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Tá fáilte mór roimh achan duine go dtí lainseáil an doiciméad Gaeilge seo ar maidin.

Is fóirsteanach go bhfuil an lainseáil seo ag tarlú i Lárionad an Droichid, buaiteoirí duais uile-Éireann Glór na nGael don dara uair i mbliana. Tharr ceann Sinn Féin ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a seoladh le foireann, coiste agus achan duine atá bainte leis an tionscadal inspioráideach seo.

Sa doiciméad seo tá muid ag taispeáin an ceannasaíocht atá léirithe ag Sinn Féin, an taithí atá againn agus an méid ar féidir linn baint amach má toghfar foireann láidir Shinn Féin.

Agus bígí cinnte go bhfuil an toghchán seo faoin ceannasaíocht; Tá imní ar dhaoine go bhfuil roinnt iarrachtaí ag dul ar aghaidh chun próiseas na síochána a chur ó mhaith.

Tá siad buartha faoin teip nach bhfuil roinnt páirtithe agus ceannairí polaitiúla ábalta éirí os cionn leas a pháirtí féin - agus an dúshlán a chomhlíonadh le tógáil don todhchaí.

[Mar sin, tá an toghchán seo faoi ag tabhairt ceannaireachta.]

Faoi dheireadh na bliana seo beidh aistriú cumhachtaí ó Londain go Béal Feirste chun déileáil le ceist na mórshiúlta, agus tá na cumhachtaí ar póilíneachta agus coir anois anseo i mBéal Feirste.

Níos mó cumhachtaí ag bogadh ó Shasana go hÉirinn an tam ar fad. Nach rud maith sin?

I measc ceisteanna le réiteach go fóill tá cearta na nGael agus beidh muid ag obair linn ar son Acht na Gaeilge a bhaint amach. Tá airgead breise ag teacht le haghaidh na teanga.

Agus fuair Sinn Fein an t-airgead sin.

Níl pháirtí ar bith eile ag déanamh obair ar son an Gaeilge ach Sinn Féin agus ag Caisleáin na Croimghlinne rinne d’obair muid go dian ar son cearta an phobail Gaelach. Leanfaidh muid linn i gcónaí ag seasamh an fhód ar son ceart na nGael.

Mar sin, tá an cheannaireacht ag Sinn Féin, tá na smaointe ceart againn, na polasaithe cearta agus an straitéis pholaitiúil ceart don todhchaí.

Agus tá foireann le taithí pholaitiúil de cheannairí tofa ag Sinn Féin nach bhfuil a leithid ag aon pháirtí eile.

Mar shampla agus muid i ndeisceart Bhéal Feirste ba mhaith liom trácht a dhéanamh ar cinneadh s’againn Alex Maskey a bhaint ón dáilcheantar seo.

Tá Alex ag déanamh an difir. Déanaigí an difir sa toghchán seo. Vótáil Sinn Féin!


Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Finance Arthur Morgan TD has officially called for a formal investigation into the actions of Ernst & Young Auditors. In letters to both the Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority and the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board, Morgan questioned the diligence of Anglo Irish Bank’s former auditors Ernst & Young.

He said:

“There is an assumption that professional auditors will discharge their duties with all due diligence and accuracy. How is it considered credible that auditors could sign off on accounts for a financial year showing pre-tax profits of €784 million that turned into €12.7 billion losses?”

Morgan has requested that this investigation proceed in a timely manner to alleviate growing public concern and to reply as a matter of urgency. ENDS


Sinn Féin Candidate in Fermanagh/South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew responding to an attempt by Conservative leader David Cameron’s to backtrack on the comments he made over recent days regarding the extent of cuts that he would apply to public spending in the North said that the Tory leader was now only acting to save the embarrassment of the UUP and Rodney Connor.

Gildernew went on to say that “Connor will cut for Cameron” given that he has already pledged to take the Conservative Whip at Westminster. Ms. Gildernew said a vote for the SDLP in Fermanagh/South Tyrone will only contribute to the election of Rodney Connor.
Speaking today Gildernew said: “David Cameron’s comments clearly show that, should the Conservatives win the election, the North’s public services will be on the chopping block. He is now out trying to backtrack on his comments only to save the embarrassment of his allies in the UUP and Rodney Connor.

“The kind of cuts envisaged by the Tories will be devastating to this constituency. Public services will be crippled and unemployment will rise. And when voters go to the polls on May the 6th they need to be clear that no matter what he says now Connor will cut for Cameron. “This underlines the need for Nationalists in Fermanagh/South Tyrone to come out in record numbers and vote for Sinn Féin as the alternative Unionist Unity Candidate Rodney Connor has already pledged to take the Conservative Whip at Westminster should he be elected. “The Unionist Unity Candidate can be defeated if Nationalist come out in huge numbers and vote for Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin is the only Nationalist Party that can win the seat and therefore a vote for the SDLP will only contribute to the election of Rodney Connor who will support David Cameron and his plans to cut spending in the North.” ENDS


Sinn Féin north Antrim candidate Daithí McKay has called on the SDLP to state publicly if they are still in favour of linking up with the UUP/Tories and if they support their proposed cuts to the public sector in the north of Ireland.

Speaking today McKay said;

“Not so long ago, some senior members of the SDLP were proposing a formal link up between their party, the Alliance Party and the Ulster Unionist Tories. This link up was proposed to discuss issues such as ‘health, the economy and education’.

I wonder how this features in with the Tory Party’s planned cuts to our dynamic public sector and services?

All of this is merely further evidence, if it were needed, of the confused, rudderless position of the SDLP; one week they want to merge with Fianna Fáil, the next week Fine Gael, sometimes its Labour and in this instance they have even suggested a link up with the Alliance and Tory parties.

People have of course become accustomed to identity crisis within the SDLP, but the real question is whether there are those within that party who still support the idea of a ‘link up’ with the Tories and if so, will they support their proposed cuts?

We have already seen how disjointed the SDLP are; when they have flown in to war-torn Afghanistan, paid for by the British Ministry of Defence, or when they have already pinned their support for the British Labour Party if returned to Westminster is indicative of their ever increasing desperation.

Maybe on this particular issue they’ll give us at least some degree of clarity.” CRÍOCH


A NEW law aimed at controlling what ‘head shops’ can sell legally and put them out of business if they’re selling dangerous substances under false pretences is being launched tomorow by a Sinn Féin TD.

Dublin south inner city TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh says that head shop owners are making huge amounts of cash out of loopholes in the law. The Sinn Féin TD’s Bill will close these loopholes by setting up a new authority with the power, expertise and the drive to quickly clamp down on dangerous substances being sold in high street shops.
The new agency would work with Customs and the Gardaí to force importers and sellers of all substances that could be ‘legal highs’ to have them licensed and have their activities closely monitored by the law or face heavy fines and/or jail terms.
Licence fees would be channelled back into the agency to help fund its operation. The agency’s costs would be tightly controlled and would cost the taxpayer a fraction of what head shop owners are pocketing, the TD said.
The new agency – the Non-Medicinal Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority – would be complementary to the Alcohol and Drug Research Unit of the Health Research Board and the National Drugs Strategy.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Head shop owners have been running rings around the law, knowing that what they are doing is endangering people’s lives and health but they just don’t care so long as they are making a fortune out of ‘legal highs’.
“My Bill is aimed at protecting public health and putting a stop to this reckless trade; that is why I am appealing to TDs of all parties and the Government to back this new legislation to take action that is long overdue.


Education Minister Caitríona Ruane joined a large group of Ógra Shinn Féin members today at Down’s County Museum in Downpatrick, to launch Sinn Féin’s Youth Manifesto ‘Creating the Future’, for the upcoming Westminster election.

The Museum was selected as a site of historical significance, it previously being home of the County Gaol where United Irishmen leader Thomas Russell was executed on 21 October 1803.

The youth manifesto which was drafted by members of the party’s youth wing Ógra Shinn Féin forms the basis of the work and policies which Sinn Féin will be carrying out regards youth in the next 5 years.

These include education, suicide prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, calling for the abolition of ASBO’s, road safety, youth job creation, creating affordable housing, and progressing Irish Unity.

The Sinn Féin Youth Manifesto for the upcoming election can be viewed at the following link:

Following the launch, the large group of republican youth activists, carried out an intensive and upbeat youth canvass of Downpatrick town centre and the neighbouring village of Ardglass.

Speaking on the launch of the youth manifesto, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Donnchadh O’Laoghaire said,

“Young people have a lot to offer in building a new and free society in Ireland, the youth manifesto is an amalgamation of policies and debates thrashed out by hundreds of young people in Ógra Shinn Féin over the past year. These well thought out and grounded proposals in the youth manifesto are drafted by young people, and for young people, particularly those most in need.”

“Young people are the future of this country, and it will ultimately be them who will shape the nation and ensure it reaches it true potential. We believe it is vitally important that young people have their say, particularly at election time and that is why we launched the youth manifesto. Sinn Féin is a party genuinely interested in working for young people and representing their needs, we are a party of youth. The main theme of the manifesto is one of empowerment ‘Creating the Future’, and we ask you to join with us in creating a better future for all of us, on May 6th, Vótáil Sinn Féin.”


Sinn Féin west Belfast MP Gerry Adams this afternoon met the PSNI District Commander for west Belfast.

Mr. Adams was accompanied by Sue Ramsay MLA and Councillor Gerard O Neill, as well as Gerry McConville from the Upper Falls Community Safety Forum.

While the focus of the meeting was the murder of Seamus Fox, Mr. Adams also raised wider concerns about the PSNI’s inadequate response to anti-social behaviour in other parts of the constituency.

Speaking afterward Mr. Adams said:

“I am very mindful that one person has been charged with the murder of Mr. Fox and that due process must take its course.

In our meeting we raised a number of issues around the PSNI response to the murder of Seamus Fox, including its failure to react to reports of anti-social activity on the Suffolk Road and in Colin Glen Forest in the hours leading up to the assault of Mr. Fox.

I am dissatisfied with the PSNI’s response to me today.

Sinn Féin is concerned to ensure that this murder inquiry is thorough and that the Fox family are kept informed of all developments.

There is also a widespread concern at the less than adequate response of the PSNI to anti-social behaviour in west Belfast, particularly in the Lenadoon, the Falls and St. James areas.

While community and voluntary groups are working hard in these areas there are justifiable concerns that the PSNI response is insufficient.

I share these concerns.

Sinn Féin will be pressing for greater co-operations and more effective programmes of work to tackle anti-social problems.” CRÍOCH


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern should not proceed with his review of legislation on casinos as his position is no longer tenable after it was revealed today that he has lobbied for support for a casino in his constituency on bahalf of one of his key political allies.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The revelation that Dermot Ahern has lobbied for support for a casino in his own constituency means his should no longer lead the review of legislation covering casinos as his position in that regard is now untenable.  His lobbying shows that he is clearly in favour of casinos and therefore he is not impartial and should have nothing to do with the review of legislation.

"As this is one of the key roles of the Minister for Justice his position as Minister must also be scrutinised.  The fact that he was lobbying on behalf of one of his key constituency allies brings an added sense of murkyness to this whole episode." ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams is in Fermanagh South Tyrone today.

On the eve of the launch of the Unionist and Conservative Party’s
Manifesto Gerry Adams said: “Both unionist parties are Tory Parties. Both favour cutbacks in public services. Only a strong Sinn Féin team can oppose these threatened cutbacks.”

Mr. Adams said:

“Working people have nothing to gain from voting for unionist parties.
While Peter Robinson and Reg Empey may take up populist positions on
social or economic issues they are opposed to equality measures which
would help working families in these difficult economic times.

The British Tories have given clear notice that they are going to cut
health services.

Peter Robinson is attacking Reg Empey because his party is in a
Conservative coalition.

Mr. Robinson makes a big issue about the Tories intention to introduce
cuts. Yet the DUP is supporting a so-called unity candidate in Fermanagh
South Tyrone who has pledged his support for the Conservatives and who is committed, if elected, to taking the Tory Whip.

So, despite the rhetoric Peter Robinson has exactly the same position as
Reg Empey. The DUP desire to disempower the people of Fermanagh South Tyrone is clearly greater than any notional differences with the British Tories.

The fact is the unionist parties here are Tory parties.

Their ideology is based on conservative values. Unionist unity in
Fermanagh South Tyrone is an example of what these parties want to do in the future.

If they succeed working people will suffer, and not just nationalist or

Working class unionist neighbourhoods have long been abandoned by the main unionist parties. Poverty is rampant in many of these areas. If the unionist parties are not challenged they will reduce public services,
particularly the health services, and destroy the social fabric and
necessary protections for citizens.

All of this points up the real need to build a strong Sinn Féin team which
will develop realistic policies based on equality for the benefit of all
sections of our society.


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD is today putting pickets on four Head Shops in his constituency. Deputy Ó Snodaigh is due to launch a comprehensive piece of legislation to deal with the problem of Head Shops on Tuesday and is calling for all party support in the Dáil. Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: “More than four years ago Sinn Féin and others highlighted the problems with head shops following the death of a young man who had taken magic mushrooms. Over four years later we are still waiting for action from the Government to address the many other equally dangerous substances on sale in head shops.

“In the mean time an EU report published yesterday shows that new so called 'legal highs' are being developed at a rate of 2 every month. “Today I will be highlighting the dangers associated with many of the products on sale in head shops. I will be picketing four of these shops in my constituency and handing out leaflets to potential customers which show the effects these products can have on the health of those who consume them.” ENDS Editor’s note: Below are the details of the shops to be picketed today along with the times.
12noon to 12:30 Buzz Stop Head Shop, Thomas Street 12:30 to 1pm Liberty Head Shop, Meath Street 1pm to 1:30pm Head Shop on the Coomb 1:30pm to 2pm Nirvana Head Shop, Clanbrassil Street Aengus Ó Snodaigh is available for comment. Contact Shaun Tracey on 0877735218.


Sinn Féin Party President and West Belfast Westminster candidate, Gerry Adams MLA has expressed his shock at last night’s murder of a man in West Belfast.

Speaking earlier Mr Adams said:

“This vicious, brutal murder has shocked the local community in Lenadoon and Blacks Road.

“I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of the murdered man and to urge anyone with information to bring it to the PSNI.”  


Speaking after the Irish Finanical regulator eased restrictions on Quinn Insurance Ms Gildernew said:

“I welcome the decision by the Irish Financial Regulator to ease the restrictions on Quinn Insurance ability to do business in the North and Britain. Although this in itself does not comprehensively address the problem facing the company and its workers it is a welcome first step.

“I hope this signals the intention of the Regulator to begin a phased process of lifting all restrictions which would secure the future of the company and the jobs of over 5000 employees throughout the country.

“While I welcome this step I will also continue to urge both governments to explore ways in which they can assist in securing these jobs by acting as guarantor of the Company on a time limited basis. I welcome the initiative taken today by the Assembly Finance Committee to request meetings with the Financial Services Authority here and the Financial Regulator in Dublin to propose that the two governments underwrite a specified amount of money as a surety for the company in an attempt to secure the jobs.

“At a time when both governments are pumping billions into rescuing banks that created the present financial conditions I don’t believe it is beyond the resources of the governments to act in this instance to save jobs and the future of the rural economy. ENDS


Sinn Féin’s candidate Michelle Gildernew, responding to comments from SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie speaking at the launch of her party’s manifesto yesterday that the SDLP’s objective in Fermanagh South Tyrone was securing a future Assembly seat for Fergal McKinney, said that these comments exposed the SDLP’s willingness to sacrifice nationalist interests in the interest of their own party.

Gildernew said:

“The unionist parties at the behest of the Orange Order and with the backing of the British Tory party have come together in Fermanagh South Tyrone to deny nationalist representation. This is old style sectarian unionist politics at work. They are still trying to dictate to nationalists. They are still trying to hold back change.

“The SDLP is playing into their hands, and unlike Sinn Féin where our candidate Alex Maskey stood aside in South Belfast, is putting SDLP party interests ahead of nationalist interests and the interests of the broader community who deserve a representative who will work on behalf of all within the constituency regardless of political or religious allegiance.

“Margaret Ritchie’s comments yesterday revealed that the SDLP’s sole objective in Fermanagh South Tyrone is securing a future Assembly seat for Fergal McKinney. Voters going to the polls on the 6th May need to take those comments into account before they cast their ballot.” ENDS


Speaking in the Dail this evening on the Central Bank Reform Bill Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD questioned why the two Government appointed Public Interest Directors on the Board of Anglo Irish Bank signed a set of Audited Accounts which indicated the bank had made a Pre Tax Profit of €784m when the dogs on the street knew there was a problem in this bank, a fact only confirmed some weeks ago when the Profit of €784m suddenly became a loss of €12.7billion.

The following is an extract from Deputy Morgan’s speech:

“Minister you appointed two Public Interest Directors to the board of Anglo and from 11 Dec 2008 they had been attending Board meetings of the Bank. Frank Daly was appointed Chairman of the Audit Committee of Anglo and Alan Dukes is now Chairman designate of Anglo. You nationalised Anglo on 15 January 2009. Now I was under the impression that both these public interest directors were there to be our eyes and ears in Anglo.

“Well if so I would like to know what they were doing in February 2009 when they actually signed, without so much as a murmur, a set of Audited Accounts for Anglo which indicated the bank had made a Pre Tax Profit of €784m. Now lest we forget the dogs on the street knew there was a problem in this bank, a fact only confirmed some weeks ago when the Profit of €784m suddenly became a loss of €12.7billion.

“People deserve to know how these Accounts were issued with the tacit approval of 2 Govt Appointed Directors, showing a Profit of €784m when clearly there was no such Profit. Furthermore Mr Daly’s role as Chairman of the Audit Committee in Anglo where he presumably had some interaction with the banks Auditors, Ernst & Young who issued an unqualified audit report, makes this all the more bizarre.

“But perhaps the most amazing contradiction in all of this is that Frank Daly, not long after signing a set of Accounts showing a profit that never existed, becomes Chairman of NAMA. And of course we all know what NAMA thinks of Anglos numbers – total rubbish.

“We must now ask, is it acceptable that an individual who as a Public Interest Director, signs a set of financial statements for a state body stating there was a profit when there wasn’t, then becomes chairman of another institution who takes an entirely different view of those same set of numbers, culminating in a €12b loss the following year.

“What purpose have these Public Interest Directors served? Do they contact you Minister every month with a set of Monthly Management Accounts to let you know how these businesses are doing? Do you talk to them? Did you talk to Frank Daly after he signed a set of Accounts in Feb 2009 indicating a Profit at Anglo Irish Bank? Did you believe him when or if he told you?” ENDS


Responding to the Garda Commissioner’s announcement of the establishment of a nationwide investigation into the activities of head shops and the criminal acts committed against them, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Justice Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD welcomed the move which Ó Snodaigh urged him to make as a matter of urgency. In a letter to the Commissioner last week, the Dublin TD said that it was vital to immediately “commence a targeted investigation into head shops under existing laws and powers”

Speaking today, however, Ó Snodaigh stressed that there is also an urgent need for proper legislation which will tackle these issues concretely.

He said:

“Along with this first step in investigations into Head shops there is also need for government to acknowledge that a comprehensive legislative response it still required. I, along with my party Sinn Féin will be launching a Bill next week outlining such legislative measures that would tackle the issues head on.” ENDS


Sinn Féin Party leader Gerry Adams was in South Belfast this morning with Alex Maskey and Michelle Gildernew.

Commenting on the disparaging response of the SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie to Sinn Féin’s withdrawal of Alex Maskey from the South Belfast contest Gerry Adams said:

“Margaret Ritchie’s response to Sinn Fein’s decision to withdraw Alex Maskey form the South Belfast contest was to insult the republican electorate and dismiss their vote as irrelevant.

 "If the SDLP want republicans to vote for them in South Belfast they are going to have to start asking them and they’re going to have to stop insulting the intelligence of the republican electorate.

 "Sinn Féin obviously has many differences with the SDLP and with Alasdair McDonnell as well but we have given them a free run in South Belfast and the insulting and offensive way they have responded to that has caused some anger and confusion.

 "There are lots of issues in this election and one of them is leadership and I think the SDLP is failing in this." ENDS


Sinn Féin Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as “shocking” Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey’s attitude to cross-border bus travel.

His comments followed on a Parliamentary Question reply in which the minister repudiated his own pledge to a joint Oireachtas committee to address the inability of travellers to buy cross-border bus tickets online.

The Cavan-Monaghan Deputy said:

“Several years ago it came to my attention that the Bus Éireann website did not provide an online purchasing facility for persons wishing to travel from the 26 Counties to the North. Incredibly, bus tickets can be bought online for routes from throughout the 26 Counties to London and Warsaw but not to Belfast or Derry. On following this up, I learned that this was due to incompatibilities in the computer systems used by Bus Éireann and Ulsterbus respectively.

“In May 2008 I raised the matter with Minister Dempsey at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. He agreed that this was a nonsensical situation and undertook to pursue the matter further. However, in a one-line reply to a Parliamentary Question this week in which I sought a progress report, he stated that it was purely an ‘operational matter’ for the bus companies and one in which he had no role.

“It is shocking that in the 21st century it is not possible to use the internet to purchase a bus ticket from one jurisdiction on this island to another. It makes a mockery of the IDA’s recent claim that Ireland is ‘rapidly becoming the internet capital of Europe’. It is equally shocking that the Minister for Transport has chosen to wash his hands of any involvement in the matter, particularly after his promise to an Oireachtas committee.

“A fully integrated all-Ireland transport infrastructure is an essential element of our development as a modern nation and our status as a destination country for tourism, industry and education. If Minister Dempsey believes he has ‘no role’ to play in achieving this objective then he, like the rest of the Cabinet, should step aside and make room for a new government that will give this issue the attention it deserves.” ENDS


Irish neutrality and sovereignty are being violated by the active recruitment of young Irishmen into the British Army in Moyross, according to local Sinn Féin Councillor Maurice Quinlivan. He said it was disgraceful that this was being facilitated by a jobs club totally funded by the Irish taxpayer.

Speaking today Quinlivan said: “Irish neutrality is being violated by the recruitment of young people into the British Army in Moyross. To add insult to injury taxpayer’s money is being used to facilitate this recruitment.

“Outside the Millennium Jobs club at the Watch House Cross today I saw an advertisement urging people to ‘Join the Royal Irish Army’ and to ‘apply in Jobs Club.’ I was appalled. When I expressed my opposition to this I was told that it would be good to ‘instil discipline in them’ and that the Jobs Club employee is no fan of my party.

“Article 4 of the Hague Convention on neutrality states that ‘combatants cannot be formed nor recruiting agencies opened on the territory of a neutral Power to assist the belligerents.’

“As unemployment grows the danger is that more young Irish people will be duped into joining this mercenary force. Indeed I was told that it was a ‘Northern Irish Regiment’ as if such a thing existed outside the British Army.

“It is disgraceful that a local Jobs Club which is funded by taxpayer’s money is attempting to recruit young people to join the British Army. In fact I overheard one conversation between one young lad and the Jobs Club employee who thought it was the Irish Army he was joining. When he expressed the view that he had a problem serving in the British Army, he was told to ‘Try it out you might like it!’

“I am truly amazed and appalled. When you join an army there is no ‘try it out you might like it.’ There was no mention of the role of the British Army as aggressors and occupiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Ireland, or the fact that many soldiers from that regiment have died in these places in recent times.

“The few local people I spoke to at the library were unaware of the sign and very angry about it. Following a complaint I made to FÁS I am glad the sign has now been removed. The British Army is actively engaged in wars and their recruitment activity in Ireland violates Irish sovereignty and neutrality. The fact that taxpayer’s money is being used to fund this is scandalous.” Críoch

Cllr. Maurice Quinlivan – 087825 8125


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Senator Pearse Doherty has today welcomed the announcement of the summer works programme for summer 2010, but has said that this is no substitute for full investment into new school buildings.

He said:

“I welcome this announcement today however it should be kept in mind that this is no substitute for real and proper investment into a school buildings programme that allows for new schools and extensions to be constructed. Such an investment would not only give much needed improvement to school buildings but would also create much needed employment, especially in areas such as Donegal where unemployment continues to rise.

“The Summer Works Scheme is important for small works such as roof replacement and repairs, window replacement and toilet upgrades; however without proper investment into a school buildings programme such a programme, in many cases, can never be anything more than painting over the cracks.

“It is significant that Mary Coughlan has made this announcement today in Donegal Town, given that she was only a stones throw away from a school based entirely in prefabs which has to date spent up to half a million euro in the rental of prefabs over the last ten years.

“However this is not unique. There are hundreds of schools across the state in a similar position that are paying phenomenal rents for these prefabs – something which would be entirely unnecessary should a proper school buildings programme be in place.

“Figures released to Sinn Féin in December 2009 show that there are 79 rented prefabs being used as classrooms in Donegal, this of course doesn’t include those prefabs which have been purchased. A number of schools are renting prefabs at a cost in excess of €100,000 per year, while one school in particular was spending in excess of €150,000 in annual rent. All this amounts to a yearly cost of around €1.136 million on the rental of prefabs.

“This is a shameful abuse of taxpayer’s money at a time when ordinary people are being asked to tighten their belts.” ENDS


The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD, has called for changes to be made to the tax structure governing oil and gas companies operating here. The Kerry North TD was speaking during a debate on energy and pointed out that Ireland will benefit little from any oil and gas that comes on stream unless there is an adequate return in taxing the massive profits that will be made.

Deputy Ferris said:

“Norway is an example often cited with regard to the proper taxation and supervision of energy exploration and the role which the state has played in the development of its natural resources and in accruing revenue through taxation and royalties has laid the basis for a strong economy outside of the EU.

“Of course it will be argued that Norway’s offshore exploration sector has been well developed over more than 30 years but the fact is that it was in place from the beginning and contrary to what some people here say, their tax regime and state oversight did not frighten away foreign companies. That was the excuse given here for the decisions to change the tax and royalties regime, but that has not been the international experience even in countries where multi nationals have exerted considerable influence over the local Governments. Obviously a certain influence has been exerted here as well, given the ridiculously easy terms which have been handed to companies like Shell.

“Nor did those companies involved in exploration in Norway refuse to enter into partnerships with the Norwegian state exploration company. Indeed it is ironic that because of the involvement of the Norwegian state company Statoil in the Corrib project that when that comes on stream the Norwegians will benefit more than the people of this state because of that involvement.”

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