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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


A Sinn Féin delegation led by Gerry Kelly (North Belfast) this morning met with the Electoral Commission in Belfast to discuss issues of concern around the fact that three separate votes will be taking place at the same time on May 5th.
Mr Kelly was joined by Jennifer McCann (West Belfast), Mary Kate Quinn (Lagan Valley) and Niall Ó Donnghaile (East Belfast).
Speaking after the meeting Gerry said;
“We took the opportunity this morning to raise our concerns about the confusion that may be experienced as a result of three separate elections taking place on the same day. We have stressed with the Commission the importance of them getting their message out ahead of May 5th in a coherent fashion and in a way which is easy for the public to understand.
We stressed with them the need for the Electoral Office to make more staff available across the north should particular polling stations experience a rush of voters late in the evening.
Representatives of the Commission also stated that come 10:00pm and the close of polls, only those with ballot papers in their hand will be entitled to vote, even if someone is in a queue at 10:00pm under law you will not be in a position to cast your vote. This has obviously been an issue of serious concern in the past
Given the problems people had previously using forms of ID which were out of date voters should also be aware that this time around photographic ID such as driving licences or passports, even if they are out of date, are still valid forms of identification which will allow you to vote.
We are meeting with the Electoral Office in the coming days to raise our concerns and to work with them also on how best we can make this process as easy a process as possible for the electorate.” CRÍOCH


Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín has called on the Government to stand up for sovereignty, stand up for Ireland and to put the bank bailout and the EU-IMF deal to the people.

Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Tóibín said:

“Not 40 days ago Fine Gael and Labour TDs went door to door promising change and convincing people that their new Government would fairly share the burden of debt with senior bondholders. They committed to renegotiating a ‘better deal’ from the EU and the IMF.

“Since then this Government has injected a further €24 billion into defunct banking institutions. They have done the bidding of their EU-IMF masters and have totally abandoned any notion of a renegotiation.

“The most recent bailout of the so-called pillar banks will have an enormous effect on the economy and on the people. It may end up costing as much as €13,000 for each individual worker in the state.

“Given that the EU-IMF bailout will reduce the future say of Irish people over their own future it is only right and fair that the people at least be given the opportunity to have their say in the form of a referendum.

“If the Government are so confident that they are representing the will of the people on this issue then such a referendum will only serve to confirm that they are on the right track. However they know that this is not the case and that in actual fact they have pulled a shockingly expensive fast one on the people of Ireland.

“I am appealing to Fine Gael and Labour TDs to do right by the people who elected them. To stand by their pre-election commitments. To stand up for sovereignty, stand up for Ireland and to put the bank bailout and the EU-IMF deal to the people.”


Sinn Féin Chief Whip Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the Legislative Programme published by the Government today is full of holes. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the Government needs to explain why there is no commitment to bring forward legislation for referenda on Children’s rights and the abolition of the Seanad.

He said:

“This Legislative Programme is full of holes. There are some good things contained in it but no urgency about them.

“There is no commitment to update legislation on domestic violence and the commitment to cut the pay of judges seems to be gone as well.

“The Government must explain why there is no commitment to legislation for the referenda on Children’s rights and the abolition of the Seanad.

“Also of note is the inclusion of the legislation to increase the retirement age to 68 which will not only force elderly people to work longer but will prevent job opportunities arising for younger people. At a time when we are in a major unemployment and emigration crisis this beggars believe.” ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in the Dáil today in the debate on the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr called on those involved to stop. Mr. Adams urged citizens and political representatives but especially government, to ‘be in the leadership of opposition to these groups.’

The Sinn Fein leader took the opportunity to speak directly to those “responsible for violent actions and those who might tolerate them.”

Mr. Adams said: “Sinn Féin offered some time ago to meet with you and to outline our strategy, it’s ability for advancing republican objectives and our belief in the futility of armed actions.

So far you have refused to speak to Sinn Féin. But I make the same offer again. I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with Sinn Féin. That is your right. But you have no right to attack anyone.

That is clear from the overwhelming public rejection of the attack which killed Ronan Kerr.

The people of this island demand that you stop.”

Text of Mr. Adams remarks:

“I want to thank the government for providing the time Sinn Féin requested for Teachtaí Dála to comment today on the murder on Saturday of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr.

On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to state our unequivocal condemnation of Ronan Kerr’s murder.

And I would appeal to any citizen with any information relating to what happened to bring that information to the PSNI.

Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a thabhairt uaim féin agus poblachtánaithe i ngach áit to Nuala Kerr agus dá clan ar fad.

I want to extend on my own behalf and that of republicans everywhere, our solidarity and sincerest condolences to Nuala Kerr and her children, Cathair, Dairine and Aaron.

Like many others I watched Nuala Kerr on television on Sunday, standing with her children beside her, and speaking with love and affection about Ronan.

Is am iontach brónach atá ann do Nuala Kerr agus dá clann.

It was a desperately sad moment, made all the more poignant because it was mother’s day - a day Nuala should have been celebrating with her family but was instead grieving for the loss of a son.

Ronan’s late father Brian was from Andersonstown in west Belfast.

Tá a lán meas ag daoine ar chlann Kerr. The Kerr’s are a well known and respected family.

His grandparents and other family members live there and Ronan was a regular visitor.

This week’s Andersonstown News has photographs on its front page of Ronan’s late father and his mother Nuala at a family reunion in the Andersonstown Social Club – formerly known as the Prisoners Dependents Fund (PDF) Social Club, which used to raise money for republican prisoners and their families, and provide transport for families to visit loved ones in Long Kesh, Armagh and Portlaoise.

Ronan was a keen GAA member.

He played for Beragh Red Knights at under 12, under 14, under 16 and at minor level. He was also an enthusiastic Tyrone fan.

He is one of many young nationalists and republicans who, following fundamental changes to policing, decided to join the PSNI.

Ronan wanted to serve his community and had just completed his training a few weeks ago.

He was 25. That means he was only 8 when the first IRA cessation was called.

For most of his life and all of his short adult life, he had like all of his generation no experience of conflict.

Don cuid is mó dá saol agus dá ghlúin ní fhaca sé mórán den choimhlint

Speaking on Sunday Nuala Kerr, whose late husband was from Andersonstown in west Belfast, spoke for all of us when she said:

“It’s a sad day for our community. Ronan was a valued member and he had much to offer.

This is at a time when we are striving for a neutral police force for the good of our country and I urge all Catholic members not to be deterred. We all need to stand up and be counted and to strive for equality. We don’t want to go back to the dark days again of fear and terror.”

And she is right.

We all have to stand up for our community.

We have to stand up for equality and a non partisan, civic policing service in the north.

We have to encourage young nationalists and republicans to join the PSNI.

And we have to confront and challenge those responsible for Ronan Kerr’s murder.

Thus far no one has said they murdered Ronan Kerr.

Those actions and others since are attacks on the peace process.

They are attempts to turn the clock back.

They have failed and will continue to fail.

I believe the shock and outrage and anger surrounding the murder of Ronan Kerr will unite and bind together more strongly than ever before all of those who want the peace process to succeed.

There has been evidence of that across this island, within community’s, from the GAA, and among political representatives and parties.

But we have to go beyond condemnation.

It is imperative that everyone make clear their opposition to the murder of Constable Kerr.

It is imperative that every citizen across this island defends the peace process.

That especially means political representatives.

Caithfear cinnireacht a thabhairt in éadan na grúpaí seo.

We must be in the leadership of opposition to these groups.

That means all of us in this chamber and especially in government.

We must demonstrate to those who want to tear down the Good Friday Agreement process and institutions that we are resolute and determined to defend and build on them.

Practically this means that there is an onus on all of us, but especially the government, to implement all of those aspects of the Good Friday Agreement that are still outstanding, and to strengthen the all-Ireland institutional structures.

I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to those responsible for violent actions and others who might tolerate them.

Sinn Féin offered some time ago to meet with you and to outline our strategy, it’s ability for advancing republican objectives and our belief in the futility of armed actions.

So far you have refused to speak to Sinn Féin.

But I make the same offer again.

I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with Sinn Féin.

That is your right. But you have no right to attack anyone.

That is clear from the overwhelming public rejection of the attack which killed Ronan Kerr.

The people of this island demand that you stop.

Bualfaidh mé leat aon uair, ag aon am.

I will meet you anywhere, at any time to listen to what you have to say and to tell you that there is now a democratic peaceful way to unite our people and our country on the basis of equality.

Your achievement has been to unite us all in opposition to your actions.

It is time to end these futile attacks on the peace process.

They will not succeed.

Tá an cogadh thart. The war is over.

The IRA is gone.

These other groups have no coherent strategy and their actions do not advance any political agenda.

They are unrepresentative of the community and have no support.

They claim to be republican but by their actions they undermine and damage the potential for Irish reunification.

They are anti-republican and anti-peace.

Almost 20 years ago, through hard work and effort Sinn Féin developed a peace strategy and with others created a peace process that has brought about fundamental and positive change.

Tá athraithe cuimsitheacha taréis tarlúint.

Significant progress has been made.

One example of this is the fact that in four weeks there will be an election to the power sharing Assembly and Executive at the end of a successful four year term.

The Good Friday Agreement provides a peaceful and democratic means to achieve republican goals.

In referenda and in every subsequent election the people of this island have voted for this.

There is no excuse, justification or explanation which can validate the murder of Ronan Kerr or any of the other actions of these groups.

Our goal in the time ahead must be to defend the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement institutions.

Nuala Kerr is right.

This is a time to stand up and be counted; against those who would seek to drag us back to the dark days and against those who are wedded to senseless and futile militarism.


Sinn Féin Education spokesperson John O’ Dowd has said in response to an opinion poll by Ipsos MORI on public attitudes toward integrated Education:
“Previous opinion polls have also shown a high percentage of the public support for an integrated education system.
“Sinn Féin support parental choice in education and have shown our active support for Integrated schools under the tenures of Martin McGuinness and Caitríona Ruane as Education Ministers.
“Where demand for an integrated school is established we will continue to support the provision of integrated schools.
Concluding Mr O’ Dowd said:
“There is an onus on all our education sectors to work together, for the betterment of education and our society. There is clear evidence this is happening more and more.
“Under the establishment of the Educational Skills Authority sharing of services and school planning will no longer be an aspiration but a reality; it is up to politicians to make ESA a reality.” CRÍOCH


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien and Energy and Natural Resources Spokesperson Martin Ferris have called on the Garda Ombudsman to begin an immediate investigation into a recorded conversation between Gardai involved in policing protests against the gas pipeline and refinery in north Mayo.

They were responding to a recording made on a camera confiscated by the Gardai from a protestor in which the Gardai are heard to joke about raping one of the women from whom the camera had been taken. They also speak about the manner in which they police the protests, making it clear their hostility to those involved.

Deputy O’Brien said: “It is extremely disturbing that members of the Gardai in whom women are expected to place their trust would speak in such a manner about raping persons who they are taking into custody. This is only the latest in a series of incidents in which the Gardai and members of private security companies have been shown to behave in an overly aggressive and hostile manner towards people engaged in legitimate protests. It is vital therefore that the Garda Ombudsman conduct an immediate investigation.”

Deputy Ferris said: “Apart from the appalling nature of this incident, there are huge questions surrounding the policing of the Corrib project. Not alone are there legitimate local concerns but it is also obscene that well over €20 million has been spent on Garda policing of the protests in recent years. We are at a time of unprecedented economic and financial crisis and yet this Government is presiding over the surrender of a natural resource potentially worth many billions of Euro. However, the current licensing and revenue terms mean that very little of that value will accrue to the Irish exchequer or people.”



Kelly calls for 'Public Awareness' ahead of May 5th Election


Speaking ahead of leading a Sinn Fein delegation to the electoral commission, Gerry Kelly said,


"On May fifth people will face the most complex elections to date in the north.


We are urging maximum public awareness from the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Office to prepare and fully inform voters of the complexities of voting this May.


The fact that there are three elections on the same day -Larger numbers of voters in each box - and fears that queues may see some lose their vote, means that preparation and public information is key.


The Electoral Commission share many of our concerns. It's in everyone's interest that people grasp their right to vote by getting to the poling station early in the day.


Sinn Fein will be following this engagement with a meeting with the chief electoral officer to press for staffing increases and a common sense approach on May fifth." concluded Gerry Kelly. CRIOCH


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún today lent her support to a European Parliament resolution which highlights the role of women in agriculture and rural areas.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said "I welcome this report which not only highlights the difficulties many rural women face on a daily basis, but also focuses on their invaluable contribution to rural life."

"In this report the European Parliament calls on the Commission to maintain the current budget for agricultural expenditures well as recognising that diversification of the rural economies will provide and encourage sustainable economic development. It also focuses on the vital role played by women's networks, particularly in terms of how they promote rural life.

"The report recognises the importance of women's and farmers organisations to new development programmes and diversification, and stresses the way rural tourism can help combine family obligations with work.

"It is good to see that the EU is now focusing on, and indeed supporting, this often-neglected area. We all need to work together to ensure the future prosperity of our rural and farming communities." ENDS


Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has responded to the revelation that Department of Health briefings to the Minister for Health James Reilly signal further public hospital bed closures.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Further closures of public hospital beds cannot be tolerated. Such closures would plunge our healthcare system into deeper crisis and put the lives of patients at risk.

“Health Minister James Reilly must not allow further beds to be closed. On the contrary he must bring forward a plan to reopen the hundreds of public hospital beds that are closed across the State."


Demand for Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled reiterated