Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Latest statements


Sinn Féin MLA Padráig Delargy has said barriers to northern students enrolling and attending universities in the south must be removed. 

The Foyle MLA said:

"The admissions process in the south should be reformed to ensure it does not disadvantage students from the north applying for university places. 

“The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) report shines a light on the clear barriers facing northern students with A-Levels essentially being downgraded in comparison to the Leaving Cert. 

“Sinn Féin has consistently made the case for reforms to this system, and outlined this clearly to Minister Simon Harris. It’s now welcome that steps are being taken by Universities Ireland to look at addressing this issue.

“Removing existing barriers can play a vital role in boosting cross-border education and ensuring parity of esteem for northern students who want to study in the south.”


Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has supported families taking legal action against the British government’s ‘cynical and cruel’ Legacy Bill and repeated calls for the Irish government to take an interstate case against the British government.

Speaking after it was announced that legal firms have issued cases against the Legacy Bill on behalf of eleven families, the North Belfast MP said:

“I support legal challenges at the Belfast High Court against the British government’s flawed and irredeemable Legacy Bill.

“It is absolutely cynical and cruel that the British government has forced through this bill despite clear opposition from victims, all the political parties in this island, human rights experts, churches, the US, UN, EU and the Irish government.

“I am calling on the Irish government to confront this denial of human rights and breach of international human rights law through an interstate case and international action against the British government.

“Sinn Féin will continue to stand with families in their campaigns for truth and justice, many of whom have been campaigning with dignity and determination for five decades.” 


“Irish government must protect those struggling to pay their energy bills.” – Chris MacManus MEP

MacManus calls for better protection for energy-poor consumers as Parliament tackles electricity market reforms

As new rules on the design of the EU’s electricity market make their way through the European Parliament, Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has called for better protection of vulnerable consumers still facing unpredictable energy costs. “As the EU makes technical changes to its electricity market rules, the Irish government must make sure to offer the maximum available protection to those struggling to pay their energy bills.”

“The Commission’s proposal introduced a ban on electricity disconnections for vulnerable consumers, and the European Parliament is proposing to strengthen this by extending the ban on disconnections to all those facing energy poverty. But Ireland can already extend these protections to all energy-poor households, under existing EU laws on the electricity market. This can be done by means of a simple definition change.”

MacManus outlined, “The EU’s Electricity Directive already allows for a range of protections for vulnerable consumers, such as shielding from disconnections, ensuring a minimum energy supply and support for energy efficiency measures. However, it is up to Member States to define who is considered a ‘vulnerable consumer’. In Ireland, the term covers those who are particularly vulnerable for reasons of age, or physical or mental health. But it could be expanded to consider income levels and risk of energy poverty. Heading into winter, this is a simple measure the government can take now to protect low-income households from electricity disconnections.”

Commenting on the reform of the EU’s electricity market design more broadly, MacManus noted that the reform proposal was “a missed opportunity. Given the energy price crisis we have been experiencing, it was time for a deep rethink of the principles and priorities that govern the EU’s electricity system. Instead, we got a lot of technical tweaks to the existing, market-centric model. This is why I tabled amendments in the Economic Affairs Committee which sought to prioritise the protection of energy-poor consumers, rather than the philosophy of market liberalisation that has governed the EU’s electricity system for 30 years.” 

MacManus concluded, “The next mandate of the European Commission and Parliament will need to look more seriously at the question of energy market reform. As we move towards a system with more decentralised, renewable energy production, we need to ensure that the guiding principles of our energy laws are people’s basic right to energy and the responsibility of all actors in the energy system to provide clean, affordable energy as a public good.” ENDS


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has said that extending the controversial shared equity loan scheme to second-hand homes will push up house prices and make it even more difficult for first-time buyers to buy a home.

The Dublin Mid West TD was responding to budget speculation from Fianna Fáil backbenchers, who have called for the scheme to be made available to first-time buyers purchasing second-hand homes.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The controversial shared equity loan scheme is bad Fianna Fáil housing policy at its very worst. It risks pushing up house prices while saddling hard-working people with ever greater levels of debt.

“A number of Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators are now calling for it to be extended to second-hand properties in Budget 2024.

“This would be a serious mistake. Providing would-be buyers with increased credit, even in the form of a state equity share, will not deliver a single extra home. Rather it will increase the purchasing power of some buyers, pushing up second-hand house prices.

“This will, in turn, make it even more IFI cult for would-be buyers to purchase a home of their own.

“Government must stop fanning the flames of house price inflation. Rather they should use Budget 2024 to ramp up investment in the delivery of much-needed affordable homes to rent and buy. We need at least 8000 genuinely affordable homes a year to meet current need.

“Last year, the government delivered less than 400 affordable purchase homes and just over 600 cost rental homes, many of which were not even affordable.

“Large-scale delivery of public housing to meet social and affordable need is the only way to reverse the damage done by decades of bad Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael housing policy.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance and Donegal TD, Pearse Doherty, has again called on the banking sector to bring forward credible financing solutions to assist homeowners affected by defective blocks.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“Victims of the defective block scandal have been badly let down by the redress scheme brought forward by the government.

“So many face significant funding shortfalls in their efforts to rebuild their homes and lives.

“They are also facing rising mortgage costs on properties that are crumbling and in many cases are demolished.

“This situation is not sustainable and must be addressed.

“Over the past several months, I have engaged extensively with the Banking and Payments Federation, retail banks, the Central Bank and Minister for Finance on this issue.

“And have underlined the need for bespoke arrangements to be put in place to assist homeowners with rising mortgage costs and to address finance shortfalls including the provision of bridging finance.

“It is now time for the banks to bring forward credible financing options without delay.

“It is in the interest of banks that these homes are remediated, and their asset values restored.

“At my request the Oireachtas Finance Committee invited the Banking and Insurance Redress Focus Group before it in July, to give voice to the challenges they are facing on the ground.

“It is time for the banks to grasp the severity of this issue and bring forward a credible solution without delay.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has severely criticised Government following the release of figures which reveal 9,529 children are waiting over 12 months for an initial contact with their local Children’s Disability Network Team.

Deputy Funchion was speaking following Child Poverty Week, an initiative to highlight and refocus policy makers attention on child poverty and deprivation.

Teachta Funchion said:

“We are condemning children with complex needs to a lifetime of disadvantage, educational inequality, and adversity with the outrageous lack of access to speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and physiotherapists across all CDNTs.

“The HSE released figures to my office this week showing the postcode lottery that exists for children and young people accessing CAMHS is being replicated across CDNT teams nationally. The disparity between CHOs is expansive. 

“CHO6 which covers Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South East, have 903 children on wait lists whilst CHO1, which takes in Donegal, Sligo/ Leitrim and Cavan/ Monaghan had 93 children waiting in excess of 12 months. Both CHOs have similar populations.

“In my own region which takes in CHO5, 1,496 children are on a 12 month plus wait list, however, I know the reality is children are waiting a lot longer than 12 months for their first initial appointment or phone call, I have met families who are waiting up to three years. 

“I have met with disability services in my constituency, one service specialising in pre-school (18 months – 6 years) Carlow based Holy Angels, pointed out that children are presenting to their service up to the age of 5 not having had any engagement with the local CDNT.  I know this is being replicated around the country.

“The stress and anxiety this causes families and parents who are having to cope with a child that has complex needs must be extremely challenging and frightening.

“The demand for access to speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and physiotherapists is high, but the response from government is nearly non-existent.

“Anecdotally I am hearing of an exodus in skilled professionals from the HSE towards private practice, this is evident in the woefully understaffed CDNT’s across the 9 CHOs. Inclusion Ireland have put WTE vacancies at 707, and whilst there has been an expansion of approved posts, the people aren’t there to fill them.

“Clearly demonstrating more needs to be done to firstly stem the exodus and secondly encourage more students to consider a clinical and therapy role.

“This must change, it’s just not acceptable any longer for these posts to remain vacant while parents and guardians scramble to find an assessment of need or therapeutic supports for their children.”


Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy has called for Further Education College lecturers to be given a fair pay deal as they take to the picket line in their campaign for a pay increase.

The party’s Further & Higher Education spokesperson said:

“College lecturers should be given a fair pay increase that reflects the hard work they do in teaching students a range of subjects, providing them with better life and job opportunities.

“These lecturers should not be forced to go on picket lines to get fair pay.

"It is unfair that their pay is well below the rates for workers in other jurisdictions, especially when they are struggling to pay increased energy bills, fuel costs and food prices.

"The British Secretary of State’s cruel and savage cuts to public services is preventing these workers from getting a decent pay rise.

“Public services need to be properly funded and resourced, and an Executive formed now and working together to deliver for communities.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support these workers and their ongoing demand for fair pay and conditions and I am calling on the colleges to constructively engage with unions to find a resolution.“ 


Sinn Féin’s Declan Kearney has said an ecological catastrophe is taking place in Lough Neagh and surrounding water ways, and has called for an urgent action. 

In response to building community concerns he said Lough Neagh should be brought into public ownership with a long-term plan developed to keep the lough safe. 

After writing to both NIEA and the Permanent Secretary of DAERA in June, and a series of public interventions, the senior Sinn Féin figure led a political and community delegation, including the party’s Environment spokesperson Philip McGuigan, locally based councillors, fishermen, anglers and the Lough Neagh Partnership, to meet senior officials of the NI Environment Agency and Inland Fisheries, 

Speaking after the meeting in Toome, the South Antrim MLA said:

“I made repeated representations to senior officials at DAERA from June of this year, when it became apparent to myself and others that a devastating catastrophe was climaxing with the green algae bloom on Lough Neagh and surrounding waterways.

“It is clear that the entire ecosystem of Lough Neagh now faces a serious ecological crisis.

“Long-term implications for biodiversity, public health and the sustainability of our freshwater fishing industry are now in evidence within, and around the entire hinterland of Lough Neagh. 

“Several abnormal phenomena relating to traditional fish species have been confirmed. This year the eel fishing season has been very seriously impacted. The officials’ presentation to our delegation confirmed that levels of phosphorus and nitrogen entering the Lough have been escalating in recent years. 

“During the meeting we emphasised to NIEA officials that an urgent multi-agency and inter-departmental led strategy is now required. I believe the longer term ecological and economic priorities of the Lough, and surrounding community can only be protected through it being brought under democratic public ownership.

“We also highlighted for the officials the growing local community concern about a lack of information and clear messaging from both DAERA and the local council.  

“It was agreed with the NIEA officials that a wider meeting will be convened in Toome in the near future to review departmental actions to bring the existing crisis under control. Later this week Philip McGuigan MLA, and I will attend a meeting being hosted by the DAERA Permanent Secretary in Belfast. I will use that opportunity to repeat Sinn Féin’s view that the catastrophe in Lough Neagh must become a whole of government priority, and that a dedicated strategic task force with specific actions, must be immediately established.”


Sinn Féin have launched legislation to ensure that energy companies are regulated fairly so that customers are protected.

Sinn Féin’s Electricity Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2023 introduces measures to ensure that the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is fit for purpose, including increased power to monitor and regulate hedging practices and to investigate and sanction instances of anti-competitive behaviour in the energy market.

The Bill was brought forward by Sinn Féin spokesperson for Climate Action and the Environment, Darren O’Rourke TD and Senator Lynn Boylan, after the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities confirmed to the climate committee that they do not have oversight over the hedging strategies of energy companies, meaning that such strategies remain totally unregulated.

Commenting on the published legislation, Teachta O’Rourke said:

“Irish energy prices are some of the highest in Europe. Workers and families are struggling to afford their energy bills. They need a break from these sky high costs.

“Despite the fact that wholesale energy prices have fallen 64% from July last year to a new two year low, the cost of energy is still exorbitantly high and continues to place considerable strain on ordinary workers and families.

“The fact is when compared to our European counterparts, Ireland remains and outlier. Retail energy prices were falling all over Europe while Ireland’s remained stubbornly high. Although more recently, some energy companies have begun lowering the prices following the entry of a new lower price competitor to the market, the fact remains that the average bill is now almost €1,000 more than last year!

“The reason for this, we are told, is because of the so-called hedging practices of energy companies. Yet our own regulator has absolutely zero oversight over this, as was confirmed by the CRU’s latest visit to the climate committee. Evidently, we’re just supposed to trust that energy companies are not taking advantage of sky-high prices while simultaneously maintaining obscene profits. All in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis! It beggars belief!

“It is clear that ordinary workers and families have had enough. While the government and the regulator act as mere commentators, Sinn Féin is ready to tackle this issue once and for all. Our legislation introduces a suite of practical measures to ensure that the regulator has the regulatory teeth to rein in energy companies. It also enhances transparency and accountability thus bringing the Irish regulator in line with European counterparts.

“I am urging all TDs to stand up for Irish customers and back our legislation.”

Seanadóir Boylan said:

“This is an important piece of legislation that will stand up for customers and protect them from unfair hedging practices by energy companies. Households clearly need a break from spiralling costs and they need it now.

“It will specifically mandate the CRU to monitor and regulate hedging practice and anti-competitive behaviour and will equip the regulator with the power to sanction any profiteering that has been identified. The Bill also enhances consumer protection by mandating the CRU to consider the affordability of energy which, up until this point, has been a glaring gap in the regulator’s responsibilities. Significantly, the Bill also obligates the CRU to consider consumer interests in all regulatory decisions made.

“The CRU’s reporting obligation is also improved. They will be mandated to report i) monthly on the average price of natural gas and electricity supply and the average margin received by natural gas and electricity suppliers; ii)  quarterly on the compliance of electricity and gas transmission and distribution operators with an agreed code of conduct and an evaluation of the independence of these networks, including an examination of the changes in the prices paid by domestic and business customers on the retail market and iii) annually on the compliance of electricity and gas transmission and distribution operators with an agreed code of conduct and an evaluation of the independence of these networks.”

“Whether an example of gross negligence or gross neglect, the government cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the disorder and disarray in Irish energy markets. Winter is fast approaching - workers and families cannot face another winter of having to choose between heating and eating.  The government have told us for months they were doing all they could to address Ireland’s exorbitant energy bills. While we can’t find any evidence of that, with this legislation Sinn Féin has given them the answer to a fairer more transparent energy market. We are urging them to take it. People deserve nothing less.”

The legislation is available to view here: Electricity Regulation legislation


First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill said today that public patience with the blockade of the north’s political institutions was running out and it was time to respect the outcome of last May’s Assembly elections and get back to business.  

Speaking in Dublin this morning, Michelle O’Neill MLA said: 

“This week over 100 businesses from across the world were in Belfast for an economic conference, where I and others made a strong pitch for them to invest here.

“The deal between Britain and the EU is done, those negotiations are over.

“It gives us a huge competitive advantage as a gateway to Europe for the sale of goods to two of the world’s largest markets unimpeded.”

The First Minister Designate added: “Peace, stability and economic opportunity are all connected and the onus is on the British and Irish governments, all parties, and not least the DUP to restore the Executive and other democratic institutions so that we can push on and get back to business.

“Everyday the DUP boycotts government, all of our people are suffering in terms of health, rising prices and cost of living pressures and savage Tory cuts to our public services. 

“As an incoming First Minister, I am absolutely determined to work with others to make politics work.

“Everyone has been more than reasonable in giving space and time, but there must be a clear limit and public patience is now running out.

“The democratic outcome of last May’s Assembly election must be respected. Power-sharing must be restored.”


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that a change of government is needed to get to grips with the crises in housing, health and the cost of living.

Her comments were made at the party’s annual parliamentary ‘think-in’ in Dublin today, where TDs, Senators and MEP met in advance of the new Dáil term to discuss election preparations, cost of living and housing. They will also receive a briefing from First Minister designate Michelle O’Neill on the restoration of the political institutions in the north.

Teachta McDonald said:

“We face into one of the most important periods in the history of Irish politics as we are on the countdown to Local, European and Udarás na Gaeltachta elections in June and a General Election that could happen at any time.

“The public appetite for change is growing every day as this government have shown that they are not up to the task.  

“The longer that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been in government the worse things are getting -  just look at the crises in housing, health and the cost of living.   

“If we want things to change, we need a change of government.   

“It is clear that housing will be the defining issue of the coming election - about how Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s failures in housing are now impacting on the ability of employers to hire workers, schools to hire teachers and hospitals to hire doctors and nurses. The housing crisis is so dire that another generation are either leaving Ireland or continuing to live at home with their parents into their thirties and forties.

“If the people give us the opportunity to lead, Sinn Féin will make housing the number one priority of a new government – not only in words but in actions and in results. 

“The choice at the next election is a worsening housing crisis under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael or a Sinn Féin led government that will fix the housing crisis by reducing rents and delivering the largest social and affordable house building programme in the history of the state.

“That is the level of action needed to match the scale of the challenge people face.

“Our focus will be on electing enough Sinn Féin TDs to form a government.  In my opinion, the very best outcome of that election is a new government without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael for the first time in a hundred years.  I hope the people back that vision. However the outcome of the next General Election is far from decided, we know that we have a lot of work to do between now and then.

“These elections present us with an unprecedented opportunity to transform Ireland for the better, to put workers, families and communities first and to expand the exciting conversation about uniting our country.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called for the introduction of temporary and targeted mortgage interest relief to support households.

This comes as the European Central Bank announced its 10th interest rate hike since July of last year.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Today the ECB announced its 10th interest rate hike since July, increasing its key interest rate to an all-time high.

“This is an extremely worrying time for so many households who will continue to see their mortgage interest costs rise.

“Before today’s announcement the Central Bank estimated that 1 in 5 households would see their annual mortgage costs spiral by more than €5,700 as a result of rate hikes.

“With 2 in 5 seeing their annual mortgage costs rise by more than €3,000.

“With today’s announcement, these costs will increase further for so many.

“This is a massive income shock for households in the grip of a wider cost of living crisis.

“For months Sinn Féin have called for the introduction of temporary and targeted mortgage interest relief to support struggling households.

“That must be introduced in next month’s Budget.

“Households struggling with spiralling mortgage costs need support and they need it now.”


Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has welcomed the Irish Congress of Trade Unions comments on public finances and their rejection of Tory austerity.

The party’s economy spokesperson said:

“I welcome the positive contribution that the Irish Congress of Trade Union has brought to the debate around the public finances.

"Their analysis recognises that the Executive has suffered from over a decade of austerity and that it receives less than it needs to provide comparable public services to England. 

"The punitive charges being considered by the British Secretary of State are not the solution and would only add to the hardship of workers and families.

"ICTU is correct in highlighting the need for an increased budget from the British Government and for reform to the Barnett formula.

"It is vital that power-sharing is restored so that the parties can together negotiate for a new Financial Framework which enables the Executive to deliver decent public services for workers and families.”


MacManus welcomes success of air pollution laws in European Parliament
Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, has welcomed a European Parliament vote in favour of new EU laws on air pollution. “It is hugely positive to see the Ambient Air Quality Directive adopted by the European Parliament today,” said MacManus. “This legislation is all about bringing our rules on air quality in line with the scientific advice of the World Health Organisation, and represents important progress for human health and the environment.”

Speaking from Strasbourg after a plenary vote in the European Parliament, MacManus said, “Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe, but it is often overlooked by policy makers. 96% of Europeans are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution, and people on lower incomes are disproportionately exposed to harmful pollutants. Vulnerable groups like children are particularly at risk of respiratory diseases, infections and even cancers.”

“Tackling air pollution will not only improve people’s health and wellbeing, but can bring other societal benefits as well. Aligning the EU limit values with the WHO recommendations will bring billions of euros in net benefits each year, in the form of savings for our healthcare systems and reduced need for sick leave and time off work.”

“Given all the positives that come with tackling air pollution, it was all the more disappointing to see groups from the right wing of the Parliament attempt to scupper this new legislation. Far right groups and the European People’s Party put forward amendments to water down the legislation significantly, and even to reject it outright. Thankfully, almost all of these attempts failed, and we had a majority in favour of progressive legislation that will bring our air quality standards in line with the WHO’s latest guidance. There are still a few steps to go before the directive becomes EU law, but once it does it will be up to national and local authorities to measure air pollution and take steps to reduce it.” MacManus concluded, “This is an important step towards cleaner, healthier air for all.” ENDS

Note: the European Commission estimates that by 2030, total gross benefits for society stemming from this proposal will be between €42 to 121 billion per year, compared to a total cost of €5.7 billion per year for mitigation measures and related administrative costs.


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called on the Minister for Enterprise, and the Minister for Transport, to ensure that the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations be applied for Coast Guard workers.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The contract provider for the provision of Coast Guard aviation services has changed from CHC Helicopter Ireland (CHCI) to Bristow Ireland Limited.

“The transition of services and functions between contractors is expected to be a gradual process, but it has nevertheless left CHCI workers in a precarious position.

“In such an instance the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations should apply and all CHCI workers should migrate to Bristow Ireland Limited on the same terms and conditions they are now.

“To date, the workers have not been transferred over, nor have they been given confirmation that they will transfer over on the same terms and conditions.

“This unacceptable situation has been made worse by the fact that some of these workers' jobs are now being advertised online.

“This is an unacceptable situation and a cause of concern for the workers, their families, and their communities.

“Having raised this matter with the Minister for Transport, I have zero confidence that he understands the seriousness of the situation and it appears he is happy for the workers, and their rights, to be trampled on.

“Bristow Ireland has given a commitment to the Department of Transport that it supports the principles of TUPE, but it has not committed to transferring the staff directly over on their current terms and conditions.

“This is a state contract and where the state spends money workers’ rights should be protected and upheld.

“It is of the utmost importance for the Minister for Enterprise and the Minister for Transport to ensure that the TUPE Regulations are applied for Coast Guard workers.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Sorca Clarke TD, has urged government to increase school funding to appropriate levels following the release of a damning OECD report.

Speaking today, Teachta Clarke said:

“It is clear that schools in Ireland have been struggling for many years due to the government’s failure to invest in the level of funding that they need.

“This underfunding of schools has parents to the pin of their collars, having to fork out more money than ever for ‘voluntary’ contributions to send their children to school. Principals and teachers are under huge pressure, as they struggle to get on with doing their jobs properly while also navigating these severe funding challenges.

”After speaking with many concerned principals and teachers across the country it was of no surprise when I read in the OECD’s recent report that Ireland is lagging behind neighbours when it comes to funding schools.
“The report found that OECD countries spend on average 1.5% of their GDP on primary education, however Ireland spends just 1.2%.
“There is a discernible and alarming difference when compared to our neighbouring countries. This must change.
“I have continually urged the government to end the scandal of under-funding schools. The government must act to make education genuinely free and accessible to everyone.
“We need to see a sense of urgency from the government immediately. Budget 2024 must not be another missed opportunity from the government. We need to see our schools finally get the funding they need and deserve.
“Sinn Féin are committed to tackling the issue of underfunding in education and alleviating the financial burden for families and schools. A post-primary book scheme is just a first step. We need to deal with capitation grants and fund the Summer Works Scheme, the ICT Grant programme and many others.

“Government must act now to properly fund schools.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on workers’ rights Declan Kearney has expressed concern at the latest NISRA figures which indicate that inflation is dramatically outstripping workers’ wages.

The South Antrim MLA said:

"It is extremely concerning to note from this report that as energy bills, fuels prices and mortgage rates increase workers’ wages are now being eclipsed, forcing them and their families into deeper financial distress. 

“The latest statistics show that as inflation has risen, the levels of take-home pay have effectively stalled, making it even more difficult for people to pay their bills and keep a roof over their head.

“Working people urgently need the power sharing Executive to be restored so that we can address issues relating to low pay and precarious work, through legislation and good public policy.

“The DUP needs to end its futile boycott of the Executive so that we can collectively stand up for workers and families and impress on this British Government the urgent need to control inflation, and to support all those in our society who are struggling to survive.”


First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has said an urgent action plan needs to be developed immediately to tackle the serious issue of toxic algae in Lough Neagh which is causing serious public concern. 

And the Mid Ulster MLA said that Lough Neagh should be brought into public ownership and a long-term plan developed to keep the lough safe. 

Michelle O’Neill said:  

“Sinn Féin has long advocated for Lough Neagh to be brought into public ownership.  

“Lough Neagh provides 40% of the north’s drinking water and contributes greatly to the fishing industry and the environment. 

“An urgent action plan needs to be developed immediately to tackle the serious issue of toxic algae in Lough Neagh and the surrounding area and its impact on water quality and the local environment, which is causing serious public concern.

“Sinn Féin will continue to meet with the relevant agencies this week to ensure demand urgent action to tackle the current crisis in Lough Neagh in a coordinated and effective manner.

“Lough Neagh is a huge asset for all the communities who live close to its shores and it has so much untapped potential.  

“It should be brought under public ownership so that a clear management structure can be developed and long-term plans developed to keep the lough safe and sustainable for future generations.”


Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has called on the Irish government to confront the ‘cynical and cruel’ Legacy Bill through an interstate case against the British government.

Speaking after the Legacy Bill passed its final stage in the House of Lords, the North Belfast MP said:

“The British government's flawed and irredeemable Legacy Bill has always only been about one thing – closing the door on families ever getting truth and justice.

“The British government has forced this cynical and cruel legislation through and ignored the voices of victims, all political parties on this island, human rights experts, churches, the US, UN, EU and Irish Government. The British Labour party has also said it will repeal this legislation if they are in government after the next Westminster election.

“The British government has reneged on an international agreement to implement the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House by the two governments and political parties in 2014 in a human rights' compliant manner.

“The Irish government should now confront this denial of human rights and breach of international human rights law through an interstate case and international action against the British government." 


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly, has described today’s vote of no confidence in the Garda Commissioner by the Garda Representative Association as a further indictment of the crisis in An Garda Síochána overseen by 12 years of Fine Gael in government.

Teachta Daly said:

“As a result of the failures of 12 years of Fine Gael in government, we now have a real crisis in the Gardaí.  

“There are fewer Gardaí and fewer Garda stations than when Fine Gael took power 12 years ago; despite a significant increase in the population.  

“As a result, people don’t feel safe in their homes, on the streets or in their communities.    

“Under Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, there has been an unprecedented exodus from our public services – every day they stay in office, we are losing Gardaí, members of the Defence Forces, nurses and teachers. 

“Gardaí are exasperated and feel that they are not being listened to and that their concerns are not being taken seriously.

“Today’s vote by the GRA is a culmination of those frustrations felt among members of An Garda Síochána; a direct result of Fine Gael holding the position of Minister for Justice for over a decade. 

“Their lack of leadership is responsible for serious long-term issues that are making Garda recruitment and retention difficult, which has now led to morale among members being at an all-time low.

“Gardaí feel that their job has changed and are increasingly frustrated that they cannot go about their job of policing and keeping communities they serve safe without the resources they require to do so safely. 

“Members are at breaking point, and we need to see the government respond with serious measures before the situation deteriorates further. 

“In government, Sinn Féin would fix this crisis in crime and policing by by commencing the biggest Garda recruitment drive in the history of the state and ensuring we have the conditions to retain current Gardaí.

“We would appoint a retention taskforce to report back in a matter of weeks, move Gardaí away from non-core duties, publish the Garda Reserve regulations to allow recruitment to resume, and increase recruitment classes by reviewing the training allowance and recruitment restrictions.”

Connect with Sinn Féin