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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


Sinn Féin today launched its proposals for Social Development and Housing as part of our series of policy document launches in the run up to the Assembly Elections.

The social development and housing proposals outline key areas and issues that Sinn Féin will focus on in the next Assembly term.

Carál Ní Chulín (north Belfast) said: “Sinn Féin will ensure that proper funding and support is provided for the development of the community and voluntary sector, on the basis of objective need.”

“Our proposals include protecting frontline services, tackling fuel poverty, inserting social clauses into public sector contracts and opposing the welfare reform cuts agenda introduced by the tories."

Fra McCann, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson said: “Our housing proposals state that everyone should have access to decent affordable housing. We will ensure that measures are put in place to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

“We include proposals to have a mandatory registration scheme for landlords in the private rented sector, as well as a deposit retention scheme to protect tenants from landlords who withhold deposits.”

“Our proposals will focus on tackling the inequalities in the housing sector and also tackling dereliction in our town and city centres.” CRÍOCH


Sinn Féin TD for Donegal South West Pearse Doherty has said that the Government is taking the wrong approach to the Irish Speaking Scheme.

An announcement yesterday by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs states that the Scheme will now be discontinued.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The Government is taking the complete wrong approach to the Irish Speaking Scheme.

“Sinn Féin agrees that the scheme should be reviewed in order to benefit both native Irish speakers and those who want to become fluent in the language. We do believe, however that the decision to discontinue the scheme entirely is the wrong approach to take.

“What we need is root and branch reform of the scheme so that it enhances and enriches the use of Irish among native speakers and those who want to become fluent. It is widely acknowledged that the scheme at present is not enabling that.

“I would appeal to the Government to take on board the recommendations of the Staidéar Teangeolaíochta ar Usáid na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht with regard to this scheme. We do need reform. We do not need ill-thought-out decisions such as that announced yesterday.”


Commenting on the fire at Belcamp College in Coolock, Sinn Fein Dublin City Councillor for the area, Larry O'Toole, said:

“Belcamp College was an historic building and its destruction by fire is a major loss. After it was closed as a school it was taken over by a developer, Gannon Ltd. and had lain unused since, ending up in NAMA with other Gannon properties.

“This fire raises major questions for Gannon and NAMA. Why was this building not secured better? Was security increased after previous break-ins?

“This also raises public safety issues for other properties held by NAMA in this area and elsewhere.

“Belcamp College had a long history as an educational institution and was associated with Countess Markievicz who used the estate as a youth camp in the early 1900s.

“I will be pressing the authorities to prevent further destruction and anti-social behaviour at the site of the fire and at other vacant properties in the area.” ENDS


Dúirt TD Shinn Féin i nDún na nGall Thiar Theas, Pearse Doherty, go bhfuil cuir chuige an Rialtais go hiomlán mícheart maidir le Scéim Labhairt na Gaeilge.

D’fhógair an Roinn Pobail Comhionnanas agus Gaeltachta níos luaithe inniú go bhfuil deireadh a chuir leis an Scéim.

Dúirt an Teachta Doherty:

“Tá cuir chuige an Rialtais go hiomlán mícheart maidir le Scéim Labhairt na Gaeilge.

“Aontaíonn Sinn Féin gur cheart athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar an Scéim sa dóigh go mbeadh sé tairbheach do chainteoirí dúchaise agus dóibh siúd atá ag iarraidh a bheith ina gcainteoirí líofa Gaeilge. Creidimid, afach, go bhfuil an cineadh seo deireadh a chuir leis an Scéim mícheart go huile agus go hiomlán.

“Seard atá de dhíth ná leasú iomlán ar an Scéim chun feabhsú agus saibhriú a dhéanamh ar úsáid na Gaeilge i measc cainteoirí dúchaise agus fosta cuidiú leo siúd atá ag iarraidh líofacht Gaeilge a bhaint amach. Tá sé aitheanta go leitheadach nach bhfuil an Scéim ag déanamh seo faoi láthair.

“Glaoim ar an Rialtas dul de réir na moltaí atá sa Staideár Teangeolaíochta ar Úsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht maidir le Scéim Labhairt na Gaeilge. Tá leasú riachtanach cinnte agus ní cinneadh gan machnamh mar atá déanta ag an Rialtas seo inniú”


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty has welcomed the Government’s commitment to reverse the cut to the Minimum Wage.

However Deputy Doherty also warned that Fine Gael are using this promise as a political cover for wage cuts on the lowest paid.

Speaking at Leinster House this evening Deputy Doherty said:

“I welcome the Government’s commitment to reverse the cut to the Minimum Wage. It comes after much pressure from Sinn Féin, Trade Unions and other campaign groups.

“However Fine Gael have also made clear their intention to cut the wages of hundreds of thousands of low paid workers. The European Commission and IBEC are pressurising the Government to force down the cost of labour by slashing the wages of the lowest paid – those covered by the Joint Labour Committee agreements and Registered Employment Agreements.

“The JLC and REAs cover more than 300,000 of the very lowest paid workers in our society. They are based mainly in services industries, hospitality and trades, many of whom are part-time and the majority of whom are women. Many of these workers are living on or below the Governments own poverty line. These are the people who Fine Gael, supported by IBEC and the European Commission, want to target in their quest to drive down wages.

“It is very clear that the reversal of the minimum wage cut, although welcome is being used by Fine Gael as political cover for wage cuts on the lowest paid. It comes as no surprise that Fine Gael would want to take attack this section of workers. However they can only do this if supported by the Labour Party. Workers have a right to know where Labour leader Eamonn Gilmore stands on this issue and I would ask him to make his position known.

“Driving down the wages of the lowest paid will push thousands of families further into poverty. It will also create poverty traps and in some cases a disincentive to work. Crucially it will also damage the economy, as people will have less money to spend in the local economy, resulting in even more unemployment.

“If Fine Gael are serious about protecting the low paid they will not only reverse the cut to the minimum wage but will also protect the wage rates agreed under the JLCs and REAs. However if they proceed then it is up to the Labour Party to stand by working people, do the right thing and stop the race to the bottom in terms of wages.

“For our part Sinn Fein will continue to campaign alongside trade unions and other campaign groups to make sure that the already poor wages and conditions of low paid workers are protected from further attack.”


Sinn Féin Communications Spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has, speaking this evening as the Communications Regulation Postal Services Bill 2010 was passed in the Dáil, accused the Labour Party of facilitating a Fianna Fáil led piece of legislation which was designed to liberalise the postal services and could lead to the privatisation of significant sections of An Post.

Deputy Ferris said:

“The Communications Regulation Postal Services Bill 2010 was a Fianna Fáil led Bill designed to liberalise the postal services and could lead to the privatisation of significant sections of An Post.

“This evening we witnessed the shameful sight of the Labour Party lining up alongside both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to secure the passage of this Bill through the Dáil.

“This Bill could lead to the closure of many rural post offices, the loss of hundreds of jobs and the loss of vital postal services for thousands of rural citizens while private companies cherry pick the profitable sections of the postal services for themselves.

“The Labour Party should be ashamed of themselves for siding with the right wing conservative parties on this issue.” ENDS


Sinn Féin TD for Kerry North/Limerick West Martin Ferris has called on the Government to introduce some form of debt resolution to address the growing problem of mortgage arrears.

Deputy Ferris succeeded in having a special debate on the issue in the Dáil this evening.

Deputy Ferris said:

“According to the most recent statistics there were 44,508 mortgage accounts in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of 2010. That amounts to 5.7 per cent of residential mortgages and amounted to an increase of 25,000 from 2009.

“Given the recent European Central Bank increase in interest rates, along with the current levels of unemployment, wage cuts and so on, that figure is certain to increase again and perhaps even more dramatically.

“My own party and others have proposed that measures be taken to address this problem. A group of respected economists last year urged that the banks introduce some form of debt resolution and that they accept part of the loss as their own.

“We believe that it is now time to look at possibly writing off some portions of negative equity on properties which are principal family homes, where people are in arrears and their mortgages are clearly unsustainable - and look at mortgages in terms of current house values rather than what they were at the time of purchase when unscrupulous lenders gave massive mortgages to people that they could not repay.

“When such suggestions were first made they were not taken seriously. Today, however, it has emerged that AIB is considering some form of debt resolution. That is both realistic and a recognition by them that they are to a large extent responsible for the mortgage crisis not only because of their housing loans policy but the overall part played by the banks in fuelling the speculative boom for which we are now paying the cost.

“Given that the state is now effectively running the banking sector I would urge that the Government take proactive measures to force all of the banks and other financial institutions including the sub prime lenders who appear to be the most aggressive pursuers of repossessions to provide real relief for mortgage holders.

“While the AIB indications are positive I would be a bit worried about their reference to ‘inter generational’ mortgages. While that does sound somewhat plausible in that it would lengthen the period over which a family would have to pay back what they owe, it also raises the spectre of indenturing future generations with a debt that was created before they were maybe even born.

“That is a situation akin to that which was foreseen by critics of the financial and credit system up to a century ago when they spoke about people becoming virtual serfs on the basis of unpayable debts.

“We need to address all of these issues immediately before the mortgage crisis becomes the next time bomb to threaten this society and force more people into unsustainable situations.”


Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh today secured an assurance from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the Construction Contracts Bill will be fast-tracked through the Dáil.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh raised the issue with Enda Kenny in the Dáil today during the Order of Business.

Welcoming the Taoiseach’s commitment today he said:

“The Construction Contracts Bill will ease the distress of many subcontractors around the country. In particular, it will end the sharp practice of some builders in undermining subcontractors, many of whom are in dire straits and are being put out of business.

“In the last Dáil there was all party agreement on the need for this Bill so there should be no need for any delay in bringing it forward.

“I welcome the commitment from Enda Kenny today to fast-track the passage of this Bill through the Dáil.” ENDS


Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon on Statements on the European Council Sinn Féin Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Padraig MacLochlainn said the EU is leading the Government by the nose into an exploding economic depression.

Deputy MacLochlainn said Ireland’s debt burden should have been shared as responsibility for the crisis lies with Europe as much as with Ireland.

He said:

“The EU is leading this Fine Gael/Labour government by the nose into an exploding economic depression. The policies they are following amount to little more than further de-regulation of labour markets, wage cuts, tax increases, and reductions in government spending.

“Elite policy makers across the EU are responsible for the Eurozone debt crisis and it is about time we stood up to them and told them that.

“The IMF and ECB are demanding that Irish citizens bear the burden of the mistakes made by International financial wizards.

“We are being told that we must socialize the losses, while the gains can continue to be privatized.

“The countries on the periphery of Europe – Ireland, Greece, Portugal and perhaps more to follow are being caught up in a European financial storm.

“Where is the solidarity from our large core European partners such as Germany and France?

“They have placed a savage and unbearable burden on our people, a burden that should have been shared because the responsibility for the crisis lies with Europe as much as Ireland.

“They have kicked us while we are down and they have torn the stated objectives of the European project into tatters.

“I appeal to our Government to stand up against this injustice and to seek realistic and genuinely sustainable terms for our people.

“We are not alone. It is not too late.” ENDS


Demand for Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled reiterated


Michael Colreavy TD & Cllr Darren O'Rourke