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John Brady TD has called for all TDs to support Sinn Féin’s Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill 2023, which advances to second stage in the Dáil tomorrow.

Today, May 15th, marks the 75th Anniversary of the Nabka, meaning 'catastrophe' in Arabic, which occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war. 

Nakba Day commemorates these events and raises awareness of the ongoing plight facing Palestinian refugees and their families.

Teachta Brady said:

“I urge all TDs in Leinster House, from all parties, and independents, whether they are in government or in opposition, to support this important and timely legislation.

“The bill would mandate the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest itself of all current assets, and to prohibit future investments in companies listed on the UN Database of companies operating within the illegal Israeli settlements.

“This legislation is focused on companies operating on Palestinian land that Israel occupies illegally under international law – not territory within the state of Israel itself.

“If, for example, the Irish state had shares in companies and Russian Banks central to the facilitation of the occupation of Eastern Ukraine, it quite rightly would not be viewed as acceptable by Irish law-makers. Nor should it be tolerated in Palestine.

“The UN Human Rights Council Resolution [paragraph 12, 31/36] that established the UN Database referred to in the bill, places a clear obligation on 'all states' to ensure that they do not take any actions that recognise or assist the expansion of settlements, including trading with settlements, consistent with their obligations under international law.

“We must also remember that, in May 2021, the Dáil adopted a historic motion on de facto annexation and pledged to focus efforts on bringing an end to settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“This legislation would preserve Ireland’s international reputation by ending the Irish Strategic Investment Fund’s involvement with companies who, through operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, not only contribute to prolonging the Israeli occupation, but also stand accused of being complicit in war crimes.

“Already this year, Israel has planned more settlement expansion, fast-tracking a bill for 7,000 new settlement units that will completely break the territorial contiguity of the West Bank. 

“In February, Israel transferred the Civil Administration and Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) from the military commander to the Minister of Finance, extending Israel’s sovereignty de jure over the entirety of the West Bank - an outright territorial annexation. 

“Ireland’s National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights commits government to implement human rights standards in business activities, through the promotion of ‘responsible business practices both at home and overseas by all Irish business enterprises in line with Ireland’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights globally'.

“Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund also holds shares in four Israeli banks essential to the operation and continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. 

“They fund businesses, provide loans and mortgages, and are primary stakeholders in the current illegal settlements and the plans to extend the illegal occupation to the point where the Irish- and EU-supported Two-State solution to the conflict is left unworkable.

“I again call upon all members of the Dáil to support this piece of legislation and send an important message to the world around Ireland’s commitment to human rights.“


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has said that the A5 public inquiry is an opportunity for people and communities to voice their support for the A5 upgrade.

The Donegal TD was speaking after he attending the public inquiry which opened in Omagh today.

Teachta Doherty said:

“This morning I attended the A5 public inquiry which opened in Omagh.

“This is an important opportunity for people and communities to voice their support for this critical project.

“As I said to the Minister for Finance in the Dáil on Thursday, the A5 upgrade is critical to prevent further lives from being lost on this road.

“Too many families have lost loves ones on this dangerous road. Its upgrade cannot be delayed any longer.

“It will also unlock economic opportunities for the North West region – reducing journey times, increasing connectivity and acting as a spur for further jobs and investment.

“The project has been beset by delay after delay – it is now time to deliver this infrastructure project for this region and its communities.

“I would urge local businesses and residents to attend the inquiry and make their views and support heard.

“And as I said to the Government last week, it is time that the Irish Government recommit to funding its delivery on a 50:50 basis, to get this critical project over the line.”


MacManus commends work of Longford Women’s Link

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has commended the team at Longford Women’s Link for their work in supporting women and children in the local community. The Midlands Northwest representative was speaking after a recent visit to their centre alongside his Sinn Féin colleague Lorcan Keown.
MEP MacManus said:
“I was pleased to visit Longford Women’s Link with my colleague Lorcan Keown recently. We had a very positive engagement with Tara and the team there and I want to commend them for their fantastic work in supporting local women and children in Longford.”

“They provide a wide range of supports and services to local people such as domestic violence support, an early years service, childcare, counselling and education and training to name but a few. This work is vital for empowering women, addressing social exclusion, poverty, and providing equal opportunities to all.”

“As someone involved in politics I was particularly interested in their involvement in the See Her Elected programme, an initiative to encourage more women into politics. While women make up half the population they are significantly under-represented in politics and this must change. Our County Councils and Oireachtas should reflect society as a whole, with people of different genders, ages, social backgrounds, colours and so on represented, and therefore initiatives like this are vitally important.”

“I would like to thank all at Longford Women’s Link for having us and wish them continued success into the future.” ENDS

See attached photo from Longford Women’s Link of (L-R): Lorcan Keown, Marlene Conway, Chris MacManus MEP, Tara Farrell, Marissa Hebron




Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has said reports that 300 student nursing places are set to be axed is totally unacceptable and a consequence of ‘immoral and cruel’ Tory cuts.

The party’s health spokesperson said:

“Reports that 300 student nursing places are set to be axed is deeply concerning and unacceptable.

“This is a direct consequence of immoral and damaging Tory cuts from London that is further decimating our public services.

“Our health service is already under huge pressure and staff are burnt out from working long hours in our hospitals and this will pile even more strain on workers at a time when we need more nurses.

“One party’s refusal to form an Executive has blocked a three-year Budget and investment in the health service that would have hired more doctors and nurses and has now left health and social care at the mercy of savage Tory cuts.

“We need an Executive formed now and all parties working together with a local health minister to prioritise health and fix the problems.

“The British Government needs to end these cruel cuts and deliver more investment in our public services now.”


Sinn Féin MP Órfhlaith Begley has said the A5 public inquiry is an ‘important opportunity’ for people to voice their support for the project. 

The West Tyrone MP said: 

“The A5 public inquiry opens in Omagh today, and this is an important opportunity for people to again highlight their support for this project. 

"Building the new A5 road will help prevent more families from suffering the heartbreak of losing someone on one of Ireland’s most dangerous roads. 

“It will also cut journey times, create jobs, and unlock huge economic opportunities by connecting the north west to the rest of the island. 

“This project has been held up for too long by legal challenges and public inquiries. Once these challenges are overcome, it must proceed immediately with no more delays. 

“I would urge local businesses and residents to attend the inquiry and make their views known in support of the A5 transformation.”


Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Government of ‘failing renters’. His comments were made as the latest rent report shows new rents increasing by almost 12% in the last 12 months.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

"The latest rent report shows rents continuing to rise across the state. Average new rents increased by almost 12% in the last 12 months.

"24 counties saw double digit rent inflation, most in the high teens. Four counties, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon and Cavan had rent increases of 20% or more.

"The average new rent across the state is now €1750 while in Dublin City the average new rent is a staggering €2302.

"Despite the falling private rental stock and rising private rents, Government's cost rental delivery is appallingly low. Just 684 cost rental homes were delivered last year.

"Government must accept that its cost rental targets are too low. They must also accept that the price of these cost rental units is too high.

"They must dramatically increase and accelerate the delivery of these much needed cost rental homes and ensure that they are genuinely affordable to working people."


Sinn Fein MLA Carál Ni Chuilin has appealed for people to bring forward information to the police following a serious attack on a woman in the Oldpark Cliftonville area of North Belfast last night.

The North Belfast MLA said:

“Last night a woman was assaulted in the Oldpark Clifonville area of North Belfast.

“A police officer also sustained injuries during this incident.

“I would urge anyone with any information to bring it forward to the PSNI." 


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Matt Carthy TD, has called on the government to make a firm commitment on the 75th anniversary of Nakba that Ireland will play no part in supporting Israeli war crimes.

Deputy Carthy was speaking ahead of Sinn Féin legislation, that would force the government to surrender shares in companies operating in occupied Palestine, advancing to second stage in the Dáil this Tuesday.

The bill, brought forward by John Brady TD, would compel the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest shareholdings in companies listed on a UN database of businesses operating within illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

Teachta Carthy said:

“Tomorrow [Monday] marks the 75th anniversary of Nakba - meaning 'catastrophe' in Arabic - when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war.

“75 years on, Palestinians continue to suffer abhorrent human rights at the hand of the Israeli state.

“While we continue to commemorate those traumatic events of 1948, we must also do everything we can to address the current plight facing Palestinian refugees and their families.

“This week all parties in the Dáil have an opportunity to send a real message of Ireland’s commitment to Palestinian human rights.

“In 2021, the Dáil became the first parliament in the EU to recognise Israel’s illegal occupation as an annexation, and therefore a war crime, when there was unanimous support for a Sinn Féin motion.

“Yet by investing Irish taxpayers’ money in companies operating in occupied Palestinian territories, the government continues to make  the Irish state complicit in Israeli Apartheid.

“The Sinn Féin bill being debated on Tuesday would mandate the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest itself of all assets, and to prohibit future investments in any companies, included on the UN Database of companies that operate within the illegal Israeli settlements.

“This fund has invested Irish taxpayers’ money in nine of the 112 companies listed on the UN Database identified as operating in illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, in breach of international law.

“These investments include four Israeli banks instrumental in facilitating the ongoing campaign of annexation through the provision of funding and loans, and the operation of ATMs in illegal settlements. These banks are partners in settlement expansion; aiding and abetting war crimes.

“These Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and have resulted in countless abhorrent human rights violations against Palestinians, including unlawful demolitions of homes, forced displacement and unlawful killings.

“Sinn Féin's legislation, brought forward by John Brady, would send a strong message from this state in support of Palestinian human rights and a firm commitment that we will play no part in supporting Israeli war crimes.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has called on the Minister for Health to deliver and sustain a significant investment in capacity in the health service on a multi-annual basis to tackle severe waiting lists.

Teachta Cullinane was responding to the publication of the National Treatment Purchase Fund’s Waiting List figures for April 2023, which show that waiting lists have grown 18,000 since December 2022 and that more than 500,000 patients are waiting longer than the Sláintecare target wait times, including nearly 70,000 children.

The TD for Waterford said that the Minister for Health’s failure to implement a multi-annual workforce and capacity expansion plan has left the health service in crisis. He said that the Minister for Health, after nearly three years, has no credibility until he publishes a comprehensive multi-annual plan to expand capacity and tackle the waiting list crisis.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“Waiting lists increased over the first three months of the year, rising from 870,000 to 888,000 in total. NTPF data also shows that more than 500,000 patients are waiting longer than the 10- and 12-week wait time sláintecare targets.

“The number of patients waiting over Sláintecare targets has increased by nearly 1,500 in the last month, and overall lists have increased by 3,000.

“The Government has not delivered capacity expansions at pace. There is a deficit of at least 1,000 beds in hospitals, more than 6,000 people are waiting for home support.

“The health service is suffering the consequences of bad planning, a failure to sustain investment in capacity, and a lack of funding certainty.

“We have seen no joined-up workforce plan for the health service to address training gaps and recruitment and retention barriers. 

“Healthcare workers cannot see a way out of this crisis because there is no plan. The Minister has failed to grapple with this challenge. But this crisis can be solved with political will and sustained capacity expansion as part of a multi-annual plan.

“Government must urgently publish a multi-annual capacity expansion plan to deliver much needed hospital beds, additional diagnostic capacity, and expanded theatre capacity to equip hospitals to deal with the volume of care coming their way.

“This plan must also address Sláintecare reforms and community capacity, such as intermediate care beds and home support to deliver more care outside of hospitals and speed up discharge from hospitals.

“No improvement can be achieved without a paradigm shift in workforce planning. We need a radical increase in the number of healthcare workers we are training, and a serious change in approach to retention in the health service. Too many are leaving early in their career for opportunities abroad or in other sectors. We need legislation to underpin safe staffing levels in wards, emergency departments, and across the health service.

“Government has failed to act on each of these measures for far too long. The Minister for Health has no credibility until he produces a comprehensive multi-annual plan to expand capacity and tackle this crisis.”


Sinn Féin MLA Danny Baker said today that our most disadvantaged children are bearing the brunt of the reckless boycott of the Executive by one party.

The party spokesperson for Children and Young People said:

“Sure Start provides 28 projects to support parents and children under 4 years of age from our least advantaged areas. 

“The importance of early years intervention was recently reiterated in relation to tackling long-term educational underachievement.

“Without early intervention, many children face a lifetime of disadvantage.

“Sure Start provides a bridge from birth to school, helping some of our most vulnerable children to develop skills that enable them to enter school with a more equal opportunity to learn. 

“Children from our most disadvantaged communities are bearing the brunt of Tory austerity and the DUP's reckless boycott of the Executive.

"We need an Executive back up and running with no more delays to work together to support workers and families facing cruel Tory cuts."


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has called on the Minister for Health to take urgent and strategic action to reduce waits for dental care.

The TD for Waterford said that dentistry is challenged by an under-supply of qualified dentists, dental nurses, and support staff, and that public access has rapidly decreased because of underfunding.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The Irish Dental Association has demonstrated that the dental care sector is severely challenged by a lack of strategic planning at government level. The majority of dentists are experiencing difficulties in hiring additional dentists, and up to 80% of dentists who are still on the public Dental Treatment Service Scheme are not taking new public patients.

“The Dental Treatment Service Scheme (DTSS) itself is collapsing due to underfunding and capacity challenges. There were only 1,045 dentists on the scheme in January 2023, which is less than one-third of dentists. There were 1,490 dentists on the scheme in 2019. 

“The real number of dentists actively providing services under the scheme is much lower. Only 634 dentists submitted claims under the scheme by the end of 2022. In real terms, that is a severe reduction of up to 800 less dentists providing services to public patients.

“The DTSS is not working. We need a new, modern contract for public dentistry. The private sector is struggling to provide services for private patients as it is, with one-in-six patients waiting over three months for appointments.

“We need a new, ambitious strategic plan for dentistry. That must include workforce planning and a significant increase in the number of dentists we are training.  In Sinn Féin’s alternative budget, we proposed a substantial increase in the number of dentists in training by 35%, or 60 additional students.

“We have also proposed a substantial increase in public dentistry provision, starting with screening in schools and dental care for children, as well as directly employed dentists to provide dental care for public patients.

“We have not seen the level of ambition that is needed from government, and this is exacerbating severe waits for dental care.”


MEP MacManus visits Rossinver Organic Centre

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has commended all involved in The Organic Centre in Rossinver for their hard work in their local community to increase knowledge, and raise awareness about organic farming, biodiversity, climate change, food sovereignty and sustainable energy. 

MEP MacManus said:
“I was pleased to visit Rossinver Organic Centre alongside my colleague Cllr Padraig Fallon and meet with Jan Melia and her team.”

“I would like to commend them and all the members of the local community group for their efforts to successfully bring organic farming and sustainable land-use to a wider audience.”

“It was clear from our discussions that the state needs to do more to promote the organic sector, and that many people are willing to use organic fertiliser products instead of conventional chemical fertiliser, where unscrupulous stakeholders have been price-gouging farmers for many months. I key issue I had flagged at Irish and European level when I negotiated the European Parliament’s resolution for farmers.”

MacManus concluded, “The centre and charity are doing sterling work, and the possibilities for the work they are doing are endless. I hope that these efforts are supported going forward by the relevant bodies. I wish all involved the very best for the future.” ENDS
Pictured at the Organic Centre in Rossinver are (L-R): Chris MacManus MEP, Jan Melia, Jimmy White, Cllr Padraig Fallon9becd70c-a1b4-e592-ca66-5b163e700ced.jpg


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Matt Carthy TD, has welcomed the news that Bernard Phelan has been released from prison in Iran.

A dual Irish-French citizen, Mr Phelan had been detained for seven months, and received a six-and-a-half year sentence earlier this year.

Teachta Carthy said:

“I welcome the release of Mr Phelan from prison in Iran following a traumatic period for both him and his family.

“Officials within the Department of Foreign Affairs, especially those consular staff on the ground in Tehran, are to be commended for their consistent and diligent work on behalf of Mr Phelan.

“Their counterparts in the French government also have our thanks for their efforts to secure Mr Phelan's release. I also commend John Brady TD, who was a vocal and consistent advocate for Mr Phelan's return home.

“I understand that Mr Phelan is already en route home, and I hope that he will be able to return to his life and to full health as speedily as possible. 

“Mr Phelan was imprisoned on-trumped up espionage charges. It is imperative that government continue to offer assistance to Irish citizens who find themselves in difficulties in Iran and other states where a fair legal system is not assured.”


MacManus criticises Minister Ryan’s lack of commitment to Western Rail Corridor 

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has criticised comments made by Minister Eamon Ryan regarding the Western Rail Corridor at a recent meeting of Sligo County Council. The Minister said that there will be no new railway line north of Claremorris in the medium term. The Midlands Northwest MEP argues that while reopening of the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Claremorris would be a welcome first step, it’s common sense both economically and regionally, that the  line must eventually be extended on to Sligo.

MEP MacManus said:

“Comments made by Minister Eamon Ryan at a recent meeting with members of Sligo County Council, that there will be no new railway line north of Claremorris in the medium term, are extremely disappointing.

“It has been widely reported that the All-island Rail Review, which is yet to be published, has recommended the reopening of the Athenry-Claremorris section of the Western Rail Corridor.

“This would be a welcome first step, but if we are to realise the full potential of the Western Rail Corridor it is imperative that the line is eventually extended to Collooney. This would ensure that Sligo has connectivity to the rest of Connacht and every key population centre on the island by rail. It would also allow for a spur to Knock Airport, which can play a crucial role in it’s development as a major transport hub.

“There is significant demand for rail services in Sligo and a large number of workers, students and day-trippers travelling to Galway, Mayo and south Sligo on a regular basis. It would not make any sense to develop the Western Rail Corridor as far as Claremorris and not finish the job by eventually extending the line on the Sligo. Contrary to what Minister Ryan says, this absolutely is viable in the medium term.

“Minister Ryan also pledged his support for the development of a greenway from Collooney to Claremorris. It must be clarified whether this greenway will be developed on or alongside the disused rail line.

“Developing a greenway on the railway line would make it very difficult for the line to again be used for rail transport. Once you open a recreational amenity for the local community it is challenging to take it back for a variety of reasons. The most sensible solution is to construct a greenway alongside the rail line or in an alternative location. 

“The benefits of the Western Rail Corridor, in terms of delivering economic development and reducing emissions by enabling more people to travel sustainably, are well known. It would be unacceptable if Sligo were to miss out on this. It shows a disappointing lack of ambition for the north-west from Minister Ryan, an attitude which bizarrely seems to be supported by some local Councillors in Sligo.

“Myself and my Sinn Féin colleagues will continue to advocate for the entire Western Rail Corridor and fairness for Sligo and the north-west. ENDS 


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, is calling for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to act following reports that electricity companies are defying an adjudication of the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) over '100% renewable' claim.

Senator Boylan said:

“The defiance of energy companies to adhere to the ASAI ruling is the clearest evidence we have that greenwashing is profitable for business.

“Even worse is the fact that not only are customers bumping up the balance sheet of energy companies, but they are also paying more in their electricity bills as a result.

“Guarantees of Origin Certificates undercut actual investment in renewables, keep electricity prices high and undermine the efforts of genuine players in the renewable energy sector.

“However, so long as misleading customers is more profitable than trading honestly, nothing is going to change.

“The ASAI is a self-regulatory body which means they rely on the co-operation of the advertising industry to uphold their standards. While the ASAI staff do commendable work, the system is not always effective at enforcing its rules, especially when it comes to greenwashing.

“We need the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to look at greenwashing urgently, starting with the energy sector. The equivalent organisation in the Netherlands is showing the way.

“The CCPC has the power to investigate companies suspected of engaging in misleading advertising, prosecute companies for breaches of consumer protection law, which can result in significant fines and other sanctions.

“Without an effective regulatory body willing to use its powers, we risk continued greenwashing by companies seeking to exploit the growing demand for renewable energy."


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Matt Carthy TD, speaking on the anniversary of the execution of veteran American-Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, reiterated the position of the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists who described the killing as part of a ‘deadly, decades-long pattern’ on the part of the Israeli state.

Shireen was shot in the face by an Israeli military sniper on May 11th 2022, despite the fact that she was wearing a blue vest, clearly identifying her as a member of the press.  Her colleague, who was wounded in the attack, remained under sustained gunfire from Israeli forces for some time after the death of Shireen.  

Teachta Carthy said:

“I believe that Shireen was killed to silence her voice, a voice that fearlessly reported on the oppression and harassment visited upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation authorities.

“The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court establishes that the intentional directing of attacks against civilians who are not engaged in hostilities, which includes journalists, is a war crime.

“Shireen’s brutal murder further amounted to a breach of the Geneva Conventions as well as a United Nations Security Council Resolution on the protection of journalists.

“There have been 20 journalists killed by Israel since 2001.  It points to a blatant disregard on the part of Israel for the lives of journalists risking their lives to report from conflict zones.

“On the first anniversary of Shireen’s callous murder, I join the calls from her family, friends and colleagues who have renewed the demand for justice in her case.

“As long as Israel continues to blatantly ignore international law, including through its hostility towards journalists, that state should not receive the preferential treatment it enjoys from many players in the international community, including from the EU.”


Sinn Féin TD John Brady has condemned the failure of the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage to bring forward promised proposals to address the recruitment and retention crisis in the Retained Fire Service. 

Discussion between representatives from the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) and national negotiators acting for the Retained Fire Fighters took place yesterday, Wednesday 10th, in relation to the Retained Fire Service ‘Review of Recruitment and Retention and Future Sustainability of Service Delivery’, but negotiations broke down without agreement.

The Department claims that their capacity to bring forward proposals on pay rates and retainer payments has been constrained by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and they failed to sufficiently address the core issues around the Recruitment and Retention crisis.

The National Retained FireFighter Committee will now be actioning their mandate for industrial/strike action. They will be meeting in Liberty Hall next week on the 19th May to agree the nature and timing of the industrial/strike action.

Teachta Brady said:

“Yet again the government, through Minister Darragh O’Brien, has failed the Retained Fire Service, opting to kick critical issues at the core of the recruitment and retention crisis in the Retained Fire Service down the road.

“This is unacceptable and represents a betrayal of a body of public servants who undertake extraordinary risks to safeguard the public. It is apparent that the government approach to the negotiations has been disingenuous at best.

“In November I introduced a Dáil motion that sought the establishment of a Joint Oireachtas cross-party committee, to sit for a period of four months, and that would have heard evidence from expert witnesses and stakeholders in order to identify the key issues impacting on the Retained Fire Service. Following which it would have brought recommendations to government. 

“The government took the decision to vote against my motion, abandoning any attempt to resolve the recruitment and retention crisis that is crippling the Retained Fire Service. At the time minister O’Brien, in front of a packed gallery of Retained Firefighters justified his opposition to the motion on the basis of a commitment to bring forward proposals to address the recruitment and retention crisis.

“It is now mid-May, and we are now in a situation six months after the motion, that due to the Minister’s failures, the Retained Firefighters are now forced to take matters into their own hands and will be meeting next week to action their mandate following a ballot which took place in January when 90% of members voted in favour of industrial/strike action.

“They do not want to have to do this but have been driven to the point that in order to save the Service which they serve with courage, commitment, and professionalism from being destroyed by government failure to address the issues at the core of the recruitment and retention crisis.

“I am calling on Minister Darragh O’Brien, and Minister for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohue, to agree serious and meaningful proposals that can be put to the Retained Firefighters over the next number of days. The government needs to meet the needs of Retained Firefighters with serious intent. The alternative is that the Retained Firefighters will be forced into industrial/strike action in order to force the government into action.” 


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment and Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, says today’s O-RESS 1 offshore wind auction results are a milestone in our energy transition but have delivered high prices reflecting ongoing, systemic and concerning problems here.

The results of the O-RESS 1 auction announced today confirm that costs will be over €86/MWh, a price more than €20 above the European average of €65/MWh.

Responding to the announcement, Teachta O’Rourke said:

“While it is welcome that we have reached this important milestone in the state’s energy transition, like onshore wind and solar, the Irish auction for offshore wind has delivered stubbornly high prices.

“The government will present this as progress but, in truth, we are still floundering when compared to our international counterparts. When compared to our British and Scottish neighbours for example, we are way behind. 

“The most recent Scottish auction delivered at €42/MWh. Ireland has a wind resource that means we have the potential to become a world leader in renewables production. However, this government seems totally determined to totally squander this opportunity.

“While the results announced today are lower than speculated in recent media reports, they are still too high. As a result, Irish workers and families will continue to struggle under the weight of exorbitant electricity costs. Built into these high prices are assumptions regarding curtailment and constraints on our grid, high connection costs, and anticipated delays in planning.

“Had these well-flagged issues been addressed, prices would have been lower. The fact is, we are paying higher prices due to government incompetence.

“It is high time this government heeded those sounding the alarm bells and addressing the systemic and concerning problems in the planning and grid systems here. This is essential, not only to deliver on our renewables potential but also to reduce energy bills for workers and families. Enacting Sinn Féin’s Cost of Renewables Taskforce Bill 2022 would be a useful start.” 


(Gaeilge Below)

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has welcomed today’s Dáil discussion on the report agreed by the cross-party Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Irish language, Gaeltacht and Irish-Speaking Community on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA).

The Committee, including government TDs and Senators, agreed 10 recommendations as part of their 40-page report, having spent the best part of two years commissioning and analysing research on the potential impacts of CETA on the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, with a focus both on language rights under the treaty and on how language protections and Gaeltacht subsidies could be negatively affected by investor protections.

Following the report’s publication in February, the Dáil has set aside time to discuss it today.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh, who chairs the Committee, said:

“This is a significant report, not least because it is the first time a cross-party committee has recommended that CETA should not be ratified by the government without a referendum. This is also notable as the first time an Oireachtas Committee has commented on CETA since leading members of our judiciary referred to the agreement as neither constitutional nor democratic when Costello v Government of Ireland came before the Supreme Court last year.

“Of particular concern to this Committee were the ways in which the legal framework and investor protections set to be established under CETA would undermine the status of Irish in the courts, thereby affecting the legal rights of Irish speakers, while also potentially significantly stifling the ability of the government to protect and promote the Irish language through ambitious policy changes or Gaeltacht subventions.

“Even within the small field of Irish language and Gaeltacht policy, the impact of such constraints could have far-reaching consequences.

“Examples of policies that could be deemed to threaten profits or competitiveness for Canadian investors include introducing bilingual packaging in shops or percentage requirements for Irish language content on audiovisual platforms or music on radio, any obligations on private companies to serve Gaeltacht communities through Irish, or Údarás na Gaeltachta deciding to support offshore renewable energy or fisheries.

“At its root, this means that CETA could block the capacity of a future government to support the Gaeltacht or promote Irish, in particular in the business world.

“The Committee has also drawn attention to the failure of the European Union and the Irish government to protect our cultural industries and creative talent on an even playing field with their Canadian counterparts. Answers are needed on this.

“I hope government will now at last pay heed to the warnings coming from their own party colleagues and ensure a referendum is held before any ratification, and I ask other Committees to consider the potential impact CETA could have on their areas of remit.

“Clearly, given the gravity of what the Supreme Court judges had to say, this cannot be left to government alone.”

Éilíonn Coiste traspháirtí Oireachtais go gcuirfear CETA chuig reifreann – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

D’fháiltigh Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD de chuid Shinn Féin roimh an plé sa Dáil inniu ar thuarascáil a d’aontaigh an Comhchoiste traspháirtí an Oireachtais don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht agus do Phobal Labhartha na Gaeilge ar an gComhaontas Cuimsitheach Eacnamaíoch agus Trádála idir an Aontas Eorpach agus Ceanada (CETA).

D’aontaigh an Coiste, Teachtaí Dála agus Seanadóirí Rialtais san áireamh, 10 moltaí a chur chun cinn mar chuid den tuarascáil 40 leathanach, tar éis dóibh beagnach dhá bhliana a chaitheamh ag coimisiúnú agus ag scrúdú taighde ar impleachtaí féadartha CETA ar an nGaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht, agus fócas ar leith ar chearta teanga faoin gComhaontas agus ar conas a bhféadfadh drochthionchar a bheith ag cosaintí infheisteora ar chosaintí teanga agus fhordheontais Gaeltachta.

Tar éis don tuarascáil a bheith foilsithe i mí Feabhra, tá am curtha ar leataobh ag an Dáil inniu chun é a phlé.

Dúirt an Teachta Ó Snodaigh, atá ina Chathaoirleach ar an gCoiste:

“Tuarascáil suntasach is ea seo, go háirithe toisc gurb é an chéad uair inar aontaigh coiste traspháirtí nár chóir don rialtas CETA a dhaingniú gan reifreann. Díol spéise atá ann freisin toisc gurb é an chéad uair a rinne Coiste Oireachtais trácht ar CETA ó rinne breithiúna sinsearacha sa Stát seo cur síos ar an gComhaontas mar rud nach bhfuil bunreachtúil nó daonlathach nuair a tháinig Costello v Rialtas na hÉireann ós comhair an Chúirt Uachtarach anuraidh.

“Ábhar imní a chur as don Choiste seo go háirithe ná na bealaí ina ndéanfadh creatlach dlíthiúil agus cosaintí infheisteora atá le bunú faoi CETA creimeadh ar stádas na Gaeilge sna cúirteanna, rud a bheadh tionchar aige ar chearta dlíthiúla Gaeilgeoirí, agus an seans freisin go gcuirfeadh siad srian suntasach ar chumas an rialtais an Ghaeilge a chaomhnú agus a chur chun cinn trí athruithe polasaí uailmhianacha nó fordheontais Gaeltachta amach anseo.

“Fiú lasmuigh d’éarnáil bheag an pholasaí Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta, d’fhéadfadh srianta mar seo cúrsaí a athrú ó bhonn.

“Samplaí de pholasaithe a d’fhéadfadh a shonrú mar baol ag déanamh bagairt ar bhrabús nó iomaíochas infheisteoirí ó Cheanada ná iarrachtaí chun pacáistiú dhátheangach a thabhairt isteach i siopaí nó céatadáin riachtanach do nithe trí Ghaeilge ar árdáin closamhairc nó ceol ar an raidió, aon dualgais a chur ar chomhlachtaí príobháideacha chun freastal ar phobail Gaeltachta trí Ghaeilge, nó dá nglacfadh Údarás na Gaeltachta cinneadh tacú le fuinneamh inathnuaite amach ón gcósta nó in iascaireacht.

“Go bunúsach, ciallaíonn seo go bhféadfadh le CETA cumas rialtas amach anseo tacú leis an nGaeltacht nó an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn a shrianú, go háirithe i saol an ghnó.

“Tarraingníonn an Coiste aird freisin ar theipeadh an Aontas Eorpach agus rialtas na hÉireann tacú lenár gcuid tionscal cultúir agus ár gcruthaitheoirí ar chomhchéim lena gcomhghleacaithe i gCeanada. Teastaíonn freagraí maidir le seo.

“Tá súil agam go dtabharfaidh an rialtas cluas éisteachta faoi dheireadh don rabhadh atá ag teacht óna gcomhghleacaithe rialtais féin anois agus reifreann a chinntiú sula ndéanfar CETA a dhaingniú, agus fiafraím ar Choistí eile féachaint ar thionchar féadartha CETA ar na réimsí faoina gcúram.

“Is léir, toisc na buairt léirithe ag bhreithimh na Cúirte Uachtaracha, nach féidir é seo a fhágáil faoin rialtas ann féin.”

Is féidir an tuarascáil iomlán a léamh ag an nasc seo (The full report in Irish can be read at this link):


Teachtaí Darren O’Rourke, Réada Cronin and Seanadóir Lynn Boylan have called on the Government to support Sinn Féin’s Electricity Regulation (Amendment) (Standing Charges) Bill 2023 which was introduced to the Dáil today. This legislation would address the fact that the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is completely powerless to prevent energy companies from using standing charges as a means of increasing their profit. 

The CRU has repeatedly confirmed that they lack the legislative remit to regulate standing charges. In one of a package of measures to address Ireland's rip off energy prices, Sinn Féin has proposed to remedy this, instilling some much-needed order and fairness into the market. 

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Teachta O’Rourke, said:

“The last 18 months have put into sharp focus just how essential it is that we have a regulatory body that has the ability to effectively monitor and supervise the energy market. Instead what we have is absolute chaos. While workers and families continue to be crippled by sky high energy prices, energy companies have seemingly free rein to do as they please. 

“Most people were shocked to learn that standing charges are not regulated. As ridiculous as this seems, it does help to explain why some energy companies were free to increase their standing charges by €300 last year. One supplier was even charging up to €700 per year in standard changes alone; that is €700 before you even switch on a light!

“And if that wasn’t bad enough, we know that despite the fact that wholesale gas and energy prices have dropped significantly since their peak last year, absolutely zero effort has been made to pass this on to consumers. 

“Energy companies tell us this is because of their ‘hedging’ strategies. However the reality is that oversight and regulation of these practices is seriously deficient. 

“And the only tool the CRU has to address in their arsenal? Mere encouragement!

“Well that is not good enough. Not good enough for the thousands of small businesses at risk of closing down, nor for the families and workers who cannot afford to make ends meet, nor for the hundreds of thousands of people living in energy poverty." 

Teachta Cronin said:

“This situation is not sustainable. That is why Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to urgently address it by supporting this Bill. 

“It would provide a legislative basis for the CRU not only to effectively monitor standing changes and to investigate suspected instances of their use to increase profits but also  the power to require suppliers with excessive rates to decrease them to cover their fixed costs only. Finally this Bill would also require utility companies to seek prior approval from the CRU for any proposed increase in the rate of their standing charge.

“This Bill is only one in a host of measures Sinn Féin has proposed to address this disorder and to rein-in energy companies. Last week, Sinn Féin introduced a Private Members Bill that, alongside the regulation of standing charges,  would strengthen the mandate of the CRU to evaluate hedging practices, but it would also provide for the necessary resourcing and staffing to carry out these functions." 

Senator Lynn Boylan said:

“Sinn Féin has also called for the introduction of price caps on energy Bills and furthermore for a strengthening of the Government’s pathetic windfall tax that fails to address the frankly obscene profits earned last summer.

“There are so many tools at the Government's disposal but they remain paralysed, preferring instead to prioritise the profits of energy companies over people.  

“It’s high-time that the Government stopped acting as mere commentators and we urge them to support Sinn Féin’s Bill.”

The legislation is available to view here

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