Sinn Féin - On Your Side



Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Michael Ferguson will lead a party delegation including Derry City Councillor Maeve McLaughlin and Banbridge councillor Desmond Ward to hand in a petition of 12,000 signatures against cuts to Education Library Board services and the erosion of the Education System in the Six Counties. All three elected representatives come from areas that have suffered heavily from the British Government's so called 'efficiency savings'.

The Sinn Féin Education Representatives will hand in the petition protest at 10 Downing Street, London tomorrow, Tuesday December 13th at 11am

Commenting on the visit Michael Ferguson said:

"We have a petition of 12.000 signatures which is a token of the frustration and anger felt right across our society at the deteriorating conditions within our schools.

"In the last two years we have lost over 500 school staff. In one area alone we have lost over 78 school crossings (SEELB) and school transport in other rural areas, where it is most needed, has been eroded.

"In West Belfast we have lost 82 teaching and non-teaching staff from 18 schools since last year. Over half of these were classroom assistants. In one classroom, in one of the most deprived areas in the Six County, in a class of 30 children 19 are Special Needs. This clearly is not the most appropriate way to implement the new Special Needs Educational Order.

"Instead of offering hope and a new beginning the abolition of the 11+ and recently announced changes to school transfer and admissions procedures have added to the growing public alarm. Instead of building confidence by investing in our schools, the British government is boasting about so called 'efficiency savings' that have left schools without music and sports coaching, without safe routes to school and teachers whose morale is at an all time low.

"It is clear to us, parents, our voters and educationalists that the cost of direct rule is a price to high to pay. We are calling Tony Blair and his Government to trigger D'Hondt to re-establish the Assembly and Cross Border Institutions so that we can deliver our own educational entitlement with our own locally accountable ministers. In this way we can ensure a real budget to support education and learning.


The Mayor of County Monaghan, Sinn Féin's Cllr. Pat Treanor has announced details of an unprecedented protest that is to take place on Tuesday afternoon. The members of Monaghan County Council, of all political persuasion, are to picket the office of Professor Brendan Drumm, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive. The picket is in response to the refusal of Professor Drumm to meet a delegation from the local authority to discuss the ongoing crisis surrounding the continued downgrading of services at Monaghan General Hospital.

Meara Treanor said: "Tuesday's protest will be a unique venture in that it will involve elected representatives from Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael standing together on behalf of the people of our county who demand the full restoration and development of full services to our hospital. Professor Drumm‚s refusal to meet the members of Monaghan County Council to discuss, in particular, Acute Surgical Services, at our General Hospital is nothing short of a disgrace.

"Considering that lives have been lost as a result of Government inaction and the decisions implemented by the Health Service Executive and its predecessor, the North Eastern Health Board, it is imperative that action be taking to reverse those policies that have contributed to the present crisis. Professor Drumm's reason for refusal to meet us - that the Health Act provides for regional health forums - is simply crazy. For one thing it is still uncertain when exactly these forums will be established. Even when (or if) they are established they will be little more than toothless talking shops.

"Monaghan County Council is the primary elected body of the people of County Monaghan. The failure of the CEO of the Health Service Executive to meet with its members to discuss a matter of such serious concern is an insult to all the people of our county and one that we will not accept. It is for this reason that we are travelling to Dublin to picket Professor Drumm's office.

"While the Health Service Executive will be the focus of Tuesday‚s protest I want to place it on the record that we continue to place the ultimate responsibility for the crisis that exists at the hands of the Fianna Fáil/ PD government. It is they that have failed the people of county Monaghan and it has been their policies that have led to serviced after service being removed from our General Hospital; with tragic results in too many instances." ENDS

NOTE: The protest will take place at 2.30pm on Tuesday 13th December at the Office of the CEO, Health Service Executive, Parkgate Business Centre, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8.


Sinn Féin County Councillor Gerry Murray has called on all opposition Parties to make fiscal commitment of 30 million euro to Ireland West Airport in the run up to the next General Election. Cllr Murray was speaking at the launch of the latest edition of Sinn Féin's County wide newsletter which now has a circulation in excess of 30,000.

Cllr Murray said "Ireland West Airport should now be granted International Status by the Government so it can embark on its next phase of development, in the next few years the airport will have passenger numbers in excess of one million per annum. With proper investment the airport has the potential to create 2,000 jobs in the east mayo area. If such a fiscal commitment is not made in the very near future we may arrive at a situation where employment and investment opportunities will be lost to the region. One must contrast the ongoing major investment by the Government in Shannon, Dublin and Cork airports, with its failure to make any significant investment in Ireland west airport. In 2002 a staggering 96 million euro was invested by the Government in Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports."

"In the run up the last General Election Sinn Féin was the only Political Party to make a fiscal commitment to Ireland West airport and will do so again. It is extremely disappointing that both Fine Gael and Labour continue to refuse to make such a commitment. I am now formally calling on Pat Rabbitte and Enda Kenny to follow Sinn Féin's lead and to make a cast iron fiscal commitment of 30 million euro to Ireland West Airport."


Sinn Féin's Dublin Spokesperson on the Environment, Councillor Daithí Doolan, will today table a motion calling on Dublin City Council, "to fit fire & smoke alarms in all caravans in Council halting sites."

Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting, Cllr. Doolan said:

"I am tabling a motion at today's Council meeting to ensure this work is carried out as a matter of urgency. Following the recent fire tragedy accident which saw 2 young children in Clondalkin lose their lives in a caravan fire it is now imperative that local authorities fit fire & smoke alarms in all caravans in halting sites. It is unacceptable that in all other local authority accommodation residents are provided with smoke alarms of the highest standard yet travelers still live in fear of fires in their homes.

"In the run up to Christmas the threat of fire increases so this work must be done as a matter of urgency. To ensure the work is complete to the highest standard and within this timeframe Local Authorities must make all resources and financial assistance available. This is an issue that cuts across all political party's so I am confident of their support this afternoon."

In conclusion Cllr. Doolan called on City Council management, "to commence this work immediately so as to prevent any further loss of life on our halting sites."


Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy today said that he is extremely concerned at media reports suggesting that the British government papers relating to the Miami Showband killings, due to be released under the 30 year rule, have been suppressed.

Mr Murphy said:

"It has already been established that many of those responsible for the Miami Showband killings were serving members if the British Army. What has yet to be established is how far up the British chain the planning of this operation went.

"Some of the answers may well be held in these British State papers due for release under the 30 year rule. However weekend media reports suggest that the British government will suppress these papers, apparently offering the reason that they are being held in a building containing asbestos and therefore cannot be accessed.

"People will simply not believe this excuse, it is not credible and it will not be accepted. It seems that the British securocrats, masters in the art of covering up their involvement in state killing, have once again set out to suppress the truth and frustrate the families of those killed in their search for the truth." ENDS


Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty today said that his party wanted to hear from the two governments what their plan was to see the political institutions put back in place early in the new year.

Mr Doherty said:

"In recent days the two governments have indicated that they wish to see an intensive effort made early in the new year to put the political institutions back in place. Sinn Féin have been calling for such an effort for sometime.

"We now need to hear from the two governments exactly what they have planned and the route they are now going to take. It is now five months on from the historic decision by the IRA to end the armed campaign. It is three months on from the IRA dealing decisively and conclusively with the issue of arms.

"We need to see political progress made in the time ahead. The two governments cannot continue to allow the rejectionist position of the DUP to dictate policy. The Good Friday Agreement is not an optional position. It is an international treaty endorsed overwhelmingly by the people of Ireland.

"Sinn Féin are ready and willing to play our part in ensuring that the Agreement is delivered and the institutions put back n place. But the two governments have a massive responsibility to drive this process forward and that must be the focus of their efforts in the time ahead." ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking to a meeting of republican women in Belfast today said "One of Sinn Féin's biggest priorities in the next two years is getting more women into the party and getting more women elected throughout Ireland." Mr. Adams said "As part of a broad ranging strategy to set up Sinn Féin cumann in communities across Ireland we will be hosting forum in all 32 counties where we will be asking women to join Sinn Féin and help us to build an Ireland of equals.

Mr. Adams said:

"There has been an enormous change in the role of women in Irish society over the last twenty years and in the pattern of women's employment but nowhere can women claim to have all the same opportunities as men. The principle of equality has been established but the practice hasn't. And a large reason for this is the absence of women from decision making roles at local and national level.

"The absence of women from senior positions in Government and indeed in the social partners means that issues, which disproportionately affect women are all but invisible. For me the role of women in decision-making is fundamental to the transformation of society as a whole. It is not possible to have properly functioning political institutions if half of the population is largely absent. If we want different ideas and values, if we want political priorities changed women must be visible in leadership positions.

The question is how do you change all of this. I believe that it has to be addressed at a number of different levels ú increasing the representation of women in all areas of life but particularly in leadership roles and policy making, fundamentally changing political priorities and tackling head on prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination.

Sinn Féin has to start by getting its own house in order. Our commitment has to be to equality and social inclusion. We have to continue to change our party, we have to reach out to those with whom we have so much in common and we have to bring about the type of far reaching change which is urgently needed.

Within our party structures we have pursued affirmative action and gender targets. On our Ard Chomhairle, 50% of those members elected at the Ard Fheis must be women and a minimum of one third of regional representatives to the body must be women. We have also adopted a target of a minimum of 30% women election candidates. This approach has not been without its difficulties and opponents. There was a wide-ranging debate on this issue with some comrades arguing that they were little more than tokenism and would actually set back the equality agenda within the party. I believe that affirmative action combined with a strategy and policies to increase the participation and involvement of women throughout the party will make a huge difference and in time will change the culture of the party. And it is this type of change that we are committed to delivering.

And while we have a lot more work to do I believe that this approach is working. Issues that were invisible are now hotly debated and in the 2005 Local Government elections in the Six Counties 30% of Sinn Fein Councillors elected are women.

Sinn Féin is also looking at timescales to achieve full equality of outcomes to maximise women's participation in political systems across the country. We are also in the process of bringing forward proposals on gender-proofing for both party policy and public policy.

"One of Sinn Féin's biggest priorities in the next two years is getting more women into the party and getting more women elected throughout Ireland. As part of a broad ranging strategy to set up Sinn Féin cumann in communities across Ireland we will be hosting forum in all 32 counties where we will be asking women to join Sinn Féin and help us to build an Ireland of equals."


Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has today said that the contribution made by Republican women over this last century was one of "bravery, endurance and an inspiration to those in struggle around the world."

Ms Ruane made her comments as she gave details of an event to honour the contribution of women from across Ireland to the freedom struggle since 1798, in this Sinn Féin's centenary year. The launch of "Mná na hÉireann - Unfinished Revolution Volume 1" will take place this coming Monday 12th December at An Chúlturlann, Falls Road Belfast at 12 noon by both Party President Gerry Adams and Céad Bliain Chairperson Caitríona Ruane MLA.

Speaking today Ms Ruane said:

"The launch of a commemorative set of cards celebrating and outlining the role played by Irish Republican women involved in all aspects of the struggle. This is our own small way of celebrating the contribution of women from across Ireland and throughout all generations. In many respects, the role played by women has largely been written out of history, and the launch of these cards is an attempt to redress this.

"Women have played various roles over these past number of years - soldiers, mothers, political and trade union activists. Women like Maud Gonne, Constance Markievicz, Mother Jones, Maire Drumm and Mairead Farrell have all made important contributions to the freedom struggle.

"While this is volume 1, we anticipate future volumes highlighting the role of republican women of our history. I want to take this opportunity to invite the general public to Monday's launch in Belfast to celebrate the bravery, endurance and the self-reliance of women who became an inspiration to people in struggle across the world." ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP described today's rallies "as a massive show of strength for Irish Ferries workers". Mr. Adams said "Everybody knows that if Irish Ferries get their way it will have huge implications for every worker in this country. Today is about shouting stop and demanding that workers rights are protected". Mr. Adams joined party colleagues Mary Lou McDonald MEP, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Sean Crowe TD at today‚s rally in Dublin. Sinn Féin elected representatives and activists also took part in rallies which are taking place in Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Rosslare Harbour, Athlone, Sligo and Waterford.

Mr. Adams said:

"Today's rallies were a massive show of strength for Irish Ferries workers. Everyone knows that if Irish Ferries get their way it will have huge implications for every worker in the country. Today is about shouting stop and demanding that all workers rights are protected. Today‚s rallies are a demand for a debate around the core values of how our society should be organised.

"Sinn Féin is committed to the protection of workers rights. We are opposed to the direction of the present government and the tactics of employers such as those in Irish Ferries.

"The Irish Ferries situation is only the latest example of the ill-treatment of workers in this country and across Europe. Increasingly, workers are viewed as simply another commodity to be used and abused at the whim of their employers. Some companies view the chipping away of workers rights as an acceptable practice in the search for profits. It is time that they realised that this is not the 19th century and there is no returning to the days of the mass exploitation.

"The contribution of workers across Ireland has been crucial in the economic growth of recent years. The protection of workers rights must go hand in hand with it continued success." ENDS


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD, has asked the Progressive Democrats to explain why they are so hostile to the Centre for Public Inquiry. Deputy Ferris was speaking in response to the controversy surrounding Minister for Justice Michael McDowell’s accusations against Centre Director Frank Connolly.

Deputy  Ferris  said:  “This  week  we had the extraordinary spectacle of a Minister  using  Dáil privilege to make serious allegations against a named individual.  That  was  only  the  latest  in  a campaign spearheaded by PD elected  representatives and certain journalists, designed to undermine the
credibility of the Centre for Public Inquiry.

“The question that must be posed is: What exactly are the PDs afraid of? Is it  that  the  CPI  has already published two reports revealing some of the
scandalous  decisions  made  in  relation  to  the  Corrib project and Trim
Castle? Is it specifically because the CPI report on Corrib highlighted the
role of PD founder Des O’Malley in giving away our oil and gas? Perhaps too
the  squeaky  clean PDs have other skeletons in their closest including the
origin  of  the  large  amounts  of money that were donated to the party on
their foundation in the 1980s. It is understandable, in that context, why a
professional independent body of inquiry should be disliked.”ENDS


Séan Crowe TD has been selected as Sinn Féin's candidate to contest the Dublin South West constituency at the general election. Deputy Crowe was selected unopposed at a selection convention which took place in Tallaght last night. The meeting was chaired by Cllr. Tony Smithers who represents the Ballyfermot local election area and it was also addressed by guest speaker Mary Lou McDonald MEP.

Addressing the convention following his selection, Mr. Crowe said: “I am honored to have been selected here tonight to contest the next election on behalf of Sinn Féin in Dublin South West.

“I am very much aware of the challenge which this party will face if we are to retain this seat at the next election. However, I am confident that the people of Dublin South West will respond to the hard work which Sinn Féin have been involved in the constituency over many years and not just since the last election.

Deputy Crowe also spoke about his motivation and reason for accepting the nomination, “While the establishment parties are happy to simply continue on with the current system of government I and Sinn Féin are committed to brining about real change in our society. In Dublin South West many people are forced to live in poverty, deprived of opportunity in education and personal development, this deprivation is happening at a time when growth and prosperity in the economy is higher than ever in the 26 counties. I have, and will continue, to challenge the government on the issue in the remainder of the current Dail, and if elected, after the next general election also. The people of Dublin South West deserve, and I will demand, their right to share in the prosperity of the nation. I see this as my major priority as an elected rep for this area.

Deputy Crowe also spoke on the prospects of the party being returned to the Dáil in Dublin South West, “Because we are working hard for the people of Dublin South West I see absolutely no evidence of people withdrawing their support for the party. On the contrary I believe, and the discussions I have with the people in the area would support this position, is that support for the party and its policies is actually growing. And this growth is not simply restricted to working class areas, the policies of this party and the message that a ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" >New Ireland can be created, a fair Ireland based on equality of opportunity for all citizens, is finding an ever increasing resonance with all of the constituents of Dublin South West.

Séan also paid tribute all those who have committed their time, energy and enthusiasm to the party over many years. “The growth and development of this party in Dublin South West is a direct result of all those who give their time so willingly to create the vision of a New Ireland. I am also aware of all those who worked so hard for the party over the years and have since passed on and so have not been present to see the huge strides which this party has made. The position we find ourselves in Dublin South West is as a result of all of these collective efforts. I also want to ask all of those present to continue this effort and commitment to the party, the road ahead will be hard and it will present great challenges to us as republicans, but it is effort and work which we should be very willing to do because we are happy in the knowledge that what we are trying to do is right for the people of Ireland. As Bobby Sands wrote ‘Everybody has their part to play”, I am asking all of you to rise to the challenge and play your part also.” Ends.


The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan to be more proactive in safeguarding the future of the Irish sugar beet industry. Deputy Ferris was challenging the Minister over the manner in which the Irish Government had agreed to EU measures that will inflict damage on the sector, the failure to use the state share in Greencore, and it’s stance on grant aid for sugar beet as an energy crop.

Deputy Ferris asked Minister Coughlan if she agreed with the judgment of her colleague Minister of State Browne, '- that the decision of the EU to drastically cut the support price for beet by 36% was the best possible deal'?  Or would she agree with others that the decision has sounded the death knell of a sector that has been successful here for over 70 years, and that the EU decision flies in the face of the commitment to preserve the European model of farming, based on the family farm. Would she further agree that the sugar beet sector is being offered as a sacrificial lamb in a trade deal that appears only to have bad implications for Irish farmers?

"In a recent reply to a written question of mine, the Minister stated that her Special Share in Greencore does not allow her to be involved in the business decisions of the company. Would she not agree, however, that the importance of Greencore, and concerns over the company’s plans for its facilities at Carlow and Mallow, places an obligation on her to become actively involved in decisions regarding the future of the company, and the thousands of jobs and producers dependent on it.

"I note that Minister Cowen yesterday announced significant increases in the level of excise relief for the production of biofuels. This is intended to boost the production of biofuels. He also stated that this measure would require approval by the EU as a state aid. Would the Minister agree that this state should also request that the range of energy crops covered by production grants also be extended. And specifically that it ought to include the production of sugar beet as an energy crop. And would she agree that this would provide an alternative that would preserve the sugar beet sector as well as the facilities and jobs at Carlow and Mallow."  ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise and Trade, Arthur Morgan TD have made a joint call to the people of Ireland to mobilise tomorrow in support of workers at the Irish Ferries company.

Speaking today Party President Gerry Adams said: "Tomorrow's rally is about sending out a message to government and big business that the exploitation of workers will not be tolerated. The Irish Ferries situation is but the latest example of the ill-treatment of workers in this state and across Europe.

"Increasingly, workers are viewed as simply another commodity to be used and abused at the whim of their employers. Some companies view the chipping away of their rights as an acceptable practice as long as it leads to increases in already bloated profits.

"We need to be sending a clear message to government that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. The wringing of hands and a statement saying that the issue is beyond their control is not good enough. It is vital that we stand together to protect the rights of all workers.

"On behalf of the Sinn Féin leadership I am calling upon the people of Ireland to come out in support of tomorrow‚s rallies in Dublin and across the country. The people of Ireland rightly gave their support to the Rossport Five against the multinationals, now it is time we faced down this latest threat to the rights and conditions of our workers, whether they are Irish or foreign nationals." ENDS

Note to Editor: Rallies will be held in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Rosslare Harbour, Athlone, Sligo and Waterford. Demonstrations will be held at 1.30pm in each of these locations.

The Belfast and District Trades Union Council (B&DTUC) have arranged a solidarity demo in Belfast for 1.00pm on Friday 9th December outside the UTV offices, Havelock House, Ormeau Road, Belfast.


Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy today said that the decision to drop the charges laid against a young Newry man as part of the Special Branch investigation into the Northern Bank robbery is the start of the unravelling of the entire sham inquiry.

Mr Murphy said:

" The fact of the matter is that the PSNI have been unable to produce one shred of evidence linking republicans to the Northern Bank robbery. They have went on several fishing expeditions raiding homes and arresting and interrogating individuals.

" They have in true Special Branch mode used sections of the media to smear people characters and link them to this robbery without any evidence being produced. Already after only a few weeks this sham of an investigation is unravelling in front of our eyes.

" Given the development in the this case and the collapse of their spy ring fantasy today has proven to be a bad day for the political detectives, the RUC old guard who are clearly still alive and well within the ranks of the PSNI." ENDS


Sinn Féin Regional Development Spokesperson, Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said 'It is only through a functioning Assembly with accountable local ministers that the best interests of people here will be put ahead of the interests of Whitehall mandarins'. He accused the DUP of letting the British government off the hook by refusing to engage to get the political institutions back up and running.

Mr McCartney said:

"In their proposals announced today, the British government have recognised that their plans would have meant that those least able to afford water charges would be hit hardest. They now need to listen to the other concerns and arguments against water charging being put forward by communities across the north, politicians and NGOs.

"The fact is that people have already paid for water services through their rates. This money should have been invested in our water services and not squandered by successive British administrations. It is unacceptable that the British government are now asking people to pay for the NIO's failures.

"Whatever about the detail announced today the reality is that locally accountable ministers should be finding a way forward to secure the investment required to bring our water and sewerage infrastructure up to international standards.

"Opposition to water charges and the privatisation agenda is widespread. It is only through a functioning Assembly with accountable local ministers that the best interests of people here will be put ahead of the interests of Whitehall mandarins.

"If people are opposed to water charges then they should understand that it is the DUP that are letting the British government away with it by refusing to engage and get the institutions up and running." ENDS


Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness said that PSNI Special Branch
operation alleging a spy ring in Stormont exposed as a sham in a Belfast
court this morning damaged the lives of ordinary people through the collapse
of the political institutions.

Mr McGuinness said:

" There never was a Sinn Féin spy ring operating from Stormont. This was a
carefully constructed lie created by the Special Branch in order to cause
maximum political impact. Its effect politically has been to collapse the
institutions and personally it has damaged the lives of the four people
originally charged and their families. This operation is as blatant an
example of political policing as you are likely to find.

" Sinn Féin said very clearly at the time that eventually this case would
fall apart. There was no evidence to sustain it. However that was not the
motivation of those responsible for carrying out this operation. Their
motivation was to collapse the political institutions and stall further
progress on policing change including of course the transfer of power to
locally elected and accountable politicians.

" The effect of this operation was to stop the work of the Executive in its
tracks. At the time as Minister of Education I was involved in important
work including the autism centre planned for Middletown and the review of
post primary education.

" At a policing level very serious questions now need to be addressed by the
British government and the PSNI. At a political level those who eagerly used
this operation to walk away from the political institutions need to reflect
long and hard on their position." ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP said that the not guilty verdicts in the case against three people charged in relation to what was dubbed 'Stormontgate' prove conclusively what Sinn Féin have been saying all along
about the case.

Mr Adams said:

"This operation was a blatant example of political policing aimed at collapsing the political institutions.

"Faceless securocrats subverted the democratic wishes of the electorate north and south who voted for the Good Friday Agreement.

"The collapse of this case should now focus attention onto the Special Branch and those responsible for planning, carrying out and authorising this entire operation.

"Their activities have continued unabated since then to the detriment of the conflict resolution process, including of course the arrest last week of respect Sinn Fein Assembly member Francie Brolly in a Special Branch smear
operation." ENDS


Tá Cathaoirleach Náisiúnta de chuid Shinn Féin Féin agus BPE do Bhaile
Átha Cliath, Mary Lou McDonald, i ndiaidh a cheistiú an bhfuil an rialtas
iomlán réidh do thús stádas oibre na Ghaeilge mar theanga oibre in Aontas
na hEorpa i mí Eanáir 2007.

Labhair Iníon McDonald amach tar éis cruinniú i bParlaimint na hEorpa idir
feisirí na hÉireann agus feidhmeannigh de chuid na hEorpa.  Nochtadh ag an
chruinniú go bhfuil na feidhmeannaigh ag moladh go gcuirfear siar cur i
bhfeidhm iomlán mar nach bhfuil aistritheoirí go leor ann.

Ag caint inniu, dúirt Iníon McDonald:

"Ba é aidhm an chruinnithe ná a fhiosrú faoi na céimeanna praicticiúla atá
le glacadh sula mbeidh an Ghaeilge mar theanga oibre iomlán de chuid an
Aontais Eorpaigh. Baineadh siar dom nuair a d'fhoghlaim mé go bhfuil
feidhmeannaigh de chuid na hEorpa ag moladh go gcuirfear an cur i bhfeidhm
siar de bharr easpa aistritheoirí.

"Chuir na feidhmeannaigh in iúl duinn go bhfuil an fhreagracht ar rialtas
na hÉireann cinnte a dhéanamh go bhfuil daoine go leor oilte mar
aistritheoirí don Ghaeilge i bParlaimint na hEorpa.

"Ba mhaith liom ceist a chur ar rialtas na hÉireann: an bhfuil muinín go
leor acu go mbeidh aistritheoirí ar fáil le cinnte a dhéanamh go dtarlóidh
cur i bnhfeidhm iomlán stádas oibre ar 1 Eanáir 2007.

"Caithfidh an rialtas a rá anois, go poiblí, an bhfuil siad ábalta an
dushlán a thabhairt agus traenáil aistritheoirí go leor a éascú in am don
dáta sin i gceann bliana.

"Beidh mé ag tógail na ceiste seo leis an rialtas amach anseo.

"Le triocha bliain anuas tá Gaeilgeoirí i mbun feachtais ar an ábhar seo
le go n-iarrfadh an rialtas stádas iomlán don Ghaeilge. Bheadh sé
doghlactha go mbeadh a thuilleadh moill ann anois mar gheall ar theip an
rialtais a ullmhú do thús na Gaeilge mar theanga oibre in 2007." CRíCH


Ógra Shinn Féin activists have occupied part of the IBEC offices on Baggot St. in solidarity with Irish Ferries workers still in control of vessels docked at Holyhead. Brian Keane of Ógra Shinn Féin called on young people to take to the streets tomorrow.

Mr Keane said: "We are doing this to show solidarity with Irish Ferries workers ahead of the march tomorrow but we are also doing it to focus on the dangers for young working class people that exist in the race to the bottom and the displacement of Irish jobs.

"We are calling for young people to get out of their workplaces, schools and colleges tomorrow and take to the streets in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo, Athlone, Waterford, Rosslare and Tralee to fight for their future and for their jobs. It was the young people of Ireland who led the campaign against the war on Iraq and it is they who must seize the day to take a stand against the exploitation of Irish and foreign workers and demand equal treatment for all workers.

"Ógra Shinn Féin will be taking part in the march on Friday alongside our comrades in Sinn Féin and the labour movement and we call on all young people to stand up for yourselves and your class." CRÍOCH






Sinn Féin Social Affairs spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has expressed his disappointment at the failure of the Finance Minister Brian Cowen to at least double the Fuel Allowance in today’s budget as he had previously called for.

Deputy Crowe said, “The €5 increase in the Fuel Allowance announced by the Finance Minister Brian Cowen today will not be enough to adequately deal with the problem of fuel poverty. It is extremely disappointing that the Minister did not recognise the need to at least double the allowance as I and anti-poverty groups had called for.

“Some 1,500 to 2,000 people die in winter months due to poor housing and cold weather. The Minister has not gone far enough to deal with this particular problem even though he had the resources to do so. His failure to recognise this basic need is a sign of how far removed the Minister is from the reality families suffering fuel poverty.” ENDS

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