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Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health and Community Safety Mark Ward TD has called for a multi-agency response after RTÉ Prime Time last night highlighted the increasing levels of visible on-street drug dealing, drug using, homelessness intimidation and violence in Dublin’s Temple Bar area.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said:
“Communities deserve to feel safe and protected but it’s clear that crime in Dublin is causing huge concern for residents, workers and tourists.

”After over a decade with responsibility for the Justice Department, Fine Gael have badly let down the Gardaí by failing to give them the investment, support and leadership they need to get on with their jobs of protecting communities.

”Last night’s RTÉ Prime Time programme on Temple Bar was a look at the underbelly of what citizens of Dublin have to face on a daily basis.
“Garda numbers have been decimated right across Dublin and they must be increased significantly to restore confidence and a feeling of safety for people living in Dublin.
“While increasing Garda visibility will help, it will not be the panacea to fix the problems that Prime Time highlighted last night, including visible on-street drug dealing, drug using, homelessness intimidation and violence in Dublin’s Temple
“We need a multi-agency approach.
“We need to, at the very least, fund our local drug and alcohol task forces so they can respond to issues in their community.
“As a former director of the Clondalkin Drug and Alcohol Task force I know how hamstrung these organisations are by lack of resources. We need task forces to be able to be pro-active not just reactive.
“The programme highlighted that younger people are doing the majority of the drug dealing. We need a two-pronged approach to solve this.
“Firstly, we need to go hard at unscrupulous older criminals who place the drugs in young people’s hands to begin with
“Older criminals using children for criminal activities is not a new phenomenon in disadvantaged areas. However, there has been a visible increase in our communities over the last couple of years.
“Sinn Fein have legislation to tackle this head on. If passed, this legislation will ensure that these criminals are held to account and cannot use our children to make massive profits for themselves. Anyone found guilty of this offence will also face a long prison sentence that fits the crime.
“Secondly, we must invest in our communities and allow them to build resilience to crime.
“Sinn Féin has always advocated that any money returned to the Exchequer by CAB should be ring-fenced and put back into communities to tackle disadvantage, and to fund drug prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services.
“Such a fund could also be used for local sports clubs, youth clubs, employment centres and other valuable services in our communities.
“This would help communities impacted the most by organised crime to be able to build resilience and stop the next generation of our young people becoming attracted to the criminal lifestyle.
“The cycle of poverty and disadvantage leading to children being vulnerable to grooming by drug gangs is something we, as legislators, need to break.

”Sinn Féin in government would tackle the issue of crime in Dublin, to ensure communities can feel safe and protected.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has responded to today’s roundtable meeting between the Minister for Finance, Central Bank, banks, vulture funds and other stakeholders. 

On 4th August Teachta Doherty called on the Minister for Finance to convene a meeting with the regulator and banking sector to chart a way forward for those struggling with soaring interest rates.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“I welcome today’s meeting between the Minister for Finance and the banking sector.

“On the 4th August I called on the Minister to convene a meeting with the Central Bank and banking industry to develop a strategy to support those facing soaring interest rates.

“But what is now needed are results.

“Households have faced a massive income shock as a result of soaring interest rates – with 1 in 5 households set to see their annual mortgage costs rise by more than €5,700.

“Households that had their mortgages sold off to vulture funds have seen their interest rates soar to as high as 10 percent, effectively becoming mortgage prisoners.

“These sales were supported by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and were carried out by many of the banks and vulture funds that attended today’s meeting.

“They have a responsibility to right this wrong and to provide a path for these households to return to the mainstream mortgage market.

“To date we have seen little evidence of households switching from vulture funds to mainstream banks.

“Therefore, today’s meeting must result in real action rather than simply being a box-ticking exercise.

“How many households have tried to switch from vulture funds to mainstream lenders in the past 12 months?

“How many have been successful and how many have not?

“These are the questions to the Central Bank and Government should be asking and acting upon.

“It is also incumbent on the Government to support households that are suffering from this income shock.

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

“The Government cannot stand idly by.”


Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has said an Executive is needed now to work together to help tackle chronic health waiting lists.

Responding to the Department of Health’s latest waiting time figures, Linda Dillon said: 

“Every one of these figures represents a person suffering as a result of the continuation of long waiting times for patients being diagnosed and beginning treatment which is putting them at further risk.

“This is distressing for patients and their families as life impacting health problems are not being addressed, and in the worst cases resulting in a terminal prognosis.

“Some patients are stuck for months and years on chronic waiting lists for important procedures and treatment and they cannot wait, urgent action is needed to support them quickly. 

“They need an Executive formed with no more delay and all parties working together to prioritise health and to invest in the health service to hire more staff and to tackle out of control waiting lists.  

“The British government should end its attack on our public services and its savage cuts and deliver proper funding to the tackle the huge problems that exist now.”


Sinn Féin junior spokesperson on Housing, Thomas Gould TD, has said that today’s Residetial Tenancies Board rent index report exposes that things are going from bad to worse for renters under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. 

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Gould said:

“The RTB rent index report published today shows that things are going from bad to worse for renters under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. 

“This disaster is the legacy of this government and of twelve years of Fine Gael in power. 

“Instead of cutting rents, under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael rents are rocketing upwards.

“Fifteen counties have had an increase of over 10% in the last year alone. With the average rent in Dublin now at over €2,000, it is clear this government is failing a whole generation.

“We need a step change. The bottom line is we need a government that will cut rents and build homes.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health, Mark Ward TD has called on the Government to support Sinn Féin legislation to regulate the Childrens and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Deputy Ward was speaking after the publication of reports for CAMHS in each CHO area by the Mental Health Commission earlier today.
Teachta Ward said: 
“The latest report by the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS is yet again another damning indictment of how mental health services are provided to our children.
“Mental Health care should be based on need and not where a child lives but that is exactly what these reports highlight.  A postcode lottery of care has developed under this Government.
“The Mental Health Commission has made 49 recommendations that the Government must accept and implement to reform CAMHS and improve care to children. 
“We have had no commitment or direction from Government if they will implement these recommendations.
“Our young people and their families cannot wait, which is why I have introduced legislation to the Bills Office that would give statutory powers to the Mental Health Commission to oversee their recommendations implemented.
“Whilst the Mental Health Commission can make recommendations on governance and clinical reforms in CAMHS they do not have the statutory authority to ensure that these recommendations will be implemented.

“That is what this legislation will do. I am calling on the Government to support this legislation as empowering the Mental Health Commission with the powers to improve CAMHS is the right thing to do.
“The report highlighted a large unacceptable variation of the numbers of young people waiting and the lengths of time.
“Common challenges discovered by the mental health commission included governance, budgets, risk management, digital infrastructure, clinical governance, staffing, access, transition to adult services, vulnerable children, integration and adherence to guidelines.
“In CHO 2, 6,8 and 9 the report found strengths, quality initiatives, a lot of challenges but no significant areas of the concern that warranted national escalation.
“However, in CHO 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 the report also found concerns and risks around quality and safety to the degree that the Mental Health Commission had to escalate to a national level to ensure they were addressed
“Due to the seriousness of the concerns raised by the review and number of challenges identified, the Inspector recommended that a comprehensive strategy for CAMHS must be prepared.
“The implementation of the report recommendations must be monitored by the Mental Health Commission and that CAMHS should be immediately and independently regulated by the Mental Health Commission
“Sinn Féin’s legislation will ensure that this will happen. 
“We can see huge disparity between waiting across CHO areas which I have been raising since before the Maskey Report into Kerry CAMHS last year.
“Despite Government promises to prioritise CHO4, in which Kerry is based the area still has the highest waiting lists nationally and with staffing issues remaining a problem.
“One team in CHO1 had no occupational therapist, no psychologist and at the time of the review, no social worker. This is not acceptable. 
“In CHO 9 you had children with suicidal ideation waiting up to 200 days for an appointment. This is totally unacceptable.
“There is lack of a seamless transition for young people from CAMHS to Adults Mental Health Services (AMHS).
“This is an issue right across the state. Sinn Féin have a policy to extend CAMHS to the age of 25 and to ensure a seamless transition so that young people do not fall through the cracks and that there is a continuum of care in their mental health. 
“Specialist services and staff were not available in many locations outside of Dublin and Cork, namely access to CAMHS liaison staff, Eating Disorder Services, CAMHS Intellectual Disability Services.
“Sinn Féin are taking these reports seriously and are proposing solutions to address them. The longer the Government are in office the worse the problems become. It’s time for change.”


Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has said the family of Gerard Lawlor deserve truth and justice. 

The North Belfast MP was speaking after the Police Ombudsman found there were ‘significant failings’ in the PSNI investigation into the 2002 murder. 

John Finucane said:

“Nineteen-year-old Gerard Lawlor was murdered by Loyalist paramilitaries on 22 July 2002.  

‘His family have continued to campaign for the truth of what happened that night and raised concerns about how the PSNI investigation was conducted.
Today the Police Ombudsman has ruled there were ‘significant failings’ in the PSNI investigation stating ‘I have concluded that a number of the complaints, allegations and concerns made by the family about police actions and omissions are legitimate and justified’.

“This catalogue of failings included the failure to link the murder with a series of sectarian attacks; failure to conduct searches, arrests and interviews in a timely manner; failure to maintain CCTV viewing logs; failure to obtain all relevant telecommunications data; as well as a failure to fully consider the dissemination of all relevant intelligence to the Senior Investigating Officer.

“Sinn Féin will continue to stand with the Lawlor family in their efforts to uncover the truth about Gerard’s murder.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science, Mairéad Farrell TD, has welcomed the publication of CAO offers and said she hopes that as many students as possible received their chosen courses. At the same time she had cautioned that the accommodation crisis will be a real source of concern for parents and students and they try to source somewhere to stay.

Teachta Farrell stated:

“Today will no doubt be a significant day in the lives of many young people who have finished secondary level education. For those who got their chosen courses, I wish them the very best and hope these courses meet their expectations.

“For those who have not received their chosen courses, I’d like to say that despite the dissapointment this is not the end of the world.
There are alternative means to pursuing a chosen career path for example undertaking an apprenticeship.

“Unfortunately for those who have gained access to third level institutions far from home, they will now have to grapple with the housing crisis.

“We still have a frightening lack of regulation when it comes to student “digs” accommodation. This has led to serious issues around a lack of privacy, which is a serious source of concern for young women. It’s high time there was regulations introduced to address this.

“Then of course there’s the general lack of supply, never mind affordable supply, of standard rental accommodation. The high costs of rent forces many students to work almost full time just to afford to keep a roof over their head.

“It’s difficult for third level institutions to deliver on the required demand and provide accommodation that is affordable given their current funding model. We need a new model of delivery with affordbaility at its core. This is something I plan to look at in the coming year.

“Lastly, I want to flag the difficulty for those from the north accessing third level places in the south, and the inflated CAO points and the manner in which the A-Levels are assessed, stymies them from studying in the south.

“The current model makes the access of courses by students from the north incredibly difficult. We have fantastic universities offering so much to our student population. It is essential that these same opportunities are open to all those on this island. Our future will be the better for it.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called on Minister Donohoe to correct the Dáil record regarding the scope of the Government’s flawed levy on concrete products which is due to come into effect from 1st September.

The Donegal TD said that the Minister’s claims that the levy would exclude pre-cast products were false, causing confusion and uncertainty in the construction sector and wider industry.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:  

“On Friday the Government will push ahead with their deeply flawed concrete products levy, even despite all the warnings that this levy will result in higher housing and building costs for workers and families.

“This is ultimately a tax on new homes which will push up building costs and house prices.

“In October Minister Paschal Donohoe made repeated claims that the levy excluded precast products – from blocks and paving to lintels and posts.

“These claims were false.

“It was clear as soon as the Finance Bill was published that this was not the case, and that poured concrete, a key element of precast products, would be subject to the levy.

“I raised this directly with Department officials at the Finance Committee on the 26th October.

“This has led to confusion within the construction sector and among wider industry, with the levy now to take effect in the coming days.

“Minister Donohoe should correct the Dáil record.

“More importantly, the Government should scrap this flawed levy, which will increase construction costs and house prices.”​​​​​​


Sinn Féin MLA and member of the Policing Board Gerry Kelly said today that Sinn Féin is fully committed to an effective and efficient service which polices with the community.

Gerry Kelly said:   

“Sinn Féin supports and is fully committed to the new beginning to policing. It is the responsibility of all parties to continue to achieve an effective and efficient service, which polices impartially with the community.  

“An important part of that is the ability of elected representatives and independent members on the Policing Board to hold the police to account.

“That’s why the Policing Board was set up, and that’s why Sinn Fein continues to play a critical role on the board and other local accountability mechanisms. 

“It’s a matter of public record that we raised our valid concerns with the Chief Constable and senior police officers about the arrest of victims on the Ormeau Road where families were commemorating the murders of their loved ones by loyalists.  

“I want to set the record straight.

“At no stage during any calls to, or meetings with, senior PSNI officers did I suggest or insinuate that Sinn Féin would withdraw support for the rule of law or policing, or remove our members from the Policing Board.

“Our focus is fully on continuing to play a role in helping to ensure that our policing service is fair, impartial, efficient, effective and accountable.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Matt Carthy TD, has said that the critically low numbers within the Defence Forces are getting worse under the current government.  

He said that while Ministers are undermining Ireland’s neutrality and independent foreign policy, they have failed to address the systemic retention and recruitment crisis within the Defence Forces.  

The answer, Deputy Carthy said, is for government to heed and address the concerns that have been outlined by the Defence Forces representative organisations.

Teachta Carthy said:

“The report in the Irish Examiner that one-tenth of frontline Army personnel left the organisation in the twelve months to July crystalise that the crisis within the Defence Forces is getting worse under the current government.

“This is but the latest evidence that our Defence Forces are at critically low levels.  In 2019 the number of Defence Force personnel stood at 8,828.  In May this year the number was down to a pitiful 7,764.  This is critically low and is an indictment on successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments who have run the Defence Forces into the ground.

“While Ministers have been undermining Ireland’s neutrality and independent Foreign policy they have been also overseeing the decimation of our ability to defend ourselves.  This is unfair on the hard-working men and women of the Defence Forces who simply want to serve their country with decent working conditions and with the resources necessary to do their job.

“Sinn Féin welcomed the Report of the Commission on the Future of the Defence Forces.  However, progress on its implementation has been too slow and limited.  Crucially, government are failing to address the retention and recruitment crisis.  In particular, the delay in implementing the Working Time Directive is a glaring factor in encouraging new recruits and convincing existing personnel that government are serious about addressing their concerns.

“Representative Organisations of Defence Forces members have clearly outlined their concerns and proposals to resolvethem.  It is now time for government to heed and address those concerns as a matter of urgency.

“Sinn Féin are committed to doing so.  We want to rebuild our Defence Forces so that we can protect our neutrality, defend and monitor our skies and seas, and protect ourselves from modern threats; including cyber-attacks.  I have written to the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to request that we schedule a series of hearings on these matters over the coming weeks.”


Sinn Fein spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called on the Government to prioritise youth mental health and the National Clinical Programmes (NCPs) in Budget 2024.

Teachta Ward said:

“Mental health care for young people has gone beyond a crisis in the last 3 years with waiting lists for primary and secondary services hugely increasing in that time.

“I have been calling for urgent action in youth mental health since becoming the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, and every year the Budget in this area has been underwhelming.

“While waiting lists continue to grow, vital funding stays stagnant.

“We have seen waiting lists for first-time appointments increase from 2,115 to almost 4,000 children since this government was formed.

“We have seen numerous reports into CAMHS, from the Maskey report to the Mental Health Commission’s review, with recommendations to improve services and yet we have seen little response from the Government.

“I have submitted a Bill, alongside Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, that would give the Mental Health Commission to the statutory powers to implement change in CAMHS services. This is the type of action that we need to see from the Minister for Mental Health.

“And yet, our young people and their families are left waiting.

“Sinn Féin has also laid out our priorities to improve mental health services at each stage of care in our document that we launched this year, 'Sinn Féin’s Priorities For Change In: Child And Youth Mental Health'.

“These are priorities that Sinn Féin would implement when in Government. There cannot be a delay on doing so.

“An area that has also been neglected for new funding is the National Clinical Programmes (NCPs) for mental health which include areas like ADHD in adults, eating disorders services, early intervention into psychosis and self harm and suicide ideation.

“I received a response to a parliamentary question which stated that no new funding was provided for NCPs this year. This means that the targets for these programmes are a year behind their expansion, and this will continue if there is no funding in Budget 2024.

“We need to see youth mental health and the NCPs given the investment that they need to deliver on the growing demand for their services.

“While funding for these areas are vital, other areas of mental health care must not be sacrificed to fund the NCPs and youth mental health."


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called on the Government to scrap its flawed and counterproductive levy on concrete products which is due to come into effect from 1st September.

The Donegal TD said the Government’s levy would increase housing and building costs and would ultimately be fall on home buyers and those struggling to remediate their homes.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:  

“The Government plan to push ahead with their flawed and counterproductive levy on concrete products from 1stSeptember, even despite all the warnings that this levy will result in higher housing and building costs for workers and families.

“In effect this levy will amount to a tax on new homes.

“When every effort should be made to reduce the cost of home building, with over 12,000 people living in emergency accommodation, this levy will increase the cost.

“This is at a time when the State is expected to record a combined surpluses of more than €56 billion in the coming years.

“It is estimated that the levy will increase the cost of building a 3-bed semi detached property by up to €1,200.

“The Government’s own analysis of the impact of the levy is based on late 2022.

“According to the CSO, the price of ready-mix concrete and concrete blocks has risen by 8 percent since then.

“In the past two years the cost of ready-mix concrete has risen by 44 percent while the cost of concrete blocks has risen by 31 percent.

“This month the Society for Chartered Surveyors warned that concrete prices continue to rise.

“It is clear that the Government’s levy on concrete products was ill-conceived and badly designed, with its cost set to be shouldered by already struggling homebuyers.

“This is why the ESRI have said the proposed levy doesn’t make sense, with the burden likely to fall on residents of newly built homes rather than the industry.

“The Government must scrap this flawed levy.”


Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn said an Executive is needed to help children and young people suffering with mental health problems.

The party’s mental health spokesperson said: 

“It is extremely worrying to learn from a new report on mental health that over 45% of sixteen year olds meet the criteria for mental ill health. 

“The latest figures also show that the wellbeing of eleven year olds has been declining in recent years and that 1 in 5 young people are worried about their family financial pressures. 

“People need an Assembly now to roll out a new Mental Health plan, which would deliver treatments for mental health so urgently needed by our children and young people.

“We need the institutions back up and running and all parties working together to give our health service political leadership and better support those children and their families who are crying out for help.”


Sinn Féin MLA Cathy Mason has said an Assembly is needed legislate to deal with the huge cost of school uniforms that is leaving families struggling.

The South Down MLA said:

“The stark findings of Save the Children NI’s poll is a clear signal that families need a functioning Assembly to help tackle the huge cost of school uniforms.

“It is not acceptable that families are being left in a position where they are choosing between eating and ensuring their child is properly prepared to attend school, while already struggling with other rising living costs.

“Sinn Féin is determined to make school uniforms and PE gear more affordable for all families by bringing forward legislation in a restored Assembly.

“The blocking of an Assembly by one party is preventing action from being taken to help ease this unfair burden on families.

“We need all parties back in the Assembly and working together to prioritise the needs of workers and families now.”


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has submitted legislation that will give statutory powers to the Mental Health Commission to regulate the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
Teachta Ward said:
“David Cullinane TD and I have submitted legislation to the Oireachtas Bills office that will give statutory powers to the Mental Health Commission to regulate the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
“We have now had several damming reports by the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS. The most recent report the Mental Health Commission made 49 recommendations to improve CAMHS services for patients, parents, and staff.
“I have no idea if the Government will accept these recommendations as there has been little or no response to my proposals.
“Whilst the Mental Health Commission can make recommendations on governance and clinical reforms in CAMHS they do not have the statutory authority to ensure that these recommendations will be implemented.
“That is what this legislation will do. I am calling on the Government to support this legislation as empowering the Mental Health Commission with the powers to improve CAMHS is the right thing to do.
“The HSE has informed me that 94.3% of all urgent cases were responded to within 72 hours
“I want to know what metric they use to measure this. Is a letter to a parent deemed as response as this is what parents are telling me.
“This legislation will allow the Mental Health Commission to oversee the HSEs response to urgent cases.
“There must be oversight of CAMHS due to the seriousness of the concerns raised by the Mental Health Commission and the Maskey report.
“Under this Government, waiting lists for CAMHS have only gone up and up.
“There are now almost 4,000 young people waiting on a first-time appointment with CAMHS. When this Government was formed in 2020, this list was at 2,115 children.
“What is even more concerning is that 735 of these children have been waiting for over a year for CAMHS services which is a 209% increase since 2020.
“Access to children's mental health services should be based on need and not where you live.
“A postcode lottery of care has developed which has led to some children waiting longer for an appointment based on their location.
“This legislation will help implement the governance and clinical reforms to help guarantee that all children have access to evidence-based and safe services, regardless of geographical location or ability to pay.
“CAMHS is only for a small percentage of children in the population, for those with moderate to acute mental health problems. However, if children do not get the early intervention they need, they are going to need the more acute services.
“The Government have allowed a situation to develop that has led to over 16,000 children waiting on an appointment for primary care psychology with over 6,000 of these children waiting over a year.
“I am calling for cross party support for this legislation as there is not a TD in the state who has not had heartbroken parents contact them desperate for help for their children.
“We have gone beyond crisis point in children’s mental health care and the Government have gone missing.”

Legislation including explanatory memorandum is available to view here: Mental Health Act Amendment Bill


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on Minister McConalogue to take urgent action to avoid delays in farm payments.

There have been significant concerns raised by Farmers to the announced delay to Basic Income for Sustainability Scheme (BISS) and Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payments this year.

Minister McConalogue has been made aware of these concerns since April, but to date no measures have been taken by the Department to ensure payments are made on time.

Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:

“It has been made clear to the Minister that the announced change in payment date for the BISS and ANC schemes are completely unacceptable.

“I am being contacted by Farmers who are only now being made aware of delays to the payments as we are approaching September. Farmers will be expecting their payments to be made this month as usual and instead are now finding they are facing delays of up to a month, which will cause stress and worry for many.

“Farmers and farm organisations have highlighted that a delay to payments will cause havoc over the coming months, as bills and repayments are due. This is on the back of a very difficult financial year for Farmers as prices across the board have risen sharply.

“On raising this with the Minister, he has insisted that because this is the first year of the new CAP and new IT systems are in place, payment delays cannot be helped.

“The Minister said the Department has done everything they can around payment dates, but this is simply not good enough. I understand it is challenging, but the Department must ensure that Farmers receive their payments on time.

“I have written to Minister McConalogue again today, to reinforce how serious this matter is for Farmers and to urge him to take action to avoid delays."


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport and Communications, Martin Kenny TD, has called for passengers to follow their airline's advice in the wake of severe flight disruption across Ireland today.

Widespread cancellations and delays are being experienced on Britain-bound routes after the British National Air Traffic Service began experiencing a fault earlier today.

Speaking this evening, Teachta Kenny said:

“The technical issues affecting the British National Air Traffic Service (NATS) is causing nationwide disruption across Irish airports due to the large number of flights we have coming and going between our two islands daily. 

“Media coverage has focused on Dublin airport, however flights have been delayed or cancelled across other Irish airports including Ireland West (Knock), Cork, Shannon, and Kerry.  

“This system failure has understandably caused widespread panic for passengers and staff who are doing their best to offer solutions. 

“I would echo the calls of airlines and DAA management who are reminding passengers to check the status of their flights before they arrive at any Irish airport today.

"While the Irish system is unaffected, there is a likelihood that other Irish flights may be delayed or cancelled due to knock-on effects from the cancellations and delays being experienced across England, Scotland and Wales.

“Before you begin your journey today, check your flight status on your app or online. We need to avoid large numbers of passengers arriving at terminals with nowhere to go.

“Airline staff are working hard to re-arrange flights to other destinations for passengers and I would appeal for calm from passengers in this regard. 

“There are no current updates on when the NAT system will be back online, but I have been assured that engineers are working on this.

“For those currently in Irish airports, airlines have ground staff who can assist and advise of any further updates." 


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Sorca Clarke TD, has called on the government to publish the long overdue School Transport Scheme review.

Speaking today, Teachta Clarke said:

“Yet again families are facing school transport chaos because the government have failed to plan. Hundreds of school children are due to be back in the classroom in a matter of days but their parents have been told their child no longer has a place on the school bus despite paying for it earlier this year.

“This shambles is placing huge pressure on families who are now left in the lurch with just days to find a solution.

“The School Transport Scheme review is long overdue and has been ongoing for more than two and a half years now. The review began in February 2021 and the scheme is operating on a temporary basis in the meantime.

“This review is integral in establishing a viable future for the school transport system and these delays have fuelled the chaos and uncertainty families are now experiencing. 

“I have been urging the government to publish this review, including in the Dáil in July where I urged the Minister to resolve this before the Dáil summer recess.

“Families deserve better than this chaos and confusion which happens every year and is totally avoidable. Government must publish the transport review and ensure families get the certainty they need.”


Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill said today that her party wants to lead  government north and south and that “as support for our programme of change continues to build, there now exists the prospect of a new government without Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for the first time in one hundred years”.

And the First Minister Designate in the north of Ireland repeated her call for the DUP to accept the democratic outcome of historic elections in the north where the people voted for change.

Speaking at today’s 42nd annual Hunger Strike Commemoration in Cork today Michelle O’Neill said:

“Today we are not only living through historic change. We are shaping it. A new dawn is breaking in Ireland.

“The growth in popular support for Sinn Féin and the demand for the change that we represent, here in the South and in the North, has never been greater.

"The northern State that my parents and grandparents were born into is no more.

“The contrived unionist majority is now gone.

“Sinn Féin won two historic elections.

"We are now the largest political party in the Assembly, in local government in the north, and across this island.

“Sinn Féin’s positive message of making politics work for all and getting the Executive back up and working for everyone, was endorsed by people.

“I will never treat, and I will never allow anyone to be treated the way that our parents and grandparents were treated.

“There is no contradiction in declaring and delivering on our firm commitment to power sharing with unionism and others in a Stormont Executive, while at the same time making the case and planning for constitutional change on this island. 

“While the DUP continue to cause political disruption, dysfunction and chaos, the reality is that they have no credible alternative to power-sharing, and on the basis of equality.

“It is time that the DUP accepted the democratic outcome of last May’s historic Assembly election where the people voted for change.

“Their boycott is leading to misery for people who need an Executive in place to lift the cost-of-living burden, to tackle the health crisis, to attract investment, to create jobs, to deliver change, to plan for the future.”

And the Mid Ulster MLA said if controversial and cruel legacy legislation is passed in Westminster that the Irish government must confront this denial of human rights through an interstate case and international action against the British government. Michelle O’Neill said: 

“The current legislation nearing completion in Westminster has one purpose, and one purpose only, to conceal the truth and protect British state forces. 

“That legislation is anti-democratic, it is unjust, and it is a denial of the human rights of victims and their families who have campaigned for decades for the truth. 

“The British government should withdraw this legislation. 

“And if the British government do not withdraw this legislation, the Irish government should confront this denial of human rights through an interstate case and international action against the British government.”

Michelle O’Neill said that party leader Mary Lou McDonald can be the first woman Taoiseach in an Irish state failed by a century of Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil governments. She said:

“Sinn Féin wants to lead government in Belfast and Dublin.

“Mary Lou McDonald can be the first woman Taoiseach to lead Government in this State.

“The Irish people have been failed by a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil/Green government that is tired, wedded to the past, and unable and unwilling to seize the great opportunities that exist to take Ireland to the next level.

“The story of Ireland in 2023, right across this island, is the unprecedented demand for change.

“Ordinary workers and families are looking to a new future shaped by opportunity, ambition, and equality.

“They want a political leadership with the energy and determination that matches their hopes.

“The last General Election in the South saw Sinn Féin win the popular vote.

“As support for our programme of change continues to build, there now exists the prospect of a new government without Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for the first time in one hundred years.


Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has responded to threats by British Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris to impose new charges for farmers for Bovine TB testing and future cuts to compensation payments for TB.  

The West Tyrone MLA said: 

“These are measures that are punitive and it's clear the Tories are pursuing an ideological agenda that is punishing farmers and the wider public. 

“The DUP’s blockade of the Executive has left us at the mercy of savage Tory cuts. 

“Farmers already face a range of challenges, and these proposed additional charges would place an extra burden and stress on farmers who are already struggling.”

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