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Latest statements


Sinn Féin MLA Sinead Ennis has challenged the Infrastructure Minister to state whether the Narrow Water Bridge is a priority for her Department. 

The South Down MLA said: 

"Narrow Water bridge is a vital piece of infrastructure for the Mourne, Gullion and Cooley region.

"It would enhance business and investment opportunities, create jobs and strengthen the tourism potential for the entire area.

"The bridge was included in the New Decade, New Approach deal with commitments for delivery made by both the British and Irish governments. 

"The minister needs to facilitate discussions with both governments to make sure this vital project is delivered. 

“That includes placing Narrow Water Bridge on the agenda at the next meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council

“I will continue to press the Infrastructure Minister to progress this essential project that has been delayed for far too long."


Sinn Féin MLA Emma Sheerin has called on the Infrastructure Minister to introduce 20 miles per hour speed limits outside schools. 

The Mid Ulster MLA said: 

“In 2018 the Department for Infrastructure introduced a part time speed limit of 20mph outside seven schools across the north.

“I asked the minister for an update on this trial and whether she will implement part time signage across all schools currently in national speed limit zones.

“The minister replied that a review of this trial will be published shortly, which will inform her next decision.

“20mph zones outside schools is an important issue and is a common sense approach to improve road safety for our children and young people.

“I will continue to press the Infrastructure minister on this issue and to call on her to allow more schools to benefit from this important road safety scheme."


Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has said the Health Minister should ensure schools, staff and parents are kept up to date with the latest information on Coronavirus. 

The Sinn Féin education spokesperson said: 

"Reports of the spread of the Coronavirus will no doubt cause considerable concern among parents, teachers and young people. 

"Today I called on the Health Minister to ensure schools are kept up to date with all relevant information on the Coronavirus and the steps that are being taken to deal with it. 

"Parents and staff, as well as students and young people, need to have confidence that everything is being done to deal with the outbreak of the virus. 

"The minister and the department should also make sure information is delivered to young people in a manner that highlights the importance of the issue without causing unnecessary alarm. 

“It’s vital that health agencies and professionals are working collaboratively to tackle this health emergency in the most effective way possible."


Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer today pressed the Infrastructure Minister on the need to improve safety for children using school buses by protecting them from overtaking vehicles.

The West Tyrone MLA said:

“Today I asked the Infrastructure Minister to look at the introduction of legislation to prohibit vehicles from passing school buses when children are being collected and dropped off. 

“Overtaking a stationary bus can be dangerous for school children, particularly when they are crossing roads.

“We have had a number of tragedies and accidents over the years where children have been knocked down and injured. It’s our responsibility to ensuring this never happens again.

“The minister is reviewing my proposals to improve safety and best practice and I hope to meet her in the near future. 

“Improving road safety for children and young people is a priority, they are most at risk while crossing roads.

“I will continue to campaign for this vital piece of legislation.”


West Tyrone MLA Catherine Kelly today called on the Infrastructure Minister to recognise the importance of supporting measures to reduce the harm to communities at risk from flooding.

The West Tyrone MLA said:

“Recently a number of areas in my constituency have been affected by flooding as a result of Storm Ciara.

“The Fire Service, PSNI, DFI Roads, Rivers Agency and other relevant agencies were present in some of these areas and dealt with the flooding in a coordinated and effective fashion.

“I asked the Infrastructure Minister to outline the department’s plans for future flooding and recognise the importance of supporting these communities through best practice.

“The minister recognised the significance of this approach and told me the department will continue to work in partnership with other agencies.

“We need to ensure these response teams are adequately funded in the future.

“Flooding is an extremely distressing event for all those affected, and every effort must be made to mitigate their harm.” 


Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said the British government must not be allowed to renege on commitments made on protections from Brexit. 

The Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson said: 

"As this phase of the Brexit negotiations gets underway it is essential that the protections already agreed by the British government and EU in the Irish Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement are maintained and implemented. 

"To date, the British government appears to be attempting to renege on the commitments it has already entered into, but the EU must not allow that to happen. 

"It is vital that these commitments are implemented in order to protect the all-Ireland economy and to offer reassurance to local businesses and traders. 

"We will continue to work with the EU and with the Irish government to make sure there is no resiling from the commitments made in the Irish Protocol.” 


Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has requested meetings with the Minister for the Economy and the Chief Executive of InvestNI to highlight concerns on the regional balance of InvestNI activities.

The party’s economy and climate action spokesperson said:

“Recent figures showing the number of foreign direct investment visits hosted by InvestNI in each constituency over the last three years highlighted gross disparities in many areas compared to Belfast.

“Figures for InvestNI activity 2018-19 broken down by both council area and parliamentary constituency also show great disparities in terms of ‘new jobs assisted’ in constituencies and council areas beyond Belfast.

“Addressing regional disparity is an Executive commitment including in the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ document which states ‘a top priority of the Executive will be to develop a regionally-balanced economy with opportunities for all.

“Addressing regional imbalances requires strategic policy direction and that must include in the activities of InvestNI.

“Decades of under-investment has resulted in huge regional disparities, that must be addressed. I have requested meetings with the Minister for the Economy and the Chief Executive of InvestNI to discuss how this can be achieved and progressed.” 


Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney, and Minister in the north’s Executive Office, has accused the leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of having vulgarised Irish politics with their public commentary since the general election on 8 February.

Writing for An Phoblacht, the South Antrim MLA, observed that a carnival of reaction had been provoked within the Irish establishment against Sinn Féin’s electoral surge. 

Declan Kearney said:

“Both Leo Varadkar and Michéal Martin, the respective leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, and others from their parties, have publicly vilified the democratic structure and integrity of Sinn Féin because they were so affronted by our party’s electoral success.

“Their commentary would be laughable, if it was not so fundamentally anti-democratic. These individuals have traduced the democratic process and vulgarised Irish politics with their behaviour.

“Michéal Martin abused the first sitting of the 33rd Dáil (Irish Parliament) by mounting an irrational and scurrilous attack upon Sinn Féin, which left many in his own party bewildered and embarrassed.

“Sinn Féin’s electoral surge on 8 February has provoked a carnival of reaction from within the Irish establishment.

“But the huge support for our party is a culmination of a deep discontent against how Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have run the southern state since its foundation on behalf of the economic and class interests of the establishment.

“The fact is that the two big conservative parties, having had a free run for nearly 100 years, lost the run of themselves They were so intoxicated with their duopoly of state power that they thought it would be ‘business as usual’ after the most recent general election.

“Politics has arguably been brought to a cross roads by this general election.

“The current impasse over government formation can be read as sub text for a power struggle over who is in government, and which economic and social interests should be advanced through the exercise of state power”

Turning to the prospects of government formation, Declan Kearney said:

“The potential does still exist to form a government for change in the coming weeks.

“However, for that to happen, some parties will have to make decisions about which side they are on, and how they want to see political power exercised - in the interests of the many, or the few. 

“Sinn Féin is clear about what needs to happen.

“It would be a strategic miscalculation by the left and other progressives, and potentially a lost opportunity, if this period is confined to policy negotiations among parties and politicians, while everyone else behaves like passive spectators.

“So, progressive civic and community-based stakeholders need to begin exerting their significant political and social influence.

“Other voices must speak out for change, and contribute to a new narrative for political change.

“Initiatives by trade unionists and other progressive social and cultural activists are presently needed to effect the balance of forces in the support of progress and political transformation.

“The aim of achieving permanent political and social realignment will of course depend upon the appointment of a government for change. But that will have to be supported by a broadly based coalition of democratic civic and community interests. In short, a mobilisation of progressive politics within the political institutions, and, also outside the institutions of government and throughout wider society.

"Genuine republicans, socialists, progressives and democrats should set aside tactical and political differences, and instead unite and act to ensure that the community and class interests of the many have primacy.”

The full text of Declan Kearney’s blog can be read here:


Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said today that it is good news that the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots is “keen to introduce an afforestation strategy".

The party’s economy and climate action spokesperson was speaking after the minister responded in writing to her confirming he would introduce an Afforestation Strategy on public land.

The East Derry MLA said:

“I welcome the response from the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs that he is ‘keen to introduce an afforestation strategy on public land’.

“He said he would collaborate with Executive colleagues and local councils to create an Afforestation Forum.

“The forum will initially meet this month to advance plans to allow planting to start during the winter 2020/21 tree planting season.

"Sinn Féin advocates an ambitious tree planting programme as one on the measures to offset carbon emissions, as trees absorb and store carbon dioxide.

"However, any tree planting programme must be of native, broadleaf trees which will support and improve biodiversity.

“The culture of planting only Sitka Spruce has had a detrimental environmental and ecological impact.

"This is a step in the right direction in terms of beginning to address the climate emergency by offsetting carbon emissions.

“However, what we fundamentally require is the delivery of climate legislation which creates a framework for climate action.

“Setting robust and enforceable emissions reduction targets and bringing forward a Climate Change Act should be a primary priority for the Minister.” 


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has announced that former Foyle MP Elisha McCallion will be one of the party’s candidates in the Seanad election.

Speaking after her selection, Elisha McCallion said:

“I’m honoured to have been selected to run for the Industrial and Commercial panel and as one of the Sinn Féin’s seven candidates in the Seanad election.

“This is a unique opportunity to work with my colleague Niall Ó Donnghaile in giving people across the north a voice in the Oireachtas.

“Part of my focus will be advancing the party’s agenda of giving workers and families a break, defending citizens’ rights, advancing Irish Unity and addressing regional disparities west of the Bann, including the impact of partition on Derry and Donegal.

“There are important challenges ahead in the coming months as the next stage of Brexit begins, we must ensure the protections for economy secured in the Irish Protocol and Withdrawal Agreement are upheld.

“I look forward to the campaign and I am determined to bring a positive, inclusive and dynamic perspective to the Oireachtas.


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has announced her party’s candidates for the Seanad election.

Speaking today Teachta McDonald said Sinn Féin Senators will help to advance the party’s agenda of giving workers and families a break, building homes, reducing and freezing rents, tackling the trolley crisis securing the state pension at 65 years of age and preparing for Irish Unity.

She said;

“The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle met in Dublin yesterday and finalised our field of Seanad candidates.

“Former Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan will run on the Agriculture Panel alongside Councillor Gerry Murray from Mayo.

“Sitting Senators Paul Gavan and Máire Devine will run again on the Labour Panel while Fintan Warfield will run on the Culture and Education Panel and Niall Ó Donnghaile will run on the Administrative Panel.

“Former MP for Foyle Elisha McCallion will run on the Industrial and Commercial Panel.

“Sinn Féin Senators will help to advance the party’s agenda of giving workers and families a break, building homes, reducing and freezing rents, tackling the trolley crisis securing the state pension at 65 years of age and preparing for Irish Unity.”



 Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has welcomed today's high-level meeting between the north's Joint Head of Government, the Taoiseach and health ministers across the island to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Sinn Féin health spokesperson said: 

"I welcome today's meeting involving the Joint Heads of Government in the north, the Assembly's Health Minister with the Taoiseach and Health Minister in the south on an agreed, all-Ireland approach to the coronavirus. 

"It is essential that public health authorities north and south work closely together and co-operate and community effectively in order to deal with this health emergency. 

"Infections don’t recognise barriers or borders and neither should our approach.

“It is encouraging that the joined up approach will continue in the time ahead.”


Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has condemned a fire and break-in at the building of disability charity Destined on Foyle Road this morning.  

The Foyle MLA said:

“I’m angry this morning after visiting local learning disability charity Destined following a break-in and fire inside their new building on the Foyle Road.   

“Those responsible wrecked a brand-new kitchen in the café and smashed the windows on the front doors of the building.  

“This centre not only provides activities and programmes for young people and adults with learning disabilities, but it also provides vital employment.  

“The community are rightly devastated and will rally their support behind Destined.

“Anyone with any information or CCTV footage should contact the PSNI to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice for this despicable crime.”


Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed a commitment by the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to extend Neighbourhood Renewal projects for the next two financial years.

Carál Ní Chuilín said: 

“I welcome today's announcement by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to extend budgets given to Neighbourhood Renewal projects for the next two financial years. 

“This is a fantastic development for communities across the north and the 900 workers and countless volunteers who make a real and lasting difference in our communities. 

“Sinn Féin have fought long and hard alongside Neighbourhood Renewal projects in their campaign to have funding and services protected. 

“It’s unacceptable that workers and organisations enter each year with uncertainty and protective notice. Under these proposals Deirdre Hargey has committed to look at multi-annual funding to provide more security to organisations. 

“Once again; Minister Hargey has demonstrated her commitment to addressing poverty and disadvantage and to target resources at areas most in need.”


Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the January homeless figures published by the Department of Housing yesterday evening.

The January figures show a big rise in the number of adults and children in emergency accommodation, with 10,217 people living in emergency accommodation in January. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The January homeless figures released yesterday evening shows a big rise in the number of adults and children in emergency accommodation.

“The figures increased by 540 in total on the previous month, with an additional 388 adults, 152 children and 63 families living in emergency accommodation in January 2020. This brings the total yet again to over 10,000.

“This is deeply concerning. Current policy is continuing to fail the families, children and individuals in emergency accommodation and the incoming government must change direction and take decisive action.

“A government for change led by Sinn Féin would introduce the Focus Ireland amendment to make it illegal for eviction notices being issued to tenants when buy to let landlords want to sell. We would also increase funding for Housing First and increase the number of acquisitions of vacant properties.

“The big increase seen in the January figures underlines the deep suspicion that many have on the veracity of the figures published in December.

“Rather than politicising this discussion, it is our view that an independent review of the December homeless figures should be conducted by the CSO or the Housing Agency.  

“Strong consideration must also be given to giving responsibility for collating and publishing the homeless data to an independent body such as the CSO so that there is no perception of or actual manipulation of the figures.”



All executive Ministers are being lobbied to back match-funding Derry’s Economic Growth Plan, Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said.

The Foyle MLA said: 

“I was delighted to with the support of Finance Minister Conor Murphy for match funding for Derry’s Economic Growth Plan which comprises of the City Deal and Inclusive Future Fund.

“Together, the City Deal and Inclusive Future Fund represent a £105 million investment in the North West and will provide a major economic boost to the entire region, helping us to create and sustain well-paying jobs and opportunities. 

“The Finance Minister has indicated his intention to shortly bring the matter before the Executive and we are calling on all Ministers to support this much needed investment in the North West.

“To that end, fellow Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan and I have jointly written to all Executive ministers urging them to support the City Deal and Inclusive Future Fund in the context that the ‘New Decade New Approach’ document prioritised the development of a regionally-balanced economy. 

“I hope all Ministers will support this initiative which will deliver investment, regeneration and opportunity to a region where it is greatly needed.”


Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion has written to the Ceann Comhairle Seán O’Fearghail asking that the establishment of an all-party Oireachtas Committee on Autism would be made a priority during the coming weeks while considering all other Oireachtas committees.

Speaking today Deputy Funchion said;

“I have written to the Ceann Comhairle asking that the establishment of an Oireachtas Committee on Autism be made a priority by the Dáil.

“I understand that several committees are being considered currently between now and the formation of government.

“In April 2019 I, along with my party colleagues introduced a motion calling for an Autism Empowerment Strategy to the Dáil on World Autism Day. This was a considered piece of work done in conjunction with advocacy groups and members of the autistic community.

“The motion set out a clear framework towards finally delivering a National Autism Empowerment Strategy and for the setting up of an all-party Oireachtas Committee which would be mandated to produce such a strategy within six months.

“Even though the motion was passed receiving strong cross party support at the time, the committee was never established.

“We believe that this committee should now be prioritised given the decision taken by the previous Dáil.  We also believe that this committee should be set up at the earliest opportunity so that work can be started now and continue thereafter once the new government is up and running.

“I have raised this with the Ceann Comhairle and hope that it will be seriously considered by the Business Committee of the Dáil so that we may see the establishment of this committee in the coming weeks.”



Dublin West Sinn Féin TD Paul Donnelly has expressed concerns over the depiction of Dublin West by serving Gardai in the ‘K District’ programme that is being aired next week on Virgin Media.

Deputy Donnelly said:

“I have seen the trailer for this programme and I’ve listened to the Gardaí describe the area as ‘absolutely mental’, ‘half mad’, and one member even talking about ‘being dropped in Beirut’.

“Another Garda member described it like ‘being in the Wild West’.

“I’ve had communications from residents in Dublin West who are angry with the Garda Siochána being involved in a programme like this and the offensive manner in which they describe our community. 

“I’ve spent the last six weeks walking and canvassing throughout Dublin West, and I have lived here for the past 25 years, and I do not recognise the place that they are talking about. 

“Of course there are problems with some areas and there are serious issues in relation to crime, drugs, antisocial behaviour and burglaries.

“However the Gardaí management would be better served dealing with those issues at senior level and demanding more resources than participating in a programme that looks set to stigmatise this whole community when only a tiny proportion of that community are involved in criminality.  

“I understand that we have only seen a promo for the programme and I do hope that over the coming weeks there is a much broader and positive view of the community of Dublin West and the area that the K District serves.

“However, what we have seen so far is hugely disappointing.”



Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called on Invest NI to get to grips with tackling regional disparities and offer more support and investment in areas with the lowest employment rates.

The Foyle MLA said:

"It is quite shocking the level of regional inequalities that exist in Invest NI’s financial investments for job assistance.

"The lack of funding by the investment agency into areas with the lowest employment rates perpetuates the economic imbalances which exist in our economy.

"It is beyond belief that while Invest NI assisted the creation of 9,280 jobs in Belfast South, in the Foyle area which was the area with the second most assistance, it assisted only 2,723.

"It is equally shocking that the number of jobs assisted in South Belfast greatly outnumbered the combined amount for all other constituencies in Belfast.

"Sinn Féin will continue to press the Department for Economy and its arms length bodies on the need to rebalance our economy so that people across the North can avail of job opportunities in their own areas. 

"Sinn Féin is also bringing forward a motion in the Assembly on the importance of having a regionally balanced economy." 


Sinn Féin education spokesperson and deputy chair of the Education Committee Karen Mullan MLA today met with the leadership team of Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta.

Speaking after the meeting in Carn Tóchair, the Foyle MLA said:

"We had a constructive and worthwhile meeting today with the leadership of Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta.

"We discussed the increasing demand for Irish Medium Education, the pressures arising as a result of that demand and also the level of investment required over the next number of years to support and maintain this growth. 

"Irish Medium is the fastest growing education sector in the North.

"This reality must be reflected in the Department of Education’s plans going forward.

"We need to see capital investment in the sector as well as the development of a workforce strategy to ensure we have enough specialist subject teachers to meet the rising demand for Irish Medium post primary education.

"I look forward to working with Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, the relevant government departments and others to see that the bespoke needs of the Irish Medium sector are met."

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