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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.”



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Speaking today as Irish Nationwide makes a settlement to bondholders after its buyback of subordinated debt which is unguaranteed, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty said that taxpayers’ money should not be used to bail out gamblers.

Deputy Doherty said that rather than being pumped into this defunct institution the £29 million could be used in any number of ways to benefit the taxpayer such as building 9 schools.

Doherty said:

“Unguaranteed subordinated debt is the riskiest form of debt and the burden of buying back these bonds has fallen upon the ordinary people of this State.

“Irish Nationwide, like Anglo Irish Bank, is a defunct, insolvent institution. Neither banks hold deposits and neither have any systemic importance.

“The fact that any money is being paid out of the public purse by nationalised banks to buy back these unguaranteed bonds is absurd.

“Given that the bonds are not due for repayment until 2016 and 2018, the Government are overseeing a blatant waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The Minister for Finance needs to justify the payment of taxpayers’ money in such a nonsensical fashion by an institution that will be liquidated and wound up by the time these bonds mature.

“Taxpayers’ money should not be used to bail out gamblers. Rather than being pumped into this defunct institution the £29million pounds being paid out could be used in any number of ways to benefit the taxpayer such as building 9 schools.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin Seanad candidate Councillor David Cullinane has accused Fine Gael and the Labour Party of reneging on their commitment to granting university status to Waterford IT.

Speaking from Waterford Councillor Cullinane said:

“Fine Gael and the Labour Party have long been committed to the granting of University status to Waterford IT. As recently as the General Election Fine Gael and Labour candidates have stated that they were 100% behind designating Waterford Institute of Technology as a University of the Southeast.

“It is now clear that the coalition parties have totally reneged on this commitment with Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn ruling out the upgrade in the Dáil yesterday.

“Waterford is the only gateway city in the country without a University which leaves the South East unable to operate on a level playing field. The people of Waterford and the Southeast have long been campaigning for a university and this reversal of policy is a slap in the face to those regionally who voted for the Government parties. I am asking the Minister to reconsider this climbdown.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said Ireland cannot afford to wait until the next EU Summit meeting to deal with the debt crisis. Deputy Doherty said the markets have already predicted the results of the stress tests as yields on ten year Irish bonds passed the 10% mark and dithering at an EU level will prove very costly.

Speaking today Deputy Doherty said:

“Enda Kenny’s agreement to take Ireland’s bailout off the agenda for the Summit meeting was a monumental mistake and will prove very costly.

“The markets have already predicted the results of the stress tests as yields on ten year Irish bonds continue to rise above the 10% mark.

“This is very dangerous territory and we simply cannot afford to wait until the next EU Summit meeting to deal with this matter.

“The Taoiseach’s first priority at this Summit meeting should have been to stand up for Ireland yet before the meeting even started he allowed our issue to be taken off the agenda. That is simply not good enough.

“The fact is that if we do not deal with the issue of Ireland’s debt then we are facing the nightmare scenario of a sovereign default that could plunge the whole of the EU into crisis.

“Enda Kenny must go to the other EU leaders at this Summit and demand that the issue of Ireland’s debt is placed back on the agenda and prioritised appropriately.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has welcomed a commitment he received from the Minister for Education Rúairí Quinn that Irish will remain a compulsory subject for the Leaving Cert.

Minister Quinn gave the assurance in the Dáil this afternoon after being questioned by Deputy Tóibín.

Speaking afterwards Deputy Tóibín said:

“I welcome the commitment from the Minister today that Irish will be retained as a compulsory subject for the leaving cert examination.

“There were genuine fears among the electorate during the course of the election that a new Fine Gael led Government would do away with Irish as a compulsory language at leaving cert level.

“Sinn Féin is committed to the protection and restoration of the Irish language. Rather than taking measures that will contribute to the dissolution of Irish, we believe the state should in fact be taking constructive steps to strengthen, support and encourage its growth.

“There needs to be an overhaul of the Irish language syllabus in order to make it more communicative and there should be a shift in the balance of marks awarded in examinations in favour of oral and aural competence.” ENDS

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Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education Sean Crowe has called on Labour Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn not to implement the proposed cap on Special Needs Assistants.

Describing the cap as ‘a travesty’ Deputy Crowe said that pupils should be allocated Special Needs Assistants based on educational need alone.

Deputy Crowe said:

“It is not acceptable that children with special needs would go without the appropriate support to see them through their education. Leaving children without these supports is a travesty.

“Pupils should be allocated Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) based on educational need alone.

“SNAs are not overpaid, quite the opposite, they receive just a little more than the minimum wage – less than €12 an hour. Money can be saved elsewhere. This is about priorities and looking after the educational prospects of our most vulnerable children must be made a priority.

“The SNA cut is a nightmare for schools but an even bigger nightmare for families of children with special needs.

“I am asking the new Minister for Education and Skills to make a stand for children with Special Educational Needs. I welcome his commitment to review the arbitrary deadline for the awarding of SNAs. This deadline makes no sense to schools considering that there is no way of knowing how many new entrants have special needs and how many newly diagnosed children there will be.

The Minister must ensure that children with Special Educational Needs have access to an SNA based on educational need alone and not on how many SNAs the Government is willing to pay.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has today formally launched the party's candidates for the upcoming Seanad elections.

The party will be contesting the Agricultural, Labour, Industrial and Commercial and NUI panels.

Speaking from the launch Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said that the party will campaign for a radically reformed, fully inclusive Seanad that is elected by universal suffrage by the people of Ireland north and south.

Deputy Adams said:

“I am pleased to announce our 4 Seanad candidates who will contest the Agricultural, Labour, Industrial and Commercial and NUI panels. They are Trevor Ó Clochairtaigh, David Cullinan, Kathryn Reilly and Eoin O'Broin.

“Our candidates are standing for a new reformed Seanad, elected by universal suffrage by the people of Ireland north and south, a Seanad that is fully inclusive and representative, a Seanad that works.

“We will use this election to put forward our platform our proposals for real social, economic and political change, for Irish unity and for a radically reformed Seanad.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said Enda Kenny must explain to the Irish people why he has not stood up for Ireland’s interests at the EU Summit meeting today after the issue of the interest rate on the EU/IMF loan was taken off the agenda.

Mr Adams said the issue of the interest rate on the loan was a key plank of Fine Gael’s election campaign and the Taoiseach majored on his intention to deal with this issue at this Summit.

He said:

“Before the Summit even began Enda Kenny had failed to stand up for Ireland’s interests by allowing the issue of the interest on the loan to be taken off the table.

“This was a key plank of Fine Gael’s election campaign and Irish people had been led to believe that the new Taoiseach would begin negotiations at this Summit.

“The real issue that should be discussed at this EU Summit meeting is Ireland’s inability to repay this loan and our inability to sustain the debt.

“With yields on ten year Irish bonds passing the 10% mark today we are in very dangerous territory and cannot afford to put negotiations off any further.

“All parties have moved closer to the Sinn Féin position that there needs to be some form of burden sharing but we cannot continue to kick the can down the road to 2013. Ireland simply cannot afford to wait that long.” ENDS

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For Immediate Release - 24th March 2010

“Action needed on hospital super-bugs” – Ó Caoláin

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called on Health Minister James Reilly to take immediate action to address the growing menace of drug-resistant hospital-based infections, commonly known as super-bugs. The call follows the recent outbreak of KPC at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The recent outbreak of KPC is a cause of major concern, adding to the concern over the prevalence of MRSA and C-Difficile in our hospitals.

“In November 2009 in an open letter I challenged former Health Minister Harney at the time of a C-Difficile outbreak in North-East hospitals. I stated that the Minister’s policy of centralisation of hospital services, as well as current and further proposed cutbacks affecting staff and other resources, will make the battle against hospital-based infections much more difficult.

“That has proven to be the case. The latest outbreak of KPC has occurred in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick which has experienced serious over-crowding as a result of cuts to services at Ennis General Hospital and other health cutbacks.

“In Opposition Deputy James Reilly was vocal in his calls for action on this matter, identifying over-crowding in our hospitals as the major contributing factor.

“Minister Reilly should now act. He should open closed hospital wards and beds across the State, ensure the provision of single rooms for patients with these infections and end the recruitment embargo for front-line hospital care providers.”

ENDS

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Sinn Féin Policing spokesperson Alex Maskey MLA commenting after the publication of the PSNI’s three year policing plan has said that regardless of what plans are put in place, they must be firmly based in garnering community support.

Speaking this afternoon Mr Maskey, who sits on the Policing Board, said;

“I welcome the publication of today’s report.

However, in discussions with the Chief Constable over recent times, Sinn Féin has made it clear that any police service worth its salt, purporting to represent the community, must ensure that it has the necessary support of the people. We have seen in recent times, not least around the issue of balanced representation and for people like the McGurk’s Families, that the PSNI still has some way to travel.

For our part we will continue to ensure that we work to ensure our people have a Policing Service which is embedded in the community with the support of all of our people.” CRÍOCH

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Demand for Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled reiterated


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Michael Colreavy TD & Cllr Darren O'Rourke