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Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed Wednesday’s successful Dáil vote in support of a Sinn Féin motion backing Section 39 workers and organisations. The government suffered another defeat.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday Teachta Adams praised those many organisations in Louth that rely on Section 39 workers and welcomed the defeat of the Government which had opposed the motion.

Teachta Adams said:

“The Sinn Féin motion maps out the key elements of a long term strategy for Section 39 users based on equality, and for the protection of Section 39 employees in this not-for-profit sector known which so many citizens depend upon.

"The 1916 Proclamation states that the Republic guarantees 'equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation … cherishing all the children of the nation equally.'

"It doesn’t say except for those who have a disability or for those who need healthcare or those who suffer from mental health issues. It doesn’t say that bankers, landlords and insurance companies should have extra rights. But of course, we don’t have a republic based on the Proclamation.

"In this State Citizens with a disability suffer from higher levels of poverty. They will have to fight for public services they should be entitled to. They survive on the lowest annual average disposable income. This situation has been made worse by years of service cutbacks and lack of service provision.

"Section 39 organisations provide essential services. The Walkpeer programme in Louth, for example, which enables young people with a disability to access opportunities in education, training and employment, has had to constantly fight for funding and resources.

"Respite services for Louth have been a constant battleground as the need has increased while the necessary resources have not ever been provided.

"In February 2013 the Fine Gael/Labour government scrapped the Mobility Allowance Scheme and the Motorised Transport Grants. That was almost seven years ago. It still hasn’t been replaced. In September the government published its legislative programme for the autumn session. Nowhere does it even reference the Health Transport Support Bill which is supposed to plug the gap left by the 2013 decision.

"There are 600,043 citizens in this State with a disability. That’s 13.5% of the population. Louth has a higher than average percentage of citizens with a disability at almost 14%. The Section 39 public sector provides an indispensible service for citizens with disabilities, as well as for the elderly, the young, those suffering substance abuse, or at risk of suicide and they are the backbone of community development projects.

"Groups in County Louth that are Section 39 based include SOSAD which deals with citizens at risk from suicide, Louth Age Friendly, Dundalk Parents and Friends of the Intellectually Disabled, and the Louth Community Drug and Alcohol Team.

"Without their dedication and commitment many people would fall through the cracks into even worse dire circumstances.

"This motion seeks to effectively resolve the many difficulties currently within the Section 39 sector.

"It is demanding that the government produce a long term strategy and vision for the sector.

"It is calling for a long overdue review of current legislative provisions governing the relationship between the state and the almost two thousand organisations that make up the Section 39 sector.

"It also makes the case for an end to the unequal pay terms that exist between Section 38 and 39 organisations.  This must be a priority.

"Our responsibility as legislators must be to ensure that citizens with disabilities, and all those who rely on section 39 services, are able to play a full and independent part in all aspects of life.”


Sinn Féin MP and justice spokesperson Francie Molloy said today the British government must bring forward a definitive timeline for the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.

Francie Molloy said:

“We note the commitment from the British government to ‘seek the prompt implementation’ of the Stormont House Agreement.

“Victims have been waiting five years so far for the implementation of the Agreement.

“The mechanisms of the Stormont Agreement need to deliver accountability, be victim centred and human rights compliant.

“The British government needs to stop dragging its feet and implement the legacy mechanisms, as agreed by the five main parties and both governments and publicly endorsed in last year’s legacy consultation.

"Sinn Féin will continue to oppose any attempts to discriminate against any section of victims of the conflict.

“There can be no hierarchy of victims.

“British state forces who killed Irish citizens cannot be put above the law.

“It is appalling that families have been forced to wait over 40 years for truth and justice as a direct result of the British state’s cover-up of murder and collusion during the conflict.

“The British government needs to recognise its legal and international obligations which they will have to respect and fulfil.”


Sinn Féin Children & Youth Affairs spokesperson Kathleen Funchion TD has welcomed that the Government and Minister Zappone heard Sinn Féin’s calls for a support fund to be given to crèches and childcare providers who are in financial crisis.

Minister Zappone last night announced a one-off payment of approximately €1,500 to childcare providers who are faced with breathtakingly high insurance premiums, following the departure of Ironshore Europe from the market.

Deputy Funchion said:

“It is welcome that Minister Zappone didn’t listen to Leo Varadkar yesterday when he accused Mary Lou McDonald of ‘recklessness’ after she proposed this interim solution yesterday. 

“I asked the Minister for assurances that these payments would be paid directly, and that childcare providers wouldn’t be landed with additional administrative burdens as a result over the Christmas period.

“The Minister told me that childcare providers should ensure they are getting their new insurance quote from Allianz Ireland – at €60 per child per year in full time service, and €25 per child per year for those on the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme.

“I would recommend that if any service provider experiences difficulties in receiving their allocation via the Programme Support payment, that they should contact the Department immediately.

"This will make a difference to childcare providers, to workers and to parents heading into the new year, but it shouldn’t have gotten to this stage and there needs to be a plan to prevent this in future.

“This crisis is yet another feature of a childcare system that is fractured and doesn’t work for parents, children or for childcare professionals. We need to move away from the for-profit model of childcare to one of public service.”


Speaking after this morning's health summit with political parties, the British Secretary of State Julian Smith and heads of the Civil Service, Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill said:

"Today's meeting was constructive. We discussed the serious challenges facing health and social care services and the need to address these issues including pay justice, safe staffing levels and the unacceptably long waiting lists.

"I made it clear, as I had done as Minister for Health, that additional funding is required from the British Treasury to address these significant challenges.

"I also reiterated our position to Julian Smith and heads of the Civil Service they have the ability and authority to make funds available that would achieve pay justice for health and social care workers.

"The lack of pay parity is an urgent problem facing health and social care which needs to be addressed immediately.

"It is not acceptable for Julian Smith or civil servants to use workers’ legitimate demands for pay parity as a political football in current talks.

"I will continue to to press the British Secretary of State and the Civil Service to deliver pay parity urgently."


Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has welcomed the passage of Sinn Féin’s Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill through all stages of the Oireachtas this evening. 

The legislation will reform insurance contracts, increase transparency and shift the balance in favour of the consumer.

Journalists have described Sinn Féin’s legislation as ‘the most radical change in insurance law in centuries’, while the Alliance for Insurance Reform described it as a ‘game-changer’.

Speaking after the votes in the Seanad, Deputy Doherty said:

“Rip-off insurance costs are squeezing incomes and closing down businesses. People are seeing their premiums go up each year without even making a claim. The insurance market isn’t working for policyholders and too little has been done to hold the industry to account and reduce costs.

“Our Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill will shift the balance in favour of policyholders, by increasing transparency and strengthening the hand of the policyholder during their insurance contract. It is the only legislation that has been passed since 2016 that focusses on policyholders, increasing their protections.

“On a personal note, this is my second piece of legislation to pass through the Oireachtas. The first, the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Bill, was signed into law in July 2017, which strengthened the powers of the Financial Services Ombudsman, and allowed thousands of families to have their cases heard. Like this legislation, it put consumers first, above corporate and vested interests.

“This legislation has been described as the most radical change in consumer law in centuries, and as a game-changer by the Alliance for Insurance Reform. 

"It would require companies to inform consumers of the past 5 years of premiums paid by customers, and claims paid to customers and third parties for all non-life insurance contracts.

“From now on, where there is uncertainty in any document or contract, the rule of law and interpretation in favour of the consumer will prevail. Form now on, it will be up to the insurer to ask the relevant questions when a consumer or business takes out a policy, reversing the current status quo which places the burden and responsibility on the consumer to volunteer information.

“Companies will no longer be able to easily settle third party claims without the policyholder knowing. They will have to inform customers of any claim made against their policy, allowing them to submit their own evidence and informing them of the cost of any claim against their policy that has been settled. After last week’s revelations of some, enabled by the legal industry, engaging in fraudulent claims, this provision is crucial. It would ensure that policyholders would be told of any third party claims made against their policy, fraudulent or otherwise, and have a right to submit evidence concerning the claim.

“The legislation would also make it harder for an insurer to wriggle out of paying valid claims on grounds that have nothing to do with the accident or loss incurred by the policyholder.

“I want to thank Minister D’Arcy for his cooperation in facilitating the passage of this Bill. We now on track for it to be signed into law by Christmas.

“Sinn Féin are in the business of protecting people, not the profits of the insurance industry. While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have peddled the spin of the industry for years, Sinn Féin has repeatedly called out the industry for ripping off customers, exaggerating the level of claims, and waging a public disinformation campaign.

“Sinn Féin has delivered solutions.

"This legislation is the biggest win for policyholders in this Dáil. Sinn Féin will continue to stand up for workers and families."


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has welcomed the announcement a “Programme Support Payment” of €1,500 by Minister Katherine Zappone in light of rising insurance issue costs facing childcare providers.

Teachta McDonald said:

“Earlier today in the Dáil, I asked the Taoiseach to make an emergency payment to creches in order to keep their doors open in light of rising insurance costs.

“The Taoiseach rubbished this proposal and called it ‘reckless’.

 “I’m very glad that his Minister wasn’t listening and has now announced this payment.

"There’s no doubt that this will make a difference to childcare providers, to workers and to parents but it shouldn’t have gotten to this stage and there needs to be a plan to prevent this in future.

“This crisis is yet another feature of a childcare system that is fractured and doesn’t work for parents, children or for childcare professionals. We need to move away from the for-profit model of childcare to one of public service.”


Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams led a delegation on Wednesday to meet with the Minister for Insurance Michael D’Arcy.

The meeting was attended by Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, and Mandy Fee and Shane McBride from Dundalk based leisure business Pelican Promotions. Its purpose was to discuss the crisis caused by the huge rise in insurance costs.

The meeting also discussed a business proposal produced by Mandy Fee and Shane McBride for the funding of the ‘Irish Leisure Industry Standards Association (Social Enterprise CLG)’ which would regulate the industry.

Speaking after the meeting which Gerry Adams TD described as “very constructive”.

He said:

“The meeting with Minister D’Arcy was a follow-up to an initial meeting that took place in August. In the interval the crisis in the leisure sector over significant hikes in insurance costs has worsened. Businesses, big and small, including many family owned enterprises are at imminent risk of closure because of insurance bills that are driving them out of business.

"In the last six years many of the insurance underwriters providing public liability insurance have withdrawn from the market. The impact of this is significant. Community groups, local festivals, men’s groups, Tidy Towns Groups, mother and toddler groups, sports groups, youth services and classes covering everything from yoga to face painters, pet farms and swim clubs are all at risk because of the current crisis.

"The proposal from Pelican Promotions is for the establishment of an Industry Standards Association which would maintain accredited standards in the leisure industry. It would work in co-operation with insurance underwriters, the leisure industry and community groups. Its objective is to reverse the withdrawal of insurance underwriters by getting rid of fly-by-night organisations and achieving a recognised standard for leisure service providers.

"The Minister indicated his support for the proposal and has agreed to meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the proposal further. I also urged the Minister to ensure that Pearse Doherty’s Insurance Contracts Bill is passed speedily by the Dáil.”

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú spoke to the Minister about the related crisis for childcare providers as a result of substantial increases in their liability. Cllr Ó Murchú said:

“I raised with Minister D’Arcy the insurance crisis for childcare providers, many of whom are based in Louth.

"I was contacted on Tuesday by a pre-school based in north Louth which received an insurance quote for 2020 which was 500% higher than last year’s premium. The consequence of this is that either the provider will be forced to close or the additional costs will have to be passed on to parents.

"The Minister agreed to my request that individual insurance issues be communicated with his office. I am asking any effected to contact me on [email protected] with any queries which I will pass on.”


Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill has said the British Secretary of State should stop exploiting the suffering of patients as political leverage in the talks.

Michelle O’Neill said:

“I met with the British Secretary of State Julian Smith today, I told him he could and should immediately resolve the pay issue.

“A solution is available which would end the dispute, but the British Secretary of State is holding back on this in a cynical attempt to pressurise the political parties.

“The attempt to exploit the suffering of patients as political leverage in the talks is disgraceful.

“Julian Smith and the Tory government are responsible for the crisis in our health services as a result of a decade of Tory austerity which has shred our health services' finances.

“The five main parties are agreed on the solution, to meet the pay issues, to deal with the staffing levels, to bring forward a plan to transform the health service.

“The British government is the only blockage, they should stop using health care workers as pawns in the political process.”


Sinn Féin Children and Youth Affairs Spokesperson Kathleen Funchion TD has said that a short-term emergency fund is needed to cover the insurance crisis facing over a thousand creches to ensure their doors will stay open in the New Year.

Speaking today, Teachta Funchion said;

“We cannot have a scenario where creches will be closed after Christmas. Assurances on insurance costs given by Taoiseach today not enough. We need to guarantee needed that crèches that can’t afford new premiums will be assisted.

“A short-term emergency fund to assist those in crisis needs to be established immediately.

“If Alliance are to become the new insurer for the sector, the proposed €60 per child per year must be the maximum. However, this may still be a lot more than what some crèches were paying previously.

“In our previous alternative budgets, Sinn Féin have consistently shown how for affordable, sustainable childcare can become a reality.

“Minister Zappone must outline what measures the government will take to make to ensure this happens. We need a guarantee that this crisis will not result in increased fees for parents.

“I will be meeting with Minister Zappone for an emergency meeting this afternoon where I will raise this with her and insist that a strong guarantee is needed for the creches affected.

“Workers and families need a break and the government cannot sit on its hands with such high uncertainty facing so many people.”


Mary Lou McDonald has called on the Taoiseach to outline what action the government will take to ensure that creche doors open after Christmas.

The Sinn Féin President made her comments following reports that over one thousand childcare facilities face closure in the new year after their insurance providers have pulled out.

Ms McDonald said:

“We need urgent action from the government to ensure that creche doors can open after Christmas.

“Parents and workers will be under massive stress following these reports. Parents will be worrying that they will have nowhere to send their children in the new year.

"Childcare workers will be worrying about whether or not they will have a job in January. They need solutions urgently.

“This crisis is yet another feature of a childcare system that is fractured, that doesn’t work for parents, children or childcare professionals. Sinn Féin has a plan that would transform the sector, dramatically reduce fees and see childcare delivered as public service.

“Right now parents and workers need answers and certainty. The government must step in urgently, directly and in a way that shows they are on the side of workers and families, not the greedy, arrogant insurance industry that believes it is untouchable.”


Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has slammed Minister Murphy's claims that the latest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) data on rents is evidence of "rent stabilisation"

Deputy Ó Broin said:

"The latest quarterly data from the RTB on rents shows that rents are up 6.6 percent in Dublin and 8 percent across the State.

"The average rent in Dublin is now 1,762 a year, an increase of 6.6 percent. This is clearly in breach of the 4 percent cap yet Minister Murphy claims this shows rent stabilisation.

"The average rent across the rest of the State is now €1,243 per month, an increase of 8 percent. 

"The average rent is now over €1,000 euro in seven counties across the State.

"There is nothing stable about the private rented sector for most tenants and for the Minister with responsibility for the sector. To claim otherwise is delusional.

"Rent pressure zones are not working. Rents are too high and are continuing to rise.

"We need to reduce and freeze rents. The Sinn Féin bill that will do just that passed second stage in the Dail last Thursday with huge support and it must be progressed.

"We also need to see investment in affordable cost rental projects to offer renters a long term solution."


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture Brian Stanley TD has congratulated Tim Cullinan on his election as the new Irish Farmer Association (IFA) President.

Speaking earlier, Deputy Stanley said:
“I want to congratulate Tim Cullinan on his appointment as the new President of the IFA.
“I hope to work on a constructive basis Mr Cullinan.
“It is essential that as we move forward, the IFA continues to fight for and protect the small family farm.
“We need to see beef farmers fully supported in their campaign for a fair price. We need to see the cartel-like beef sector tackled.
“There must be an emphasis by the IFA on transitioning our agriculture sector towards production that is less carbon intensive. That transition should also include an increase in on-farm afforestation.
“With regards to CAP, it’s vital that we see reform towards a fairer system which favours and supports the smaller farmer. We need to impose a ceiling on €60,000 on payments and level out the payments.
“Sinn Féin also hopes that the IFA will work with our party to investigate the potential for farmers to move into the renewable energy sector through Biogas and Biomass in order to provide new income streams for farmers.
“2020 will be a crucial year for the Agriculture sector and we wish the new IFA President all the best with the challenges which lie ahead.” 


Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has said the decision by the British Secretary of State to refuse a meeting with the five party leaders on the health workers’ strike is ‘regrettable’. 

Michelle O’Neill was speaking after party leaders met with the Head of the Civil Service and the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health to discuss a solution which could avert tomorrow’s strike action by health workers.

Michelle O’Neill said: 

“We met with senior civil servants today to urge them to do the right thing and provide pay parity to health workers in order to avert tomorrow’s strike action.

“There is consensus among party leaders that a resolution can be found by the British Secretary of State Julian Smith and civil servants.

 “The pay and staffing issue must not be used as a political football within the talks.

“Party leaders restated there is consensus if the Executive is restored by 13 January that we will adopt a policy to award pay parity.

 “On this basis we invited the Secretary of State to come and meet with the five party leaders, where he would provide a commitment to deliver this in the event of no agreement by that date. 

“Regrettably he refused to meet the leaders.

“Sinn Féin remains in contact with Union leaders and party leaders and we will continue in our efforts to achieve pay parity for health and social care workers.”


Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly called on the HSE to clarify the inclusion of the closure of long-term care beds in the HSE Service Plan published today as a cost reduction measure for the coming year.

Speaking this evening, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The HSE Service Plan on the whole is a general regurgitation of service targets from the 2019 plan which were never achieved, but the finance section contains a curious inclusion for cost reduction – the proposed closure of long-term care beds at a number of locations.

“Within the Service Plan, under the heading of ‘Areas where cost reduction is required’, it states that there is a need for the 'Reconfiguration within the public long-term care bed stock to address value for money issues around the public cost of care in a number of locations. This will require significant internal focus and external support, up to and including the closure of beds, preferably temporarily, to deliver the 4-5% cost reduction required within 2020'.

“Effectively, this means the removal of valuable long-term care beds in 2020.

“Given the ‘Health Service Capacity Review 2018’ stated that there was a need for a 39% increase in the number of long-term care beds within the health service between now and 2031, any attempt by the HSE to close these beds is a contradiction to already existing policy.

“The CEO of the HSE and the Minister for Health need to clarify why the decision has been taken to close beds to achieve cost reduction and outline where the beds due to be closed are located.”


Speaking after meeting with An Tánaiste Simon Coveney along with Emma and Jake DeSouza as well as representatives from the Alliance and SDLP in Belfast today, Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile said:

“I welcome today’s opportunity to meet with An Tánaiste on the DeSouza case and the wider issue of Irish citizenship rights; these are matters I have raised with him consistently in the Oireachtas.

“ It was encouraging that Minister Coveney remained resolute and clear in his agreement with us that these issues needed to be resolved comprehensively and satisfactorily for the benefit of all.  

“In 2017, Leo Varadkar made a very clear promise that people in the north would never again be left behind; the Irish government must prove that and continue to actively support Emma and Jake during this traumatic and prolonged ordeal.

 “This issue is not going away – this couple should never have been dragged through the courts in the first place.

“I accept the Irish government are not responsible for this problem; the responsibility for that rests firmly with the British government and their Home Office, who have failed to implement the citizenship provision of the agreement within their own domestic law.

“There is no doubting that the current talks process can be an opportunity to politically resolve the outstanding citizenship rights issues, which have been highlighted so starkly by Emma’s case. 

“The Irish government must continue to stand up for everyone on these islands by ensuring citizenship is both protected and upheld in law.” 


Sinn Féin group leader on Belfast City Council, Councillor Ciaran Beattie, has said the party will nominate Councillor Daniel Baker to replace newly elected MP for North Belfast John Finucane as the next Ard Mhéara of Belfast. 

Councillor Beattie said:

"Sinn Féin will nominate Councillor Daniel Baker for the position of Ard Mhéara following the election of John Finucane as MP for North Belfast.

“I am delighted that Daniel Baker will be nominated as the next Ard Mhéara of Belfast.

“Daniel is a well-respected community activist in the Collin area of West Belfast, in May’s Council election Daniel topped the poll in the Collin area with over 2,100 votes.

“He has also been a vocal campaigner for LGBT and Irish language rights, climate action, community empowerment and for mental health awareness.

“Daniel will take this grass-root style of representation into the role of Mayor and ensure that all the needs of the citizens of this city are reflected in City Council.

"I want to also pay tribute and to thank outgoing Ard Mhéara John Finucane.

“John has worked tirelessly for all citizens of this city as Mayor. He placed human rights, social justice, environmentalism and defending Belfast against Brexit at the heart of his term.

“He will be a first class MP for all the community in North Belfast.

Speaking ahead of the nomination, Councillor Baker said:

"I am honoured to have been selected by Sinn Féin for nomination to be the next Ard Mhéara of Belfast.

"I am grateful to those who have nominated me for this position.

“Belfast is the rainbow city – it is made up of a diverse and vibrant population. It is a city on the rise and one that I am immensely proud to be a citizen. As Mayor, I will strive to represent all citizens equally.

“I will champion the need for improvements to our mental health services.

“I will fight for stronger action against climate breakdown.

“I will work with young people to ensure that they are included in decision making and that they have a bright future and better quality of life.

“I will be the Mayor of all communities, particularly those that are disadvantaged through poverty and unemployment.”


Rt. Hon Julian Smith MP 

Secretary of State for NI 

Northern Ireland Office 

Stormont House

Belfast BT4 3SH

17th December 2019

Dear Julian,


We the undersigned wish to make clear our collective frustration at the failure to resolve the pay dispute affecting workers in the Health Service, and our collective support for the restoration of pay parity.

In our view this statement, making clear that any Health and Finance Ministers in any future Northern Ireland Executive formed before 13 January 2020 would restore pay parity, provides cover for you as Secretary of State to intervene to ensure that pay parity is restored independently of the ongoing talks to restore the Executive. Given the range of issues involved it would be neither fair nor right to make resolution of this pay dispute, affecting not only workers but also patients, subject to separate ongoing talks aimed at restoring the devolved institutions.

Therefore, we collectively urge you to state that you now have the flexibility to intervene and to state clearly and publicly that, regardless of the position on 13 January 2020, pay parity will be restored and the pay dispute thus resolved. This will provide assurance both to health workers about how much they are valued and also to patients awaiting vital treatment that there will be no further strike action.

Yours sincerely,

Naomi Long MEP, Leader of the Alliance Party

Colum Eastwood MP, Leader of the SDLP

Steve Aiken OBE MLA, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party

Michelle O’Neill MLA, Leas Uachtarán Shinn Féin

Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA, Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party


Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald has welcomed the publication of a call for evidence in the development of a new energy strategy by the Department for the Economy.

The party's climate, energy and sustainability spokesperson said:

"The publication today by the Department for the Economy of a call for evidence in the development of a new energy strategy is an important step in tackling the climate emergency and sustainably meeting our energy needs into the future.

"It is important to identify and commit to ambitious targets to achieving net zero carbon.  

"We need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre industrial temperatures to prevent catastrophic consequences for the planet.

"The science is clear, to do this requires radically reducing emissions, particularly of carbon dioxide.

"We need a strategy that will urgently end our dependence on fossil fuels, provide the investment and infrastructure for renewables and storage technologies, alongside other actions including investment and promotion of public and active transport and planting more trees to offset the emissions as we target ambitious reductions.

"Sinn Féin believes that climate legislation is necessary to place emission targets and other actions on a statutory basis."


Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has welcomed news that young Bray boy Eric Zhi Ying Xue has had the threat of deportation lifted and has his future in Ireland assured.

Speaking having heard the good news, Teachta Brady said:

“I welcome news this afternoon that Eric is no longer facing the threat of deportation and has had his future in Ireland secured.

“I am in no doubt that the threat to Eric’s future in Ireland, the place he was born and in fact, has never left, has been an extremely worrying time for his family. It has been a nightmare for him, for his family and for the community in Bray, and especially all at St. Cronan’s Primary School.

“All of this came about due to the 2004 referendum which ended the automatic right of babies born in Ireland to claim citizenship. Sinn Féin were one of few political parties to oppose this at the time.

"However, the result of that referendum, or any referendum should not blind us from common sense. His family have suffered immeasurably as a result.

“Today is a good day for Eric, for his mother and for all at St. Cronan’s Primary School who sprang into action when the deportation order was first served. They are due huge credit for that.”


“Homelessness is as a result of political choices”

Carthy addresses EU Housing conference

The Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands, North-West, Matt Carthy, has said that the levels of homelessness experienced throughout Ireland and in many EU states are a direct result of the political choices taking by governments and EU institutions.

Carthy was invited to deliver the opening address at a conference hosted by FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless, in Brussels last week.  The conference saw the launch by the Housing Solutions Platform of a compendium document detailing some of the most innovative and daring examples of housing solutions for the locked out in Europe.

The selected projects in the paper entitled “50m Out-of-the-box Solutions for the Locked-Out” focus on providing safe, decent, and affordable housing through many different means including innovative construction, novel legal mechanisms, new forms of inter-agency collaboration, and more.  The innovative housing solutions selected in the paper also provide ways to overcome financial and political barriers within the European housing market.


During his opening remarks at the conference held in European Parliament organised Matt Carthy said:

“In the past decade homelessness has increased throughout the EU by 70%.

“In Ireland, the number of those homeless has trebled in the past five years alone.  Many families, who during any other generation would be purchasing their own home, instead find that they cannot even find affordable rental accomodation.

“All of this is as a result of political choices.

“The scandalous rise in homelessness is not accidental.  Governments were told by parties like Sinn Féin that the implementation of austerity policies, their privatization agenda and the de-financing of public bodies would lead us to where we are today.

“In particular, the retreat from public housing provision by governments such as those lead by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and the drive to allow ‘the market’ to played the key role in house building are the route causes of the crisis we see in Ireland and elsewhere”.

Carthy asserted that it is only through the delivery of public housing provision that the current crisis will be addressed.

He said:

“The good news is the solutions are there, and they are simple.  They have been adopted before, indeed my own family was a beneficiary.  They revolve around local-authority led house building programmes and supports for first-time buyers in the private market.

“Just as the problems were caused by political choices so too will the solutions be found.  In Ireland, only Sinn Féin articulates these solutions and only Sinn Féin will have the political guts to implement them.

“So, those who want to resolve the current crisis and ensure that their own children can ever live in their own home need to get behind the policies that will deliver” he concluded.


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