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Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people

Sinn Féin solidarity vigil with the Palestinian people as Israel continues its horrific bombardment of Gaza

“HAP is not a solution and if the government succeeds in passing it into law, it will have wide ranging negative effects on the future of housing in Ireland and our ability to tackle housing need in the years to come.”

Latest Statements


Speaking this evening while questioning the Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore on the issue of Palestine, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Pádraig MacLochlainn said that in light of the Israeli attacks on Gaza last week, “Ireland must unequivocally condemn Israel’s outrageous and illegal activity which the world continues to ignore” , and asked the Minister to visit the region immediately to observe the effects of the attack and of the on- going siege on the lives of civilians there.

Deputy MacLochlainn said:

“I was scheduled to visit Gaza as part of an International Parliamentarian mission this month; however, it was cancelled as a result of safety conditions deteriorating and an escalation in attacks and bombings. This speaks for itself in how the situation in the region has deteriorated even further, a region which is being described as an ‘open- air prison’

“I have appealed to the Tánaiste to give a commitment to visit Gaza as the new Minister for Foreign Affairs to witness the effects of Israel’s outrageous on-going illegal activity which the world continues to ignore. Activity including the on-going blockade, Israeli attacks and bombings on Gaza and the continuation of building of illegal Israeli settlements.

“Over fifty Palestinians have been killed by Israel in Gaza this year; over 170 since Operation Cast Lead which ended in January 2008. Not to mention hundreds of Palestinians killed during that operation. These actions must be called what they are, reprehensible and illegal. This Government should take a stand and clearly condemn Israel for them immediately.“ ENDS


Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has called on Health Minister James Reilly to immediately publish the Meridian Productivity Report on three children’s hospitals in Dublin.

The report, which has yet to be published, apparently shows that the three Dublin Children’s Hospital have been under using their operating theatres.

Speaking this afternoon Deputy Crowe said:

“We have a hospital system where healthcare quality, patient safety and access is measured according to the latest scandal and not by pro-active, independent monitoring and a quality control system and it is patients, children in this instance, coming off the worst.

“To an outsider looking in the under use of operation theatres in the three Dublin Children’s Hospitals would appear to be another systems failure. No doubt we will be told that there are legitimate reasons behind these operations not going ahead.

“The system seems to on an over reliance on a paper trail rather than a modern computerised system. This needs to change and we should be moving towards a system that includes round the clock, twenty-four hour operating theatres in all three Dublin Children’s Hospitals particularly to work through the backlog.

“The Minister needs to publish the report immediately. It’s no use him pro-actively seeking media opportunities on a report that only he has seen.” ENDS


Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte that he will formally launch a Rural Broadband Scheme in the next number of weeks.

Deputy Doherty said this will be welcomed by many communities across Donegal who were not included in the previous National Broadband Scheme and are without a basic broadband service.

Deputy Doherty said:

“I welcome the response by the Minister that he is to formally launch a new rural broadband scheme in the next couple of weeks.

“This will be welcomed by many communities across Donegal who were not included in the previous National Broadband Scheme and are without a basic broadband service.

“Many areas in the state, particularly in my own home county Donegal are still to this day without any broadband connectivity. Such facilities are vital to the creation and retention of jobs and to enhancing the quality of life in rural areas. The previous National Broadband Scheme was flawed in that it didn’t include large areas due to the terms of reference of that scheme.

“This new rural broadband scheme will complete the job of providing a basic broadband service to all housed in the state.

“The roll out of the scheme is to be completed by the end of 2012 and while this is to be welcomed it is unacceptable in the 21st Century that communities have had to wait for so long for such a basic service. I would urge the Government to fast-track this scheme as much as possible.” ENDS


Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called for the immediate publication of the Meridian Productivity report on the three children's hospitals in Dublin.

He said:

“We are relying on media reports of the Meridian Productivity report on the three children's hospitals in Dublin. If media reports are correct then there are very serious issues being raised about the management of operating theatres in the children's hospitals. If children are being forced to wait longer than necessary for operations then that is totally unacceptable and must be addressed urgently.

“Health Minister James Reilly has seen and commented on the report but the rest of us are being left in the dark. He should publish the report right away. As soon as the new Oireachtas Health Committee is established this report should be referred to it.” ENDS


Dublin City Council will be writing to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence opposing plans to reduce Garda numbers by 1,500. It follows a meeting of the Council’s Joint Policing Committee where members backed a Sinn Féin motion condemning the proposed cuts.

Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh, who successfully proposed the motion, said: “We absolutely agree with the head of the Garda Representative Association that this cut will recklessly endanger people’s lives.

“We should scrap the Garda reserve entirely and use the money to employ trained, full-time Gardaí. Instead of cutting Garda numbers we need to be increasing the number of Gardaí on the street by ending current recruitment, promotion and overtime embargoes.

“Many of those in power have no understanding of the real hardship faced by working class communities living with criminal behaviour, anti-social behaviour and drugs problems on a daily basis. They feel abandoned, left to face thugs and gangsters on their own.

“Tackling crime and making communities safe is a priority for Sinn Féin. It’s time it was a priority for Minister Shatter.” ENDS

Contact Cllr Ní Dhálaigh on 087 995 8949


Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the government to publish the revised EU/IMF Programme Memorandum of Understanding and to clarify if the Government intends to use any of the proceeds from the sale of State pay off bank and bondholder debt.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Members of the Dáil have been promised a debate after the Easter recess on the revised IMF/EU Programme Memorandum of Understanding. Of course, the revised Memorandum has not been published. In fact, although it is being discussed in Washington, Frankfurt and God knows where else, Members of this House have not had sight of it. Instead we have been drip-fed elements of the discussions the Government has had with the troika.

“From comments made by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin this morning, it is clear one of those conversations has been about the disposal of State assets. Judging by the Minister Howlin’s comments, it is clear the Government is now prepared to go down the cul-de-sac of selling off State assets in a bid to pay bank and bondholder debts. Is the Government in the course of yet another U-turn, whereby the proceeds of the privatisation programme will not find their way into stimulus and investment in jobs but will, in accordance with the views of the IMF and EU, be used for debt write down?

“When will the revised memorandum of understanding be published? Will Members of this House see it in advance of the debate next week? Can the Tánaiste give any assurance, as Labour Party Leader, that his party has not bought wholesale into the Fine Gael-led agenda of flogging the family silver to bail out the very wealthy?” ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD canvassing in Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon, today called for the biggest vote possible for the peace process and continued progress towards equality Mr Adams said:

“A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote against the anti-peace factions and for a better future. Significant progress has been made in recent years through the peace process but more needs to be done.

“For decades Upper Bann was seen as a largely unionist constituency. However times have changed, politics has moved forward and equality is now achievable in Upper Bann. Across this constituency from Banbridge to Portadown Sinn Féin are breaking new ground and bringing a positive message of equality to the doorsteps.

“On May 5th real change can happen here in Upper Bann. Council chambers in both Banbridge and Craigavon can be transformed and three nationalist MLAs can be elected. So far the SDLP have ignored our offer to meet and discuss how best we can deliver this outcome by working together. But that is a matter for that party.

“In the remaining two weeks Sinn Féin will continue to be out on the doorsteps in this constituency and indeed across the north. By using your vote on polling day people here and elsewhere can become agents of change and help keep the process of change moving ahead.” ENDS


Sinn Féin Assembly candidate for South Belfast, Alex Maskey, along with party colleagues and Local Government candidates, Sean McPeake and Cara McShane, have today outlined Sinn Féin's priorities for Local Government in the next term.

Speaking today Mr maskey said:

“Sinn Féin`s approach to RPA is underpinned by the Republican principles of democracy and equality.  

“We will be demanding that Review of Public Administration (RPA) delivers a system that addresses both representative and participatory democracy whilst providing for an efficient, effective and responsive administration.

“There is now more than ever a requirement that local government delivers a wider range of quality services in a timely and equitable manner for the ratepayers from which it serves.

“Historically local government has often been seen as the `poor relation` when compared with the larger Assembly departments regarding the delivery of services to its citizens.

“The planned local government RPA was to have been implemented in May 2011.

“RPA needs to be fully implemented by the incoming Assembly.

“In the interim period before the creation of the new councils, new legislation needs to be put in place which would allow for checks and balances and equality safeguards for the existing 26 councils before being transferred into the larger 11 council model.

“Because of the experiences of the mis-use of local government powers this legislation needs to be firmly bedded in place prior to any additional functions being transferred to the councils.


Donegal Sinn Féin TDs Padraig MacLochlainn and Pearse Doherty have both welcomed a commitment from the Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, that a review of the classes of motor taxation will take place.

Deputies Doherty and MacLochlainn raised the issue of commercial vehicle tax with the Minister in the Dáil last night.

Deputy MacLochlainn said:

“These changes to the commercial vehicle tax rules kicked in late last year having been introduced by a former Minister, John Gormley. The Fine Gael Party and our party came out against this at the time.

“It was made clear that the system would create a mess and have an impact on Garda resources, as gardaí would have to chase workers in their vans to see if the people had left their mothers to mass or children to school.

“It is a nonsensical regulation which reflected the lack of understanding of rural Ireland from the former Minister, John Gormley, backed by the Fianna Fáil Government of the time.

“In rural Ireland a vehicle is needed for everything and public transport is unavailable. A vehicle is a core part of living and getting by in rural areas.”

Deputy Doherty said:

“This is an appeal to the Government for common sense. Boiling the matter down, it is a tax on rural Ireland and small businesses. It is a silly measure that was just another way to find money.

“The Minister of State may not have a direct response to this tonight but I ask for the issue to be considered in the context of the upcoming jobs initiative or budget, where the Government, like all of us, is seeking to create jobs. We can do that here.

“It does not make sense for us to ask the self-employed man or woman, who needs a van for work and who may want to collect their children or go to the shop, to buy a separate car. That will place an unnecessary burden on people.” ENDS

Note: Speaking in response to Deputies MacLochlainn and Doherty Minister of State O’Dowd accepted the validity of their arguments and announced that Minister Hogan intends to review the taxation classes currently in place for motor vehicles.


Demand for Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled reiterated


Michael Colreavy TD & Cllr Darren O'Rourke