Sinn Féin’s Declan Kearney has said the removal of election posters will not deter his election campaign in South Antrim.
The South Antrim candidate said:
"Over the last number of days Sinn Féin election posters have been cut down and removed in Mallusk and Hightown.
"This is an attempt to subvert the democratic process but it will not succeed nor will it deter Sinn Féin in this election campaign.
"Sinn Féin in South Antrim is running a positive political campaign and engaging extensively with voters on the doorsteps.
"The response to my campaign has been positive as people recognise the need to stand up against Brexit and the negative politics of both the DUP and Tory government. Every vote for Sinn Féin in this election is a vote against Brexit and sectarianism, and a positive vote for progressive politics and Irish solutions to Westminster’s Brexit agenda.
"I have reported the theft of these posters to the PSNI and a criminal inquiry will commence."
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said that Fine Gael are continuing their efforts to normalise homelessness by refusing to change their failing policies.
Addressing the Taoiseach at Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;
“Taoiseach, Conor Lynch of Threshold told of the experience of one renter in Cork.
“She was six months pregnant when she explained the situation to her landlady.
“The landlady told her that she would have to leave before the baby arrived. Her excuse was that the neighbours in the apartments ‘wouldn’t like the crying’.
“She waited until late in her pregnancy to tell the landlady because she was afraid of what the reaction might be.
“Can you even begin to imagine the stress that such heartlessness would have on that woman?
“She is far from alone.
“She ended up moving into homeless accommodation with her new-born baby.
“This is not an isolated case, and another incident of a pregnant woman who was living in private rental accommodation where a new baby was not wanted has been recounted.
“Taoiseach, does this not illustrate the depths of the crisis facing renters under your Governments housing policies?
“I think that the ten and a half thousand people who are now homeless, deserve better than what we saw on the floor of the Dáil last night.
“Last night was an opportunity to start from scratch and do the right thing; accept the system is broken, the policy isn’t working and to start fresh.
“But you didn’t. You wasted that opportunity. You backed your man to the hilt. Your normalisation of homelessness continues.
“To add insult to injury, you even bussed in the absentee TD for Cork North Central – for one night only mind you, as we hear this morning that Deputy Daragh Murphy has resigned his seat directly after casting his vote of confidence in Minister Murphy.
“Fianna Fáil and Mícheál Martin have now clearly shown they also are on the side of Fine Gael instead of homeless families.
“10,514 people are homeless, including nearly 4,000 children. Record numbers all the time.
“These are children who will have to wait for Santa in B&Bs and family hubs.
“In light of last night’s figures and the swathe of evidence in front of us, you must change the direction of your housing policies.
“It’s time for you to get your head out of the sand and to heed the solutions put forward by Sinn Féin and implement an immediate 3-year rent freeze.”
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the governments housing policy and in particular its homelessness strategy has “an absolute failure”.
Teachta Adams said:
“The narrow vote in support of the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy in the Dáil this week was only possible because Fianna Fáil chose to abstain on the spurious claim that a successful motion of no confidence would have resulted in a general election.
"Fianna Fáil’s decision to shadow-box – to sit on their hands and support this Fine Gael government – on this important issue is disgraceful. Fianna Fáil’s decision to side with the landlords and property speculators at the expense of homeless children, families struggling to pay rent, or get on the housing ladder, is culpable in condemning tens of thousands of citizens to a perpetual and personal crisis in housing.
"The facts are that rents have reached new heights in Louth and elsewhere across this state, families are spending longer on waiting lists, and 47 children and 131 adults from Louth – will spend Christmas living in hotels and bed and breakfasts. That should not be acceptable in one of the wealthiest states in the world today.
"The Homelessness Report for October, released this week, revealed that there are over 10,500 citizens suffering homelessness. Of these almost four thousand – 3,826 – are children. The personal and developmental impact of homelessness on children was set out starkly in a report by the Royal College of Physicians last month.
"It found that children in ‘homelessness suffer higher rates of asthma, respiratory illness and infectious diseases; have poor nutrition and more obesity; less access to developmental opportunities, play, recreation and social activities; poorer emotional and mental health, and increased behavioural difficulties; less access to preventive health care and lower rates of childhood immunisation’.
"The government has failed by any measure to provide a housing strategy to combat the housing and homelessness crisis. It has proven itself incapable of providing public and affordable housing or to tackle the massive rent hikes imposed by greedy landlords.
"Its Rebuilding Ireland programme was launched in July 2016. Three and a half years later, homelessness is up by 67% and child homelessness has increased by a shocking 81%.
"Social housing output remains glacial. Just over 7,000 real social homes were added to the stock in 2018. In the same year, more than twice that number of families joined a waiting list held by Councils which numbers over 70,000.
"What is clearly needed is a radical plan of home building both in respect of council and affordable homes to buy and rent. Sinn Féin is proposing the biggest public house building programme that this state has ever hand. In the short term, we would reduce rents by €1,500 per year using a rent freeze and tax credit for renters.
"Sinn Féin would also introduce a redress scheme for homeowners living in defective properties built during the celtic tiger days and we would increase investment in local authority housing for retrofitting to ensure sustainability of our housing stock.
"This is the kind of focussed action needed. Our common sense proposals will help people."
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today addressed a hearing of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality which was taking evidence from Emma DeSouza, Professor Colin Harvey and Solicitor Una Boyd of the Committee on the Administration of Justice.
The three spoke about the practical and legal consequences of Emma DeSouza’s long legal battle with the British government over its interpretation of the Good Friday Agreement and her right to be identified as an Irish citizen.
The Louth TD urged the Irish government to accept responsibility for the Emma DeSouza case;
"In November, the British Upper Tribunal overturned a previous judgement that upheld that people born in the North were entitled to identify solely as Irish citizens. The Upper Tribunal ruled that people born in the North are automatically British citizens. This is contrary to the Good Friday Agreement which under the section Constitutional Issues states:
"‘(vi) recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.'
"In a clear breach of this commitment by the British government in 1998 the British Home Office has insisted that the British Nationality Act is the relevant legislation dealing with this issue and that consequently citizens in the North are British citizens and must renounce their British citizenship if they wish to identify as Irish."
Speaking to the Committee, Gerry Adams said that the behaviour of the British government is “entirely malicious”. He reminded the Committee that there were huge difficulties getting the British government to give legislative effect to the Agreement.
"Consequently there is no Bill of Rights. There is also no Charter of Rights which the Irish government was supposed to provide, and there is no Charter of Rights for the island.
"The onus is on the Irish government because the British government will always act in what it perceives to be its own self-interest. So if there is some immigration issue or some other issue then that will take precedence and priority and the people on the island of Ireland or the northern part of the island will fall victim of that; they will be a secondary consideration. The onus therefore is on the Irish government to act on this issue.
"No matter how strong a statement there is from an Irish government they’re not read in Downing Street; they’re not paid any attention to in the British Home Office – they’re not listened to. It’s important that the government set out its position in robust and strong terms.
"So the government has to reach above itself. We saw how the diplomatic weight of the government was able to secure the least worst Brexit, so far. That approach needs to be taken on this issue also.
"A very important point that the Taoiseach has fudged time out of number - paragraph 52 of the political declaration which declared that the people of the North who had Irish citizenship would have European Citizens rights is not in the Withdrawal Agreement. The declaration was heralded as being bullet proof and armour plated and so on but at the first hurdle on the rights of citizens in the North we fell. The government needs to accept that work honestly on this issue”.
The Louth TD commended Emma and Jake DeSouza for their efforts and asked the Committee to examine what practical measures can be taken to help Emma De Souza and specifically for the government to adopt this as a legal case.
“Ordinary people have to become activists, ordinary people have to become experts, ordinary people have to put themselves out there for rights. But who is funding Emma’s case? Working people have to fundraise, run little ballots to fund this. That shouldn’t be the case.
"There was a time when an Irish government took a case for internees who had been tortured and took it to the European Court.
"I think that there should be some exploration of the Irish government using diplomatic and other avenues - but also taking responsibility.
"If the people of the North are not to be left behind ever again by a government here, this is a déan é na habair é moment to something about it. Adopt this as a case and that in itself would put the British government under pressure that an Irish government is prepared to support a legal case. If she loses we all lose.”
Note to Editor:
The Committee agreed to write to the British Secretary of State seeking an update on the status of the review of these matters announced by former British Prime Minister Theresa May.
It also agreed that it would write to the Tánaiste Simon Coveney encouraging him to diplomatically and financially support the DeSouza legal case.
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to publish the details of any deals that may have been done with TDs in order to secure their votes against a motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy last night.
Teachta Ó Broin was speaking after the Minister Murphy survived last nights vote with the support of Independent TDs such as Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry and Denis Naughten.
Deputy Ó Broin said;
“As new homeless figures recorded a new record level of homelessness yesterday, Minister Eoghan Murphy and his policy Rebuilding Ireland were protected from a no confidence motion by Fianna Fáil in the Dáil.
“This was a missed opportunity to change the direction of housing policy in this state.
“The Minister was also aided in his survival by independent TDs Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry and Denis Naughten.
“I think it is important that the Taoiseach tells the public whether or not and special deals were done with these TDs in order to secure their votes last night. And if deals were done then the public has a right to know the detail of them and how much they will cost the state.
“So I am calling on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to publish any deals that may have been done with TDs in order to secure their votes to save the Housing Minister last night.”
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Dublin Denise Mitchell has slammed Fianna Fáil for their inaction, their “sheer brass neck”, in abstaining on the vote of confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy in the Dáil last night.
The Dublin Bay North TD said:
“This morning’s newspapers are equally filled with horror stories of the impact of the Government’s housing policy on children across the State and then that same Government’s narrow victory in saving Minister Eoghan Murphy in a confidence vote.
“Only hours before the vote yesterday, the Department of Housing released the October homeless figures and, to no one’s surprise, the numbers have gone up again. 3,826 homeless children and 6,688 homeless adults. That is the measure of how well Minister Murphy has done since taking up his role.
“The government’s housing policy is now in its fourth year and is simply not delivering. More and more people are being moved on to HAP. Rents and house prices continue to soar. Rebuilding Ireland has failed and real change in housing policy is needed.
“It is only because Fianna Fáil sat on their hands last night and refused to vote that Minister Murphy has a job today. The sheer brass neck of Fianna Fáil to say that they are an opposition party when they protect a man who stands over his record of 10,000 homeless men, women, and children on our streets.
“I would challenge any Fianna Fáil representative to knock on any door in Dublin Bay North, look that person in the eye, and say that they believe Minister Eoghan Murphy is doing his job.”
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has condemned an attack on a house allocated to a Catholic mother of four in Ballysillan and called for a full police investigation into anyone who may have information about the origin of the threats and those responsible.
The North Belfast MLA
"The police have confirmed that an attack on a home allocated to a Catholic woman in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast is being treated as a hate crime.
“This is a clear case of sectarian intimidation.
"This was a mother of four children who was allocated a house in the mouth of Christmas and was looking forward to moving in and celebrating Christmas with her family.
"There can be no place for sectarianism like this in our society and it needs to be condemned by all public representatives.
"This attack comes after reports that a public representative had raised ‘concerns’ about the allocation of this house.
"There should be a thorough police investigation into this attack and the origin of these threats, and those behind them.”
Sinn Féin Cork City Councillor Thomas Gould has said that the people of Cork North Central deserve proper representation in the Dáil.
Cllr. Gould said: "The people of Cork North Central have been denied proper representation in the Dáil for the past two years; with Dara Murphy effectively abandoning his post and serving as an absentee TD. Now that he has formally resigned his seat, a by-election to fill his vacant seat must be held as soon as possible”.
"The people of Cork North Central deserve proper representation in the Dáil. They have been denied this and have been abandoned by Fine Gael.
“Fianna Fáil haven’t done much better, with Billy Kelleher running off to Europe as well, and the first act of the new Fianna Fáil TD, Pádraig O’Sullivan, last night was to sit on his hands and abstain on the vote on the motion of no-confidence in the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.
“No wonder the northside has been neglected and the housing crisis in Cork grows worse by the day.
“I think that a by-election to fill this vacancy should now be held imminently.”
OVER the coming years, as we approach the centenary of the partition of our country, we have big questions to ask ourselves as a nation; principle among them being: ‘has partition served us well?’
"The vast majority of impartial observers would, I have no doubt, conclude that it has not.
"Partition forged two mean spirited, narrow minded States on this island.
"The systemic failures of the northern state since its inception are well documented.
"In the south, economic stagnation encouraged waves of emigration and the overbearing influence of a conservative Catholic hierarchy dominated the State apparatus for decades. Women in particular, the poor and radicals of all kinds were treated shamefully.
"Thankfully things have changed in recent years, particularly since the late nineties with the advent of the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.
"Nonetheless, no other conclusion can be drawn other than that partition has failed our country and prevents our island from reaching its potential; across economic, social, political and cultural spheres to this day. It continues to hold back, as James Connolly put it: ‘the wheels of progress.’
"But that’s changing.
"Brexit looms, and no matter what arrangements are put in place to manage it, Ireland - north and south - will suffer. Alongside that, changing demographics and the erosion of the Unionist majority in the north have changed the dynamic of the discussion surrounding Irish unity.
"The discussion about Irish unity is live, the demand for unity is real, momentum is building and a referendum on Irish unity is on the horizon - sooner rather than later.
"In a series of polls, a majority in the north have indicated that there is now a real demand for a United Ireland and polls indicate a similar sentiment in the south.
"Logic dictates that we must now prepare for a united Ireland in the coming years and we need institutional and legislative arrangements in place now to ease the transition to Irish unity, because we are behind the curve in preparing to facilitate constitutional and political change.
"Some of the work is done.
"The European Council agreed in April 2017 that the whole of our island would be afforded membership of the EU in the event of national reunification.
"That issue is settled.
"There’s a lot more to do however, and instead of staring blindly into the abyss, it is incumbent on the Irish government to take this seriously and act now to defend and promote an all-island view.
"That preparation should include convening an All-Ireland Forum on Irish Unity and that should happen without delay.
"In addition to an All-Ireland Forum, a dedicated Oireachtas Committee is needed to plan for legislative changes required, and the government needs to bring forward a Green Paper on the issues that need to be addressed to merge public bodies and services and tackle the hangovers of partition.
"The government must also begin meaningful engagement with the British government on all of this - not least in arranging a date to hold a referendum on Irish unity in the north within five years - as well as putting in place plans for a referendum in this State; in line with the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement.
"There is nothing radical about any of this.
"A referendum on Irish unity is expressly provided for in the Good Friday Agreement; an agreement that was endorsed by the people of this island, north and south, overwhelmingly over 20 years ago.
"The demand is real, and the conversation can no longer be couched around the language of “aspiration” and the attitude of the southern establishment that we want a United Ireland “someday, but not now” no longer cuts it.
"It is time the people had their say and it’s time we started planning for their verdict."
Sinn Féin's Paul Maskey has said that an attack on the PSNI in the Milltown area of west Belfast last night was reckless and futile.
The West Belfast candidate said:
"A device was thrown in the early hours of this morning at a PSNI vehicle in Milltown Row in west Belfast.
“Thankfully no one has been injured in this reckless attack.
"The vast majority of people in west Belfast and beyond want these futile attacks to end immediately.
“Those responsible have nothing to offer but hurt and injury.
“People should do all they can to assist the PSNI in their investigation.”
Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion has welcomed strong support from the US House of Representatives for the Good Friday Agreement.
The Foyle candidate said:
“I welcome the US House of Representatives resolution supporting the Good Friday Agreement and the need to protect it from the threat of Brexit.
“I met with the resolution’s co-sponsor, Congressman Brendan Boyle when he attended the Irish parliament’s committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement which I attend alongside fellow MPs, TDs and Senators. We emphasised the need to protect the Good Friday Agreement from the threat of Brexit.
“This comes after similar comments from the chairperson of the influential Ways and Means Committee, Richie Neal, and the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who has made it clear that Congress will not support any post-Brexit trade deal with Britain if it threatens the Good Friday Agreement.
“Sinn Féin is making the voice of the north heard on Brexit where it matters; in Brussels, in Dublin and in Washington.”
Sinn Féin Westminster candidate John Finucane has said it is time for urgent action on the climate emergency.
As the UN Climate Change Conference, COP25 begins in Madrid John Finucane said:
"We are facing a climate emergency and the evidence clearly shows we need urgent action to prevent catastrophic consequences for the planet by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperature by the end of this century.
"Coming out of COP25 which is currently taking place, we need to see real ambition and commitment to achieve the urgent action necessary to meet the target of reducing emissions at the rate required to limit global warming.
"This is election is very much a Brexit election but it is also about our future and a priority for us all needs to be tackling the climate crisis. We also need to challenge those who deny, diminish or disregard the climate crisis and those who seek to put the cost of tackling it on those who can afford it least.
"Sinn Féin is committed to achieving a net zero carbon society through a just transition."
Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has said the latest theft of an election billboard backing John Finucane will not deter the his campaign in North Belfast.
The North Belfast MLA was speaking after a billboard belonging to John Finucane’s campaign was removed by a hooded man.
Carál Ní Chuilín said:
“John Finucane election posters were removed last week from lamp-posts near the Abbey Centre.
“In the early hours of this morning a billboard was removed by a hooded man from the corner of the Limestone and Antrim Roads.
“A pattern of threats and intimidation is emerging in this contest and this latest action is another attempt to derail the democratic process.
“Our party has made a complaint to the police about this criminal act.
"Sinn Féin has been engaging with people on the doorsteps across the city.
“The response has been positive as people recognise the need to deliver Irish solutions to Westminster’s Brexit agenda.
"The theft of these election posters will not deter Sinn Féin in this election campaign."
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD and Workers Rights Spokesperson Maurice Quinlivan TD have today introduced legislation to provide for a statutory entitlement to domestic violence paid leave.
The Sinn Féin leader and Dublin Central TD said:
“Despite its prevalence domestic violence continues to be under-reported due to stigma, shame and fear. One in five women will experience violence in their own home, and forty-one per cent of Irish women know someone in their circle of family or friends who have experienced intimate partner violence.
“Domestic violence often follows victims into the workplace. Co-workers may be aware of a colleague’s abuse but in the absence of a workplace policy are unsure on how best to support them. Managers need guidance on how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and how to respond to a staff member’s disclosure.
“Legislators must also step up our responsibility to ensure that domestic violence victims’ rights and entitlements as employees are enhanced and protected.
"Sinn Féin’s legislation enables victims of domestic abuse to take the necessary time off work they require to seek support, find accommodation or attend court in a structured and supported environment. It also addresses unpredictable absenteeism and reduced productivity for employers.
“Ireland’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention and enactment of supporting legislation were important landmarks that must be built on and Sinn Féin’s domestic violence paid leave Bill does just that."
Workers Right’s Spokesperson and Limerick City TD Maurice Quinlivan added:
“If we are to end the epidemic of domestic abuse in Ireland we need a whole of society response that both supports and protects women.
“Abuse often follows victims into the workplace. Stalking, persistent phone calls, threats or attack in the workplace can occur. Coercive control now recognised under the Domestic Violence Act can lead to abusers focusing their efforts on a partner’s workplace for the purpose of ending the employment.
“Legislators and employers have a responsibility to respond to this avenue of abuse by putting in place the necessary workplace and employment rights and protections for victims.
“Sinn Féin will be engaging with all political parties over the coming weeks to seek their support for this legislation, and we look forward to a productive dialogue with all stakeholders to advance this much needed entitlement."
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said the findings of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists review into thousands of CervicalCheck highlights lost opportunities and failures.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) review into more than 1,000 CervicalCheck slides highlights lost opportunities and failures in different aspects of the screening programme.
“The Review disagreed with the CervicalCheck result in 308 cases, but in 159 of these cases the Expert Panel considered that the CervicalCheck result had an adverse effect on the woman’s outcome, meaning that had the abnormalities been found during the review been recognised at the time, this might have provided an opportunity to prevent cancer or to detect cancer at an earlier stage.
“Furthermore, detailed scrutiny of colposcopy did identify cases where management of abnormal smears could have been better. The authors of the report said this reinforces the need for vigilance and adherence to CervicalCheck clinical practice guidelines.
“The aspects of the report which highlight mistakes, failures, and missed opportunities makes for difficult reading and highlight the need for the recommendations of this review, and other reports relating to the CervicalCheck scandal to be implemented as a matter of urgency.
“Funding and resources should be made readily available for the screening programme so as these recommendations can be implemented.
“However, we cannot ignore the fact that the women affected raised serious concerns about this investigation due to some review reports having to be returned by the HSE to the British team because of apparent inaccuracies or omissions.
“The report, whether it be its contents or construction, is far from satisfactory and the Minister for Health needs to allow for it to be debated in the Dáil as soon as possible."
Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said the women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal are being failed at every turn.
Speaking today, Teachta O’Reilly:
“From the very beginning the CervicalCheck scandal has been marked by failures.
“The scandal itself was a failure of huge proportions and things did not improve for women thereafter as the screening programme was marked by delays and further mistakes.
“Now we have the latest development as questions hang over the independent Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) review of more than 1,000 CervicalCheck slides over how cases were managed in the review process.
“Serious concerns have been raised by some women about the RCOG investigation due to some review reports having to be returned by the HSE to the British team because of apparent inaccuracies or omissions.
“RTÉ have reported that in some cases women’s slides were mislabelled, and other women were told their original slide was not available for review and later told their slide had become available.
“It is not on that such mistakes were made with such a sensitive issue in a scandal that has been characterised by failures and mistakes.
“The crux of the report will relay reviewers found a different result to the original CervicalCheck result in hundreds of cases. It is essential that the scale of these errors is explained so we can see if the misreading’s were within the margin or error, or if they were seriously wrong.
“If they were way off the mark then this raises more serious questions."
Newly elected Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Mark Ward joined his Sinn Féin colleagues in Leinster House earlier today for his first official day as a Teachta Dála.
Deputy Ward said;
"I am delighted to be joining my Sinn Féin colleagues here in Leinster House today.
"I am here with a mandate from the people of Dublin Mid-West to tell the government that its policies are not working for workers and families and my first act as a TD will be to vote no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.
"This election was dominated by the housing crisis and the complete and utter failure of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to address it.
"The public want a return to public housing delivered by councils and measures to deal with out of control rents.
"These are the solutions that Sinn Féin is putting forward.
"The vast majority of families and workers have less money in their pockets than when Fine Gael, supported by Fianna Fáil, came into government. This is despite the economic growth of recent years.
"The cost of rents, childcare, going to the doctor, the insurance rip off – these are all things that are taking the last penny out of peoples’ pockets and it is Sinn Féin that is putting forward real solutions to these issues.
"Significantly, the issue of Irish Unity and the need for a government that will begin to plan for this eventuality came up on the doors in this election with people seeing the potential to secure the economy and Ireland’s future.
"These are the issues that the people sent me here to work on and these will be my priorities going forward."
Uachtarán Shinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald said the future of Ireland will be decide on the island of Ireland, not at Westminster.
Speaking at the launch of the Sinn Féin election manifesto in Derry today, Mary Lou McDonald said:
"In this election I am asking people to come out and support Sinn Féin candidates because we have a shown that we are a national party with international influence.
"We have used that influence to make sure there will be no hardening of the border, no unionist veto, and that the Good Friday Agreement would be protected.
"We have worked with the EU, in Brussels, in Dublin and in London, and with our friends in Washington to protect jobs, protect agriculture, to protect workers and to protect communities.
"There are some who claim they will go into Westminster and stop Brexit. That's not going to happen.
"The truth is that no Irish MP, whether nationalist or unionist, will decide the matter of Brexit.
"Our future will be decided on the island of Ireland and by the people of Ireland."