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A Fair Recovery Is Possible

Sinn Féin has launched a state wide campaign for a Fair Recovery. The campaign will involve a series of public meetings and the distribution of close to one million leaflets door to door.

This campaign is about setting out some of Sinn Féin’s priorities and to start a debate about the future, about what type of country and society we want to live in, about equality, and the type of recovery we want.

Visit our special web section A Fair Recovery Is Possible here

A Fair Recovery is Possible logo

Some sights and sounds from the Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare on June 21, 2015. Main speaker Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD. During the course of her speech she talked about the need for a fair economic recovery north and south; demanded the British to come clean about collusion; and expressed solidarity with the people of Greece.


Martin McGuinness speaking at Stormont said that Sinn Féin's conditional support for the budget bill will create the space to resolve outstanding issues and ensure the executive has workable and sustainable finances and see the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today called on the Irish government to raise the issue of the on-going violence in the Middle East as an urgent matter and to use its influence to get an EU intervention at this week’s EU summit.

Speaking in the Dáil during statements on the EU Council Teachta Adams called on the international community to act in a decisive way now before the situation deteriorates further.

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“A real peace process must be inclusive, based on dialogue and equality, and all sides must respect the right of citizens to elect or select their representatives.

“So Taoiseach I would ask that you ensure this issue is considered by EU leaders this weekend.

“The Government should also use its influence in the EU and its new membership of the UN Human Rights Council to raise the current hostilities, the denial of sovereign, as well as human rights, to the Palestinian people and the six year illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel.”

The full text of Mr. Adams remarks:

“Taoiseach I want to ask you to raise the issue of the on-going violence in the Middle East as an urgent issue and to use your good office to get an EU intervention.

“Over recent decades the international community has failed to demonstrate the necessary resolve to help end this conflict.

“By last night approximately 130 Palestinian and five Israeli citizens have been killed. Half of those killed in Gaza are women and children.

“The EU Council should not meet without you using Ireland’s special status to raise the urgent need for peace in the Middle East.

“I believe there needs to be an immediate end of armed actions by all of the combatant groups.

“The rocket attacks on Israel should stop and the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip should end immediately.

“But in the meantime there is an onus on the international community especially the EU, to act in a decisive way now before the situation deteriorates further.

“You can play a leadership role in this Taoiseach. It is also vital that we should not be distracted by unbalanced media reporting which presents this conflict as one between equals. It is not.

“The Gaza Strip is a third world region, poor, under economic siege for six years and with most of its citizens living in poverty and relying on international aid.

“The Palestinian people have been robbed of their land, imprisoned by separation walls and borders into ghettoes, and have little power or influence.

“A United Nations report, before this recent violence, stated that by 2020 there will be virtually no reliable access to safe drinking water and no reliable electricity for the people of the Gaza strip.

“Eighty per cent of the citizens of Gaza are dependent on international aid and over one million are refugees.

“Taoiseach, Israel by comparison is a first world, highly developed, rich and heavily armed super-state with nuclear weapons.

“Taoiseach, the international experience and one of the main lessons from the Irish peace process is clear.

“Refusing to engage in dialogue; demonising opponents; treating them as non-citizens; stripping them of their rights and entitlements, of their self-esteem and integrity as human beings; engaging in censorship and vilification, makes war inevitable and peace harder to achieve.

“A real peace process must be inclusive, based on dialogue and equality, and all sides must respect the right of citizens to elect or select their representatives.

“So Taoiseach I would ask that you ensure this issue is considered by EU leaders this weekend.

“The government should also use its influence in the EU and its new membership of the UN Human Rights Council to raise the current hostilities, the denial of sovereign, as well as human rights, to the Palestinian people and the six year illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel.”

ENDS

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Tá sé curtha i leith Aire na Gaeltachta, Dinny McGinley, ag an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, go bhfuil faillí tíreolaíoch agus inscne ag baint leis na ceapacháin atá déanta aige ar bhord Údarás na Gaeltachta. Tá líon na mban ar an mbord gearrtha go beirt agus tá líon na gcomhaltaí as Gaeltacht na Gaillimhe laghdaithe ó ochtar go beirt.
Cé go bhfáiltíonn an Seanadóir roimh an bhfógra agus guionn sé gach rath ar na baill nuathofa, ardaíonn na ceapacháin cuid mhaith ceisteanna bunúsacha faoi cur chuige an Rialtais, dar leis an gClochartach.
"Tá daoine den dtuairim gur de bharr dílseacht pholaitiúil atá cuid mhaith de na ceapacháin seo déanta agus go mbeidh tromlach an-mhór ag daoine atá fabhrach d’Fhine Gael & an Lucht Oibre ar an mbord. Seo an imní a bhí chuid mhaith de phobal na Gaeltachta nuair a d’athraigh an tAire an leagan amach daonlathach ar an mbord’, a deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar. ‘Níl an bhord nua tofa ag an bpobal dar díobh iad agus is laigeacht mór san ionadaíocht é sin, dar liom."
"Tá fimínteacht ag baint le cur chuige an Rialtais freisin. Ar thaobh amháin tá siad ag iarraidh reachtaíocht a chuir chun cinn le líon na mban sa gcóras poiblí a mhéadu, rud atá ceart, ach nuair a bhí deis ag an Aire Gaeltachta cothromaíocht a thabhairt do mhná ar bhord an Údaráis, a mhalairt atá déanta agus ionadaíocht na mban gearrtha caoga fán gcéad aige. An deá-chleachtas atá ar fud na hEorpa ná go mbeadh ar a laghad ceathracha fán gcéad ban ar bhoird stáit, ach níl sa bheirt atá ceaptha ag an Aire ach 16% den iomlán. Deis eile caillte aige", dar le Ó Clochartaigh.
"Is í Gaeltacht na Gaillimhe an ceantar is mó daonra sa nGaeltacht le suas le 45,000 duine ann. Tá sé beagnach dúbailt chomh mór le Tír Chonaill ina bhfuil tuairim 24,000 duine. Ach, tá ceathrar ionadaí ar an mbord nua de bhunadh Thír Chonaill agus gan ach beirt as Gaillimh, áit a raibh ochtar roimhe sin. Níl muid ag lorg aon cheo breise do Ghaillimh seachas aon cheantar eile, ach ní coibhneas faireáilte é sin", a deir an Seanadóir.
"Ba chóir don Aire míniú duinn chomh maith cé na critéir a d’úsáid sé chun na baill nua a roghnú. An bhfuil cáilíochtaí pleanála teanga acu? An bhfuil cónaí orthu sa nGaeltacht? Cén taithí gnó agus cruthú fostaíochta agus forbartha pobail atá acu? Ba chóir dó chomh maith eolas a thabhairt faoi aon bhallraíocht a bhí, nó atá acu, in aon pháirtí polaitiúil, nó ar thacaigh siad ariamh le iarrthóirí ó aon pháirtí ar leith aimsir toghcháin?’, a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh. ‘Tá sé seo tábhachtach i gcomhthéacs na daoine eile a chuir iarratais isteach le bheith mar bhaill boird agus nár éirigh leo. Ba chóir go mbeadh sé soiléir gur de bharr taithí agus cumas a rinneadh an cinneadh, seachas aon cheo eile.
"Is maith an rud go bhfuil ionadaíocht ar an mbord nua ó na Gaeltachtaí beaga, ach ba chóir don Aire dá bhrí sin soiléiriú a dhéanamh ar ionadaíocht na ndaoine a bheidh ainmnithe ó Chomhairlí Chontae na Mí, Corcaigh agus Port Lairge amach anseo. Tá sé sa reachtaíocht go mbéidh siad ag babhtáíl gach bliain. Más ea, ceard a tharloidh d’ionadaíocht na Mí an bhliain seo chugainn. Ní cosúil ach an oiread go bhfuil éinne ceaptha ag an Aire a bhfuil cónaí orthu ar oileán Ghaeltachta agus is mór an trua sin, mar go bhfuil ról faoi leith ag na hoileáín i saol agus cultúr na Gaeltachta.
"Bhí amhras orainn nuair a bhí Bille na Gaeltachta dhá bhrú thríd an Oireachtas agus athruithe ar bhord an Údaráis le tabhairt isteach, go mbeadh laghdú ar an daonlathas, ar an ionadaíocht ó na pobail agus go mbeadh fábhar do pháirtithe an Rialtais sna ceapacháin. Tá sé tabhachtach go léireoidh an tAire anois nach amhlaidh atá, le go mbeadh muinín ag daoine san Údarás agus an obair fíorthabhachtach a dhéanann sí", a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Críoch

Údarás Board appointments unrepresentative – Ó Clochartaigh

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has accused the Minister of State for Gaeltacht affairs for failing to ensure the gender and geographic spread of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta was representative. The number of women on the board has been reduced to two, and the number of representatives from Galway has been reduced from eight to two.
While the Senator welcomed the announcement of the Boards membership, and wished the new members well in their work, Senator Ó Clochartaigh has stated that the makeup of the board raises basic questions about the Government’s approach.
“There are many people of the view that the appointments are on the basis of political patronage, and that the overwhelming majority of members of the Board are aligned to Fine Gael and the Labour Party. This was one of the concerns of the Gaeltacht community when the Government changed the democratic make-up of the Board,” according to the Galway West Senator. “The new board has not been elected by the people, and that is a massive flaw in the make-up of the board in my view.
“The Government is also being quite hypocritical as well. On the one hand, it is bringing forward, rightly in my view, legislation to increase the representation of women in political life, however, when the Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs has the opportunity to ensure that women are given proper representation, he has done the opposite and reduced the representation of women by 50%. It is good practice throughout Europe, that at least 40% of state boards are female, however, the two appointed by the Minister to the board, only make up 16%. This is another missed opportunity.
“The Galway Gaeltacht is the most populous area in the Gaeltacht, with some 45,000 people living there. This is nearly twice as populous as the Donegal Gaeltacht with 24,000 people. However, there are four representatives from Donegal, and only two from Galway, which previously had eight representatives. We are not seeking any special treatment for Galway, however, these are not fair ratios.
“The Minister should also explain what criteria he used to select the new members. Do they have language planning qualifications? Are they living in the Gaeltacht? Do they have experience in enterprise, job creation and community development? He should also provide any information as regards any involvement the members of the board have or have had with political parties, or whether they have ever actively supported any candidates for election. It is important in the context of those who applied for membership of the board but did not succeed. It should be clear that these appointments were made on the basis of experience and ability rather than on any other basis.
“It is positive that there is representation on the board from the small Gaeltacht areas, but the Minister should clarify the issue of representation from Meath, Cork and Waterford County Councils. According to the legislation, representation from these County Councils is to rotate on an annual basis. If this is the case, what will become of representation from Meath next year? It also appears as though the Minister has not appointed anyone to the Board who is living on an island Gaeltacht, and that is a shame, because the islands have a particular role in the life and culture of the Gaeltacht.
“We were concerned when the Gaeltacht Bill was passing through the Oireachtas, and the changes to the make-up of the board were being brought in, that there would be a reduction in democracy, in representativeness, and that the Government party appointees would predominate. It is essential that the Minister ensure that this is not the case, so that the people have faith in the Údarás, and in its vitally important work”

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Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the ending of the protest at Maghaberry by a majority of prisoners taking part.

The Foyle MLA and Vice Chair of the Assembly’s Justice Committee said:

“I welcome this development which now creates the space for the resolution to the prison dispute.

“The agreement reached in 2010 provides the way forward and with good will on all sides this is an opportunity to end the protest within the prison.

“Prisoners and prison staff need to be treated with dignity and respect and the minister’s intention to seek a technological solution to the issue of strip searching provides an avenue to resolving the issue.”

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Speaking in London last night, Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy hit out at the behaviour of the British government in the continuing imprisonment of Marian Price, Martin Corey and Gerry McGeough.

Conor Murphy was speaking at a public meeting in Westminster, on a panel which included Fianna Fáil TD Eamon O'Cúiv, British Labour MP John McDonnell, former Armagh prison chaplain Fr Raymond Murray, and prisoners campaigner Moya St Leger.

 Addressing the Price and Corey cases, Mr Murphy said:

 "These two people should be released immediately. Their detention without trial and due process is unjust and runs contrary to natural justice. They are detained on the basis of secret allegations by British intelligence agencies, which they are unable to challenge, contest or refute.  Everyone is entitled to due process and to a fair trial Marian Price and Martin Corey are being denied this. This represents a serious breach of their human rights and their continued imprisonment undermines the justice system. We are against the use of ‘revocation of licences’ as a substitute for due process.

On the continued imprisonment of Gerry McGeough, Conor Murphy said:

 "Sinn Féin believes that Gerry McGeough should not have been arrested,  should not therefore be in prison and should be released immediately. We have made this position clear publicly on many occasions since Gerry’s arrest, including during the course of many meetings with both the British and Irish governments. Several of our MLAs have visited the prisoners in Maghaberry many times over the course of the past two years. 

“They have met with Gerry McGeough and discussed his predicament. They have repeated our position to him personally.  Indeed, during these visits Gerry has expressed his appreciation for the efforts Sinn Féin has made on his behalf. Most recently Sinn Féin tabled motions at a number of Councils,  north and south,  calling for his release". CRÍOCH

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Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast Sue Ramsey has said that the attack on Seamus Fox in Lenadoon, outside Woodburn PSNI station was preventable and that in not acting the PSNI have let the family of Mr Fox and the wider community down.

Speaking today Ms Ramsey said:

“The Ombudsmans report into the death of Seamus Fox outside Woodburn PSNI station highlights the points that the local community have been aware off all the time.

“Quite simply the PSNI were not willing to act upon the anti-social behaviour outside one of their stations nor were they aware in the case of the killing of a local man of what was happening on their own doorstep.

“While the blame lies squarely with Gerard Connors for the vicious attack on Mr Fox, this attack was preventable.  Despite the assertion in the report that, had the PSNI intervened in the anti social behaviour, Gerard Connors may still have carried out this attack I believe this is highly unlikely.

“In their failure to act the PSNI have tragically let down Mr Fox, his family and the wider community. In doing so there are questions that remain to be answered by the PSNI as to what action they are to take in relation to this matter and those who failed in their duty towards this community.”

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Sinn Féin MLA and Chair of the Social Development Committee Alex Maskey has said that the establishment of  an ad hoc committee to examine the equality and human rights implications of the Welfare Reform bill is a way ensure that the bill receives the fullest and most robust scrutiny.

 Speaking today Mr Maskey said:

 "As Chairperson of the Social Development committee I gave a public assurance that the Welfare "Reform" Bill would receive maximum and robust scrutiny.

 “Following submissions from a wide range of groups, including the Human Rights and Equality Commissions,  all of whom raised the issue of whether the Welfare Reform Bill met with Equality and Human Rights legislation.

 “Faced with such compelling evidence the committee agreed to ask the Assembly to establish a special Ad-Hoc committee to have a detailed examination of the equality and human rights related concerns.

 “I welcome the fact that the Assembly today got behind the need for this committee to be established however it is telling that the DUP attempted to block this from happening.

 “In particular the Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has once again failed to recognise his own responsibility in this matter and did not support the committee's efforts to ensure maximum and robust scrutiny of this Bill in the manner it requires.

 “The establishment of such as committee will now underpin Sinn Féin’s and others commitment to  have this bill scutinised to the highest degree.

 “All of us, as MLA’s across political parties must ensure that the Welfare Reform Bill meets with  human rights standards and does not infringe on the rights and entitlements of those who we are elected locally to represent.”

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Sinn Féin Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has welcomed the debate on the next stage of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill at the Assembly.

 Ms. McCann said,

“There are no words that can explain the horrific ordeal these people went through as children so it is important that we move this Bill through the stages as soon as possible in order to allow the process of finding the truth can continue.

“Over the past few years there has been a lot of good work done in terms of bringing about an inquiry and today’s debate is another step in finalising the detail of the Bill.

“I am also glad that many of the amendments agreed today reflexed the feedback from submissions by survivors of institutional abuse.

 “I am committed in supporting the victims of institutional abuse and will continue to work with them in order to seek the truth in these matters.”

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Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has tonight expressed concern at the lack of consultation to date with Praveen Halappanavar on the HSE inquiry into the tragic death of his wife Savita . 

Speaking after tonight's  Dáil session this evening, Deputy McDonald said: 

“The Taoiseach announced in the Dáil today that three members of staff at Galway University Hospital are to be removed from the inquiry team tasked with investigating the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in the same hospital following very understandable objections raised by her family. 

“We are concerned that there appears to be little if any real consultation with Praveen Halappanavar on the inquiry process. If Savita’s family are to have any confidence in the inquiry process the HSE must ensure their consent and cooperation. 

“If the Minister for Health and the HSE are unable to achieve the consent and cooperation of Savita’s family then both must reconsider their approach to the inquiry.” 
  
Ends 

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The Dáil this evening began debating a Sinn Féin Private Members' motion calling for immediate legislation to implement the Supreme Court judgment in the X Case.
Opening the debate, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader and Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald said that 20 years on from the Supreme Court ruling, the fact that there was an on-going failure to legislate for the very limited circumstances in which a woman might have a termination of pregnancy, was nothing short of scandalous.
“Multiple court cases, rulings by the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, two referendums, and seven governments later, here we find ourselves. Pregnant women continue to be left vulnerable as doctors attempt to operate in what they have identified as a ‘grey’ area. That is not acceptable. Not by a long stretch”, she said.
The Dublin Central TD said that pregnant women and the medical profession are being “failed by politics” and that it was “cowardly” to allow such a situation to persist.
“It is necessary that we as legislators make clear our intentions: that we say for once and for all that we will legislate to provide safety and clarity to women and medics”, she said.
Party leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams said Fianna Fáil accusations that the motion was ‘opportunist’ were particularly offensive given that Fianna Fáil was in government for most of the last 20 years and that Mícheál Martin was Minister for Health during four of those and did nothing. Deputy Adams said Sinn Féin’s focus was two-fold — firstly, to provide legislative protection for women whose lives are at risk during pregnancy and secondly, to seek to ensure that clinicians have clear legal guidelines within which they can carry out their work.
“We have to ask ourselves as elected representatives and legislators if we really want to leave Irish women or the medical profession in the awful predicament caused by the current absence of legislation? I don’t -and Sinn Féin doesn’t”, he said.
The Sinn Féin leader said there was a responsibility on members of this Oireachtas “to ensure that this generation of Irish women will not face the prospect of doing what many have had to do in recent days – take to the streets for what should be a basic human right”.
ENDS

Videos

Sights and sounds from Bodenstown 2015


Photos

Palestinian minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addressing the hearing in Brussels.