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Pearse Doherty

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has dismissed suggestions from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that people are profiteering from the weekly COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350.

The Donegal TD encouraged the government to instead focus its attentions on addressing anomalies in the job subsidy system. 

As it stands, some low paid workers receiving 70% of their wage are receiving just €250 a week. Doherty believes a minimum subsidy payment of €350 should be set to address this anomaly.

Teachta Doherty said: "Families right across the country have seen their income collapse overnight and many are now dependent on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or the wage subsidy scheme just to keep their heads above water during this crisis.

"They are focused on putting food on the table and providing for their children. They are trying to make it to the end of the week during a pandemic.

"I have had a lot of calls and messages this morning from people very upset at the comments of the Taoiseach last night suggesting that people are profiteering on this payment.  

"To suggest that anyone would be profiteering on €350 a week is not only insulting, it fails to understand the reality of what is going on in people's lives at the moment.

"There are anomalies in the job subsidy system - some low paid workers receiving 70% of their wage are only receiving €250 a week, well below the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.  

"I believe that the Minister should use his discretion to set the minimum subsidy payment at €350 and he also needs to look at supports for workers on other incomes."

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Sinn Féin’s Emma Rogan MLA has called on the Fisheries Minister Edwin Poots to bring forward an urgent hardship package for the local fishing industry to help mitigate the catastrophic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The South Down MLA said: 

“With our three local harbours full of boats tied up due to the Coronavirus pandemic it is vital that our local fishing industry remains financially viable into the future. 

“With expensive outgoings each month for insurance, harbour dues, and equipment leases the financial pressure of having boats tied up for a prolonged period of time will become increasingly difficult for the local fleet. 

"If this situation is not managed effectively the temptation for crews to return to fishing against the strict social distancing guidelines will be too strong, and undoubtedly some workers will be exploited.

“Minister Poots needs to urgently address the needs of the local industry by bringing forward a financial scheme that not only helps the owners of the boats, but also the crews and indeed the local deck hands. If our local fishing industry is to thrive beyond this crisis then we need a hardship package that is designed to protect the industry in all of its parts.” 

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The rights of cross-border workers must be protected during the COVID-19 crisis, newly elected Seanadóir Elisha McCallion has said.

The former Foyle MP was speaking after being elected to the Industrial and Commercial Panel of the 26th Seanad today.

Senator McCallion said:

“I'm absolutely delighted to be elected to the Seanad and to be joining the biggest Sinn Féin electoral team across the island of Ireland.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that the people of the North have another voice in the Oireachtas standing up for their interests.

“Our immediate priority is dealing with the ongoing public health emergency and taking steps to protect the public right across the island and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“This is an unprecedented crisis and the necessary steps taken will undoubtedly have an impact on the lives of workers, families and local business.

“It’s vital that protections already put in place, including financial support for cross-border workers, are made available to workers who live in the north.

“Sinn Féin will continue to press the Irish Government for the extension of the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment’ to workers here.”

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment David Cullinane TD has highlighted this evening how low paid workers are being penalised under the government's Wage Subsidy Scheme.

He cited the example of Penneys, who are offering workers just 80% of their usual pay; meaning many workers are receiving less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

He said:

"Sinn Féin have supported the introduction of an Income Support Scheme for workers and businesses to maintain a relationship between workers and their employers at this time, but we have also highlighted the shortcomings in the government's scheme, which are now coming to the fore.

"Employers who sign up to the scheme are required to pay their employees no more than 70% of their net weekly wage, which for many is less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"I have learned this evening that Penneys are offering workers just 80% of their usual pay, meaning many of their workers fall into the category of those earning less than they would on welfare payments. This is completely unacceptable.

"Sinn Féin are engaging with ICTU and with Mandate on this matter, and we have called on the Minister for Finance and Revenue to ensure that the government's scheme fixes a €350 minimum payment."

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Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection John Brady has said that the Wage Subsidy Scheme needs to be urgently reformed to ensure that workers are being paid the full equivalent to their wages and that people need clarity on when their backdated welfare payment will be processed.

Deputy Brady said;

“Many families are experiencing serious financial difficulties as a result of becoming unemployed or being put on the Wage Subsidy Scheme. It’s a time when the safety net of our social protection system is needed most. 

“Intreo offices across the State have received and processed 389,000 applications for the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment. 

“I have been inundated with questions from people right across my constituency and it’s critical that people get the right information as quickly as possible.

“On Tuesday 283,000 people received the flat rate payment of €350 for PUP. Many of those people had applied for this payment several weeks ago and had been living hand to mouth awaiting this critical payment. It wasn’t backdated as they had been expecting.

“The Minister needs to state clearly when this backdated pay will be issued so families across the state can finally see their questions answered.

“I welcome the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, however a number of issues with its criteria make it more accessible for the people who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This means ensuring that €350 is the floor or minimum payment employees receive through the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

"The Minister should also look at extending Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment support to under 18 who have lost full time employment and the issue of over 66s, many whom are in financial hardship during this pandemic.

“Many people under 18 and over 66 who have been made unemployed as a result of this crisis aren’t eligible to apply for the PUP. 

“These include young apprentices who can start their apprenticeships from 16. It also includes many people over the age of 66 who for financial reasons have been forced to continue working.

“If this government is serious about supporting families and those who lost their job as a result of the COVID outbreak they should support these measures."

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Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said the Irish Protocol in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement must be maintained in full. 

The South Down MP said: 

"I welcome the call form the European Commission for the 'proper and timely' implementation of the Irish Protocol of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. 

"This protocol includes the unique protections secured for the north, our economy and the Good Friday Agreement. 

"A specialised Committee will now be established by the EU and British government to look at how the Irish Protocol will be implemented and the European Commission has said there is a urgent need for Britain to publish a detailed timetable on how it intends to do so. 

"There can be no resiling from what has been agreed in the Irish Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement in order to protect the Good Friday Agreement and our economy." 

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Louise OR' ReillySinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has called for necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to be provided for nursing home and home help staff as a matter of urgency.

Latest figures show that there are now 29 clusters of COVID-19 infections in nursing homes across the state.

Dublin Fingal TD O’Reilly has also called for provisions to be made for additional supplies of staff to be provided in cases where nursing home employees are required to take sick leave as a result of contracting COVID-19.

Teachta O’Reilly said: “The nursing home sector has come to the fore in recent weeks. There are increasing numbers of clusters of the virus in our nursing homes.

“The Health Protection Surveillance Centre tells us that there are now 134 COVID-19 clusters of at least three people and that nursing homes now account for 21% of these.

“The HSE and medical professionals are doing sterling work to try to stop the spread and treat people as well as they can.

“But it is now paramount to the safety of our nursing home staff and to our loved ones living in their care that all staff working in nursing homes are now provided with the necessary PPE.

“PPE is as important to those working in our nursing homes and to home help personnel as it is to those working in our healthcare services.

“Those working on the frontline taking care of our loved ones must have the adequate equipment to protect themselves from infection and to help lessen the chance of the virus being spread further. 

"Many elderly people at home do not want to let anyone into their houses. They are normally visited by home help personnel but they are very anxious now. 

"They need these services. That is why it is absolutely vital that PPE is provided to home help workers to put people's minds at ease. 

“Supply of PPE is crucial. We must ensure that we have a continuous domestic production line of various items of PPE and not be so reliant on the international market or we will run short and put people at risk.

“Nursing homes also need to be properly staffed in this time of crisis. We all saw the call to be on call for Ireland and people have responded.

“On call for Ireland means being where one is needed, whether in a nursing home, in the community, in an administrative role or in a field hospital, step-down facility or clinical hub.

“On call for Ireland means being where one is needed. Our nursing homes absolutely need a steady supply of staff to keep the residents safe. We all know that staff in nursing homes are contracting this virus and have to take time off, but the residents still need to be cared for.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has said there can be no place for homophobic or misogynistic attitudes in society. 

The North Antrim MLA was speaking after outrageous comments made DUP councillor John Carson.

Philip McGuigan said:

“Comments like those from John Carson are disgraceful and should be withdrawn.

“There can be no place for homophobia, sectarianism, racism, misogyny or any form of discrimination in our society, unfortunately in some quarters these attitudes remain.

“All such comments need to be faced down and challenged.”

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Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has praised the efforts of local businesses involved in the fightback against COVID19.

The North Belfast MP said:

“Across the North, local community and Sinn Féin activists are actively organising to assist older people, the vulnerable and those in need in our society.  

“Thousands of hampers made up of essentials have already been delivered to those who are most vulnerable within our communities.

 

“In addition to money that we secured from council for these hampers in Belfast, there has also been a huge amount of essential items kindly donated by businesses.

 

“From the local cornershops and chip shops right up the larger supermarkets, I want to thank them all for their support.

 

“I also want to pay tribute to those businesses that are repurposing to make personal protective equipment, ventilators and other essential equipment to contribute to the fightback.

 

"If your business can contribute to the COVID19 fightback while guaranteeing the safety of staff - I would encourage you to play your part.  

 

“Through the darkness of this pandemic the strength of solidarity in our ever-resilient community is shining through.

 

“These are dark days; but together we will come through.”

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Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called for a reform of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme so that workers are not penalised by receiving the wage subsidy rather than the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The Donegal TD has called for a minimum payment of €350 per week to be introduced to the scheme.

Under the current wage subsidy scheme, employers who sign up will be required to pay their employees no more than 70% of their net weekly wage, which for many workers is less than the €350 they would receive through the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Teachta Doherty said:

"Sinn Féin welcomes the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, which attempts to maintain a relationship between workers and their employers, keep them on payroll and support their incomes.

"However, in its current design the scheme is flawed and requires immediate reform.

"Employers who sign up are required to pay their employees no more than 70% of their net weekly wage, which for many is less than the €350 they would receive through the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"In fact, anyone with a salary of less than €30,000 will receive less under the wage subsidy scheme than they would from the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. 

"For a full-time worker on the minimum wage this wage subsidy will provide nearly €100 less than the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"This is a disincentive for employers and employees to use the Wage Subsidy Scheme, which is an essential part of the Government's response to this crisis.

"Sinn Féin had proposed an Income Support Scheme that would guarantee 100% of take home pay up to a maximum of €525 per week. If these proposals are not implemented, the current scheme must at least be reformed.

"I have contacted the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe and Revenue calling for the scheme to be reformed by ensuring that €350 is the floor or minimum payment employees receive through the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

"This will improve the scheme, increase household incomes and encourage more employers and employees to avail of it. 

"This will provide further support to workers and also put us in a stronger position to rebuild the economy and society on the far side of this crisis."

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Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said local health charities need emergency financial assistance to deal with the disruption caused to by the the Covid-19 pandemic.

The South Down MP was speaking after writing to Health Minister Robin Swann in an effort to secure emergency financial assistance for local health charities.

Chris Hazzard said:

"Many of our local health charities rely heavily on fundraising as their core income stream in the delivery of their lifesaving services.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic they’ve now been forced to cancel all upcoming fundraising events; putting them in severe financial difficulty. 

"Moreover, many of the corporate and community supporters who have been instrumental in fundraising activities are now no longer in a position to help with community funding initiatives for the foreseeable future. 

“One of the local health charities I have been worked with is the Cancer Fund for Children, and their world class Daisy Lodge facility in Newcastle.

“The Cancer Fund for Children’s unique service delivery of restorative practical and emotional support provided by a specialist services team at Daisy Lodge in Newcastle has helped more than 2500 families in the past five years. This represents an annual contribution of £2.4million in our local families. 

“Like so many of our local health charities and voluntary organisations, the Cancer Fund for Children and Daisy Lodge, will face unprecedented financial difficulties in the months ahead. 

“I've asked the Health Minister Robin Swann to urgently step in and provide emergency funding to help mitigate the devastating consequences for those health charities and voluntary organisations who make a remarkable contribution towards the health and wellbeing of our society. 

“The Department of Health must help them now in their hour of need.” 

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Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed the publication of the Criminal Justice Inspectorate’s report on PSNI disclosure of information to the Police Ombudsman and called for its recommendations to be implemented immediately. 

Gerry Kelly said:

“I welcome the publication of this report from the Criminal Justice Inspectorate into the PSNI’s disclosure of information to the office of the Police Ombudsman. 

“This report follows a similar inspection released in December 2016 into the PSNI’s management of disclosing information and material to the Coroners Service to support legacy inquests, where their disclosure practices were found to be ‘complex, convoluted and risk adverse.’

“This is the latest in a long line of such failures reflected in a number of similar critical judgements, including the Flynn and Hooded Men cases in 2017 and a. BBC investigation. 

“Such practices are indicative of a sustained and systemic position adopted by the PSNI to delay the release of relevant information to key criminal justice agencies. As such they seriously undermine attempts to develop levels of confidence in policing and are clearly unacceptable.

“The PSNI now need to work closely with all the criminal justice agencies as an imperative to developing confidence in their disclosure processes . 

“This can be best accomplished by ensuring the Police Ombudsman has unfettered access to information held by the PSNI.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed the publication of the Criminal Justice Inspectorate’s report on PSNI disclosure of information to the Police Ombudsman and called for its recommendations to be implemented immediately. 

Gerry Kelly said:

“I welcome the publication of this report from the Criminal Justice Inspectorate into the PSNI’s disclosure of information to the office of the Police Ombudsman. 

“This report follows a similar inspection released in December 2016 into the PSNI’s management of disclosing information and material to the Coroners Service to support legacy inquests, where their disclosure practices were found to be ‘complex, convoluted and risk adverse.’

“This is the latest in a long line of such failures.  

“Such practices are indicative of a sustained and systemic position adopted by the PSNI to delay the release of relevant information to key criminal justice agencies. As such they seriously undermine attempts to develop levels of confidence in policing and are clearly unacceptable.

“The PSNI now need to work closely with all the criminal justice agencies as an imperative to developing confidence in their disclosure processes . 

"This can be best accomplished by ensuring the Police Ombudsman has unfettered access to information held by the PSNI.” 

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Sinn Féin's Caoimhe Archibald MLA has today said providers of home heating oil must ensure all is being done to protect staff and citizens forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The call came following a written request from the Sinn Féin economy spokesperson to the Oil Federation seeking clarity on what the industry is doing to protect citizens and ensure vulnerable people are not left without home heating.

Caoimhe Archibald MLA said:

"In the past few days, I have written to the local Oil Federation, the body representing suppliers of home heating oil,  to ensure they are doing all that is possible to protect citizens and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Over two thirds of homes are reliant on oil for home heating, an unregulated  fuel, which puts them at a unique risk as oil tanks must be filled manually.

"I welcome confirmation from the local Oil Federation that their drivers have been granted the correct PPE. 

"I would also echo their call that citizens ordering home heating oil should adhere to the strictest social distancing guidelines and keep drivers safe as they deliver to multiple homes.

"This is a profoundly difficult time for family finances. So I would also urge oil suppliers to offer flexibility and leniency when it comes to payment options to ensure those struggling as a result of this crisis are not cut off from home heating." 

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment David Cullinane TD has said tonight that the Dáil must continue to sit and to deliberate during the period of national emergency brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said:

"It is absolutely critical that everything is done at this time to ensure that citizens are safe and that all measures are put in place to protect workers and families.

"Despite the views of a number of government sources tonight, it is vital that this is done in a space where there is democratic oversight and accountability, and that means the Dáil must continue to sit during this period of national emergency.

"The government has been given sweeping new powers and they must be held to account. Ministers need to come into the Dáil and answer questions that the people are putting to their public representatives.

"This is particularly important at a time when the current government derives its mandate from the previous Dáil and is operating in a caretaker role.

"The democratic process must be upheld."

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Sinn Féin TDs Louise O’Reilly and Darren O’Rourke have called for Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector to be fully utilised to produce COVID-19 testing kits and materials now.

Their comments come as a global shortage of extraction material used in the testing process is resulting in significant delays and limitations on testing here.

Speaking this evening, Deputy O'Reilly said;

ʺIn recent days it has become evident that a lack of reagent used in the COVID-19 testing process, has led to a significant delay for patients receiving test results, and a significantly lower number of people being tested each day, than was previously planned.

ʺDespite previously setting a target of 15,000 tests per day, only about 10% of that is now being realised here.

ʺThere is an international shortage of extraction material used in the testing process, causing significant disruption to testing for COVID-19 across the globe, including here in Ireland.

ʺAs the COVID-19 crisis grows day on day, the international demand on this material is only going to increase, putting significant pressure on the testing regime here.

ʺDr Cillian de Gascun has said that the extraction material, which is used to extract the viral RNA in the testing process, is proprietary meaning strict patent laws govern who can and cannot manufacture it. The lack of it, is now causing delays here."

Teachta O'Rourke said;

ʺThe government need to urgently engage with pharmaceutical companies that are located in Ireland, with a view to developing test kits for use here domestically, as the international market clearly cannot meet the demand required. All options, including the compulsory licensing of intellectual property, should be considered in an effort to maximise production.

ʺIreland has a world-renowned and long-established pharmaceutical sector, with the top 10 pharmaceutical companies operating here, and this needs to be utilised fully.

ʺWe have thousands of highly skilled workers in this sector, and there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to manufacture COVID-19 testing kits and materials here.

ʺAbbott Laboratories have announced a rapid COVID-19 test which they intend to roll out in the United States. Abbott employs 3,000 people here in Ireland, across 9 sites, and the government need to engage with this company to see if production and supply of these new tests can begin here too.

ʺWe cannot sit by and hope the international market deliver the materials needed at some stage in the future. We need domestic production of COVID-19 tests and materials now."

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Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney and Junior Minister in the Executive Office today spoke with the Palestinian and Cuban Ambassadors in Ireland to discuss the Covid19 global emergency.

The Sinn Féin National Chairperson said it was an international scandal that the Palestinian people continue to endure the Israeli blockade of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank while having to fight the battle against Covid19.

After speaking with Ambassador Jilan Wahba, Declan Kearney said:

“The Ambassador briefed me that to date there have been 134 confirmed cases of Covid19 and one death in Palestine. Twelve of these cases are in Gaza.

“It is an international scandal that the Palestinian people must simultaneously struggle against the unjust Israeli blockade of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank while also battling against the spread of Covid19.

“Overall 7,553 community tests have been carried out to date in Palestine. The Palestinian Ministry of Health is grateful for the support of the World Health Organisation in particular, for the supplies of testing kits provided to date.

“Efforts are currently ongoing to increase intensive care capacity through access to additional ventilators, oxygen and other essential medical equipment.

“However, the Palestinian Authority is very concerned for the health and wellbeing of over 5,000 political prisoners being held in Israeli prisons, due to an outbreak of Covid19 among prison staff and the removal of cleaning products from prison canteens.

“The Ambassador asked for the international community to intensify pressure upon the Israeli government to meet its international obligations and protect the health of the prisoners which it detains. I am now calling on the Irish government to use its influence to address this humanitarian priority.”

Shortly afterwards Declan Kearney spoke with Cuban Ambassador Hugo Ramos and discussed the measures being taken against Covid19 in Cuba and Ireland, he added:

“The Ambassador reported on the blanket community testing being used in Cuba and the comprehensive isolation measures in place where required. I briefed him on the challenges we face in Ireland, particularly in the north.

“I thanked the Ambassador for the inspirational international solidarity being demonstrated by the Cuban government at this time.

“There are currently 14 Cuban medical brigades deployed across the globe, comprising 593 professionals with specialist experience in international disaster situations and health epidemics.

“It is a travesty that while Cuba provides such unconditional international support to countries struggling with the effects of Covid19, including in Italy, that this US administration persists with its economic blockade and financial sanctions against the Cuban economy and its people.

“The Ambassador and I will remain in regular contact about our efforts in Ireland and Cuba to combat the spread of Covid19 during the immediate future.” 

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Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has called for Credit Scores to be unaffected for those availing of payment holidays during the COVID19 pandemic.

The South Down MP said:

“COVID19 is having a devastating impact on the livelihoods of workers, families and businesses with many now living on much reduced income.

"Banks and other financial institutions are putting in place measures including payment holidays to support those facing financial difficulty.

"Those availing of payment holidays must not face penalties in terms of their credit rating during this period.

“Some of the Credit Reference Agencies are implementing a special measure called an ‘emergency payment freeze’, which would ensure an individual’s current credit score is maintained or frozen for the duration of an agreed payment holiday.

"Sinn Féin have written to the British Chancellor and also to the Economy Minister Diane Dodds asking they take steps to engage with all financial institutions to ensure these measures are put in place.

“Those experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID19 should not have their credit scores downgraded during this pandemic for availing of support measures." 

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Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said the health and safety of workers and limiting the spread of Coronavirus must be prioritised.

The party's Economy spokesperson was speaking after writing to the Economy Minister asking her to ensure businesses will be held to account and the Coronavirus regulations will be enforced.

Caoimhe Archibald said:

“It was concerning to hear that despite the regulations on the Coronavirus bill which make the guidance enforceable coming into effect on Saturday night, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has stated it will not be carrying out inspections of premises.

“Over the past number of days and weeks, party colleagues and I have been contacted by many workers concerned about social distancing measures not being properly implemented about the lack of appropriate PPE and sanitation in their workplaces.

“The HSE and Public Health Agency needs to engage with businesses to ensure they are aware of the guidance and their responsibilities and obligations. This must include inspection of premises.

“They also need to hold businesses to account and enforce the regulations where necessary. Non-compliance during this crisis should not be an option for unscrupulous employers.

“The Economy Minister must therefore ensure there is clear communication to businesses. She needs to ensure that the health and safety of workers is the main priority for all agencies with responsibilities regarding the regulations, including the HSE.

“Limiting the spread of Coronavirus and limiting the pressure on our health services is our number one priority and the aim of the regulations put in place." 

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Lynn Boylan

Newly-elected Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan believes the COVID-19 emergency has highlighted the need for investment and support for public services.

Representing the Agricultural Panel, Boylan today became the second Sinn Féin candidate to be elected to the 26th Seanad where she will join Fintan Warfield, who was yesterday re-elected from the Cultural and Educational Panel.

Former MEP Boylan said steps taken during COCID-19 crisis such as the rent freeze show that "measures that we were told weren't possible are possible" and that "similar radical changes" are required to tackle climate change and the biodiversity crisis. 

Senator Boylan said: "I'm delighted to be elected to the Seanad and to be joining the biggest Sinn Féin electoral team.  

"Now more than ever, our communities need representatives who will represent their best interests. 

"The pandemic has brought home to us how valuable our public services are and why they need real investment and support.  

"It has highlighted why everyone deserves a safe and secure roof over their head.  

"It has also shown us that measures that we were told weren't possible are possible - measures like a rent freeze.  

"We must learn from that. We must build a strong single tier health system, we must build homes and we must pay essential workers properly.

"When this pandemic is over, we also need to take radical actions to tackle climate change and the biodiversity crisis.  

"We are facing a collapse of our ecosystems and the pandemic has proven that there can be no return to business as usual. 

"It is time to put people and planet first and I look forward to bringing my voice to the climate emergency debate."

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