Special Endeavour Award’ earlier today.

Speaking this afternoon Cllr Ó Donnghaile said;

“Paul McCrory, or Coocher as we know him locally, has been an established community and youth worker in our area for over 25 years.

“He is someone who has given up his time and ability to generations of young people throughout inner-east Belfast, whether in the local youth club, on numerous football teams, on training and education courses or being to the fore in cross-community engagement in this part of the city.

“Anyone who spends any time in the Strand can see the affection in which he is held by local children and young people and also by his colleagues on organisations like the Short Strand Community Forum which Paul chairs.

“His work in the Doyle Youth Club is a vital resource for the local community. Recently Paul donated a kidney to his youngest son Pearse – a short time later Paul was standing with us, as he had done many times before, trying to ease tensions and stop violence at the interface in east Belfast.

“I cannot think of a more worthy recipient of this award than Coocher. Comhghairdeas!” CRÍOCH


Sinn Fein President and TD for Louth Gerry Adams has described as “deeply worrying” the revelation that just under €50,000 worth of medical equipment is currently lying unused in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda as a result of the government’s recruitment embargo.

In response to a Parliamentary Question from the Louth TD the HSE revealed that 16 insulin pumps worth €3,000 each are currently lying unused in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital as a result of the recruitment embargo.

Deputy Adams said:

“When I first raised this issue in March the HSE told me there were six unused pumps, it now seems the correct figure is 16. That’s sixteen children with diabetes who are not getting the treatment they deserve because of this government’s policies.

“I have been contacted by a number of parents and children in relation to this issue. One child receives 28 injections per week; this equipment which is lying unused in her local hospital would lead to a huge improvement in her quality of life.

“I am calling on the Minister for Health to lift the embargo in relation to the dietician’s posts in the Lourdes Hospital and ensure that these pumps are made available to the children who need them at the earliest opportunity.” ENDS


Speaking in response to reports that an EU-wide jobs pact may be agreed in advance of the May 31st referendum, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said that: “the Austerity Treaty is bad for jobs and bad for growth” and called for “the rejection of the Treaty and the adoption of a significant Irish and EU-wide investment programme.”

Deputy McDonald said:

“Sinn Féin has long argued for a major investment by the Government to get people off the dole and back into work. Last November we called for a €7 billion investment using monies available to the Government from the National Pension Reserve Fund and the European Investment Bank.

“Unfortunately our calls seemed to fall on deaf ears. Now the Government says it is in favour of stimulus. Many people are sceptical of the Government’s motives, believing that their recent talk of jobs is aimed at securing support for the Austerity Treaty.

“Sinn Féin will of course welcome any serious proposal aimed at generating employment. However the idea that you can have a serious investment programme side by side with the Austerity Treaty is simply nonsense.

“The extra €6 billion of cuts and tax increases arising from the Austerity Treaty will further damage the domestic economy. This will hurt the small and medium sized sector particularly hard leading to more job losses.

“At the same time the Austerity Treaty will lead to a Eurozone wide contraction as all 17 member states will seek to meet its harsh deficit targets. This will hurt our exports, already experiencing a decline.

“The Government is telling the voters that you can have austerity and investment in growth at the same time. This is simply not true. On May 31st we have a clear choice – if we want real investment in jobs and growth then we must reject the Austerity Treaty,” 


Sinn Féin launches campaign to win Carlow/Kilkenny By-Election


Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek and Brian Stanley TD