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Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said news that Writghtbus has secured an order for 120 fully electric double decker buses to be provided to the south's National Transport Authority highlights the benefits of the protocol.

And she also the British government should stop its attempt to undermine the potential opportunities the protocol presents to businesses in the north and engage in genuine negotiation to smooth its implementation.

The East Derry MLA said:

"The news that Writghtbus has secured a major contract to build 120 fully electric double decker buses with the south's National Transport Authority highlights the benefits of the protocol.

“As the British government today introduce legislation to undermine the protocol and breach international law, it is a timely reminder of the north’s unique ability to continue to access the EU single market and create jobs

“This major contract is also a vote of confidence in the skills and expertise of the local workforce.

“As the British government today introduce legislation to undermine the protocol and breach international law, it is a timely reminder of the north’s unique ability to continue to access the EU single market and create jobs. 

“This is game changer for businesses like Wrightbus which had recently secured an order for 60 hydrogen buses from Germany and has now secured a contract worth £69 million.

“The British Government needs to engage in genuine negotiation with the EU to provide certainty and stability for businesses and protect the benefits of the Protocol for workers and families facing an unprecedented cost of living crisis.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has described today’s civil action verdict as further vindication of the campaign of the families of all those killed by members of the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy over 50 years ago.

The Mid Ulster MLA said:

''Today's civil action verdict is further vindication for the Ballymurphy families as significant damages are to be awarded to them by the British Ministry of Defence.

“These families have had to fight for over 50 years for truth and justice and I commend them for their commitment and determination.

“They have had to overcome decades of obstruction and lies from the state, that is unacceptable and no other family should be forced to endure this.

''However, today will be bittersweet as the British government will continue to attempt to thwart justice by walking away from the Stormont House Agreement and plans to deal effectively with the legacy of the past.

“Boris Johnson’s government should listen to the voices of victims, families, political parties and the Irish government who are all opposed to these plans and want them scrapped.

“They are cruel, heartless and are about giving an amnesty through the back door for British state forces who murdered Irish citizens.

“An agreement for truth, justice and reconciliation was reached in 2014 by the political parties and both governments at Stormont House, it should be implemented in full, in a human rights compliant manner.

“Sinn Féin will continue to stand with the families in their campaigns for truth and justice.''

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has remarked that the rise in the number of patients on hospital waiting lists is due to unresolved legacy issues which have been brewing for decades, and is part of a wider trend with more than 1.3 million people on some form of health waiting list.

He said that the health service is facing growing difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff to tackle community, hospital and diagnostic waiting lists due to a lack of graduates and more appealing options abroad. 

The TD for Waterford said that the rise in waiting lists will continue without a long-term plan from the Minister for Health which deals with staffing, Emergency Departments, new contracts and old promises.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“Hospital waiting lists are up nearly 5,000 from April to May, and are up more than 90,000 on this time two years ago.

“Despite the large budget allocated to the HSE and the NTPF for waiting lists, they are continuing to rise, with more than 1.3 million people on lists when you include community and diagnostic services, which are not reported by the NTPF.

“The Minister for Health has launched his 2022 Sláintecare plan, six months into the year, and recently published a short-term waiting list plan, but neither deal with the core issues.

“The legacy issues facing the health service - outdated contracts with doctors, non-consultants on the verge of strike action, a dispute with medical scientists dragging on for 20 years, and a lack of capacity in most major hospitals, to name but a few are preventing making real inroads into waiting lists.

“Just this week, we saw the Mater warning patients away from their Emergency Department, and there are hundreds of patients on trolleys across hospitals in June.

“There are more than 800 permanent consultant posts which are either vacant or temporarily filled, more than 400 doctors moved to Australia alone last year, there are more than 400,000 unfilled therapy hours for children with disabilities, and most people cannot get their full home support allocations.

“The health service is creaking because the core problems are still the same. To add insult to injury, many healthcare workers are still without their Covid-19 pandemic bonus.

“We also need to better equip the existing workforce with proper IT systems, more equipment, and theatre space to make better use of their time.

“The health service needs a real plan to expand capacity quicker, conclude the new consultant contract, implement the safe staffing and skills framework, and train and retain enough staff to fill posts in the health service.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Danny Baker has said the community have been left shocked by an attack on a man in the Dunmurray Lane area of West Belfast.

The West Belfast MLA said:

“The local community has been left in shock at this attack which saw a man taken to hospital after suffering serious injuries.

“I would urge anybody with any information to contact the PSNI.” 

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Sinn Féin South Antrim MLA, Declan Kearney has commended the resilience and commitment of staff at all levels following a visit to Antrim Area Hospital.

Declan Kearney said:

“I met doctors, nurses, and other NHS staff, in Antrim Area Hospital including workers on the frontline in the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Direct Assessment Unit, and also the HEWS coordination hub.

“They talked to me about the extreme physical and emotional stress with which they struggle daily.  Antrim Area Hospital is a critical health care site in the Northern Trust, but it is massively under resourced.

“Senior staff told me that the hospital urgently needs forty-eight new beds. This lack of beds is having a knock-on effect and placing relentless strain upon all other services in the hospital.

“Despite historic under funding and challenges arising from the pandemic, frontline staff are maintaining superhuman efforts to deliver effective emergency and elective care treatment at the hospital.

“The challenges facing health and social care workers locally at Antrim Area Hospital, and across all Trust areas, underlines the imperative of our power sharing Executive being re-established. So, the DUP should do the right thing and end its boycott of the Assembly, the Executive and North South bodies.

“We need a functioning Executive to invest an extra one billion pounds into our health service; to recruit more nurses and doctors, tackle waiting lists, and to start delivering real transformations in our healthcare system. This additional funding for health and social care is contained within the three-year budget which is now being blocked. Antrim Area Hospital services and other regions would benefit from release of this new investment.

“I was deeply impressed by the dedication of the staff during my visit to Antrim Area Hospital. I want to acknowledge and commend their resilience, commitment and professionalism in providing the best possible care and outcomes for all patients, despite the challenges they face each day.”

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Taoiseach Micheál Martin of desperately trying to deflect responsibility for his government's housing policy failures. 

The Dublin Mid-West TD urged the Taoiseach to stop blaming others for the housing crisis and to start implementing policies that will deliver the affordable homes that people need.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that heads would have to be knocked together to tackle the housing crisis. 

“He has been Taoiseach for two years. During that time, homelessness has increased, rents and house prices have spiralled upwards, and output of public and private housing has been glacial. 

“What the hell have Micheál Martin and his Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien been doing for the last 24 months?

“The Taoiseach is desperately trying to deflect responsibility for his government's housing policy failures. He should stop blaming others for the housing crisis and start implementing policies that will deliver the affordable homes that people need.

“The Taoiseach’s criticisms of the pace of land transfer from state agencies to the Land Development Agency is a case in point. 

“When the LDA legislation passed through the Oireachtas, Sinn Féin and others warned that, without comprehensive compulsory purchase order powers, the new agency would have limited ability to acquire and develop underutilised public land. 

“This view was shared by agencies such as NESC, ESRI and TASC.

“Despite repeated requests for government to amend the LDA Act to make it an effective active land management agency, Minister Darragh O’Brien chose to give the agency limited ransom strip CPO powers.

“This is the reason why, four years on from its creation, the LDA has proved ineffective with respect to ensuring best use of public land.

“Added to this is the refusal of government to cut the red tape applied to local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and others when developing public housing. 

“This means that even when the LDA does acquire land, such as in Shanganagh, Dún Laoghaire, developments are still taking far too long.

“If Micheál Martin is frustrated with the lack of progress on land acquisition and affordable housing delivery, then he should be frustrated with himself, his Housing Minister and his government. 

“They are the ones who approved the limited CPO powers for the LDA. They are the ones refusing to reform the public spending code. And, crucially, they are the ones refusing to invest in the delivery of 20,000 of social and affordable homes that are needed every year.

“It is time for the Taoiseach to accept that the deepening housing and homeless crisis is the result of decisions he and his cabinet colleagues have made over the last two years. 

“Only a radical shift in housing policy and a doubling of direct capital investment in social and affordable homes can fix the Fine Gael Fianna Fáil housing crisis.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said businesses want stability and certainty and it is past time for playing politics around the protocol.

The party's economy spokesperson was speaking after NI Food and Drink issued a statement in support of the protocol. 

Caoimhe Archibald said:

“Today’s statement from NI Food and Drink that the protocol helped ‘avoid a catastrophic no deal Brexit and secured Northern Ireland’s ability to freely export to both the EU and the rest of the UK’ is a welcome intervention.

“It is a demonstration of reality that businesses want stability and certainty – they want solutions, and they want the protocol to work smoothly.

“Businesses have been clear with us that they want to see negotiated solutions, with issues being resolved between the British government and the EU and within the framework of the Protocol.

“The Tories and the DUP should end their hare-brained attempts to undermine the opportunities afforded to our businesses, manufacturers, and farmers by the protocol to create jobs and attract investment.

“It is past time for playing politics.

“Threats, unilateral action, and breaches of international law from the British government benefit no one and will in fact damage businesses and our economy.”

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has today announced that he will bring forward a motion in the Dáil on Tuesday that calls on government to introduce emergency measures to ensure all children have an appropriate school place this September.

This announcement comes amid another summer of stress for families of children with special educational needs who have no school to go to in September.

The motion calls on government to publish the data on the true number of children without an appropriate school place for September, to give a clear statement that the segregationist proposal of special education centres will not go ahead, and to bring forward emergency legislation to expedite the section 37A process and ensure all children have an appropriate school place within a school community.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“All children have a right to go to school. It is an all too common situation that families of children with special educational needs face a summer of stress, not knowing whether their child will have a school to go to in September.

“There are no excuses for the failures of Minister Foley and Minister of State Madigan to make adequate preparations to ensure every child had an appropriate school place. They were warned - by parents, by disability advocacy groups, by Sinn Féin and others.

“Both ministers have access to the data on the number of children who need a school place in September. They have the budget and the power to intervene and resolve this. Their failure to act is inexcusable.

“Half-baked measures at the 11th hour, and proposals to segregate children into special education centres, are unacceptable.

“Minister of State Madigan’s announcement that she will only now begin the process of issuing section 37A notices to compel schools is a day late and a dollar short. 

“Without emergency legislation to streamline the section 37A process, it is incredibly unlikely new special classes will be ready for September.

“The time to act was yesterday. This is an emergency situation, which requires an emergency response.

“Sinn Féin are bringing forward a motion to force the government to make good on their promises of ensuring every child has an appropriate school place in September.

“We are calling on government to publish the data they hold on the true number of children who do not have a school to go to, and to give a clear statement that the segregationist proposal of special education centres will not go ahead.

“Crucially, we are calling for emergency legislation to expedite the 37A process, ensuring special classes are opened in time for the start of the new school year in September.

“The government cannot continue to fail children with special educational needs. Sinn Féin will stand up for children with special educational needs and their families, and ensure that every child has access to education, as is their right.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Ciara Ferguson has said the family of Paul Whitters should not have to wait any longer for truth and justice.

The Foyle MLA said:

“In 1981, 15-year-old Paul Whitters was killed by a plastic bullet fired by the RUC and for over 40 years since, his family have been campaigning for truth and justice.

''The release of further files on the case  is welcome but if the British Government continues to pursue their plans for dealing with the legacy of the past then that would mean the Whitters family would never get the truth and justice they are entitled to.

“The family of Paul Whitters, like all relatives bereaved by the conflict, are entitled to truth and justice. Sinn Féin will continue to support them.

“Campaigns by families cannot be wished away by a British government determined to pull a veil of secrecy over the actions of the state during the conflict.

"The legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House should be implemented in a human rights compliant manner without any more delays.” Críoch/Ends

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MacManus Hails Success Of Arigna Mining Experience 
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has praised the Arigna Mining Experience and the key role that it has played in economic development and attracting tourism in the local area. The Midlands Northwest MEP was speaking after meeting it’s manager Valerie Stenson, on a recent visit to Arigna.

MEP MacManus said:
“I was delighted to visit Valerie and the team at the Arigna Mining Experience recently. It is a unique attraction, bringing to life the history of Ireland’s coal mining industry, and it is easy to see why it has become such a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.”

“The coal mine closed in 1990 but a community inspired initiative resulted in the opening of the Arigna Mining Experience in 2003.”

The Midlands Northwest MEP commended the facility’s positive impact on tourism and the local economy. “Given that the local community, including many former miners, played a key role in the development of the mines into a tourist attraction it is great to see that it has brought enormous benefits to the local area in terms of tourism and economic development. It has provided a boost to employment in the local area with the employment of staff at the mine itself and also through spin-off benefits for other local businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector.” 

“It highlights the need, especially post-pandemic, of promoting and developing the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands initiative in order to encourage even more tourists into the local area. Places like Arigna prove that there is more to Ireland than just our cities and the Wild Atlantic Way. Roscommon and the wider region has a lot to offer and deserves greater recognition from our national tourism bodies.”
 
“I want to thank Valerie and her team for having me at in Arigna and I wish them continued success.” ENDS
Pictured at the Arigna Mining Experience are Valerie Stenson (Manager) and Chris MacManus MEP
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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Matt Carthy TD has said that farm contractors deserve a commitment to action from government following consistent delays to a review of their tax status in relation to the carbon tax.

While farm contractors were first promised a review of their status regarding the rebate in 2019, this has been delayed on a number of occasions since then with the Minister for Finance now promising delivery of the review in the early stages of Q3 of this year in a parliamentary question response to Deputy Carthy.

However, Carthy said that ‘the simple facts of the matter are that farm contractors carry out the exact same work as farmers, and the refusal of government to commit to reform simply results in these charges being passed on to their farming customers.’

Teachta Carthy said:

“It has been incredibly frustrating to see the Minister for Finance repeatedly delay this review.

“It is yet another example of the challenges facing those involved in Irish agriculture today being compounded by the lethargic attitude of this government towards resolving long-standing inconsistencies.

“Currently, farmers can avail of a rebate on the carbon tax if their income is sufficient.  However, the same provision is not in place for farm contractors despite the fact that they are carrying out agriculture work.

“Contractors have no choice but to pass on the charge to their customers – effectively making it an additional cost to farmers.

“It is particularly galling that in the most recent response to a parliamentary question the Minister for Finance has said that he must ensure that tax measures are aligned with ‘the need to meet our Climate Action Plan’.

“Would the Minister believe it to be more beneficial if every single small-to-medium sized farmer in the state set about purchasing a personal fleet of agricultural machinery?

“That would seem wasteful to me, as opposed to the current framework whereby farm contractors fill that gap and ensure that each piece of individual machinery is used to the maximum.

“That we would penalise both farmers and farm contractors for this type of approach is beyond belief and makes no sense from the perspective of meeting our climate obligations.

“The Minister has confirmed he intends to complete the review exercise prior to the budget, though will not commit to bringing forward measures in the budget arising from that review.

“There can be no further delays. During a period of escalating input costs, farmers need support. One such support must be through a rebate of the carbon tax for those doing essential agriculture work for which there is no fuel alternative yet.”

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Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has said work could begin today to invest an extra £1 billion to fix the health service if the DUP ends its boycott of the Executive. 

Supporting the call from the Royal College of Nurses for an immediate restoration of the Executive, the North Belfast MP said:

“I fully support the call of our nurses, who risked their lives and health in the front lines in the fight against the pandemic, for an Executive to be formed immediately so that we can start to fix our health service.

“The DUP should listen to the voices of these front line workers.

''Sinn Féin stands ready to work with others to invest an extra £1 billion to tackle lengthy waiting lists, hire more doctors and nurses and fund vital cancer and mental health services.

''If the DUP was serious about making health a priority, as they promised the public during the election campaign, they will end their boycott of the Executive and join with the rest of us who want to make politics work.

“Sinn Féin is ready to get down to business today to start investing in the health service and deliver the real change that people voted for.”

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Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has described as 'farcical' the delay in paying frontline workers their Covid-19 Pandemic Bonus Payment that they were promised in recognition of their work during the pandemic.

Teachta McDonald said:

"Eighteen months after it was first discussed by government and six months after it was agreed, the fact that tens of thousands of healthcare workers are still waiting to receive a pandemic recognition payment is frankly farcical at this stage.

"The delay is a failure of leadership, and it is downright disrespectful to our frontline healthcare heroes and their sacrifices. This payment was the least that the government could do, but even this simple payment has become a disaster of mismanagement.

"It should have been an opportunity to show them that the political system recognises and values the contribution of those on the frontline. Instead they have been met with foot dragging and excuses.

"The Minister for Health and the HSE have gone so far to admit that they have no idea how they will make the payment to the thousands of cleaning, catering, and security staff who do not work for the HSE or a recruitment agency.

"Each and every one of these workers made enormous personal sacrifices and risked their health and their lives to keep us safe. They truly went above and beyond the call of duty.

"I have now written to the Taoiseach to express my serious concern and I have called on him to now intervene directly to ensure that the payment of the bonus to our frontline workers happens without further delay."

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Chris MacManus MEP To Hold Western Rail Corridor Online Public Meeting
 
Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands Northwest, Chris MacManus, will host an online public meeting on the future of the Western Rail Corridor on Monday 20th June at 7 30pm. The meeting will feature contributions from Conor Feighan of the European Rail Freight Association, Paul Deering, editor of the Sligo Champion and Rose Conway-Walsh TD. MacManus has encouraged the public to attend the online meeting, describing it as an opportunity to demonstrate the level of support that exists for this much needed project.
 
MEP MacManus said:
 
“Sinn Féin have long campaigned for the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor and I am delighted to be hosting this online discussion on the future of the rail line next Monday.”
 
“The meeting is not only an opportunity to discuss the obvious potential of the Western Rail Corridor, but also a chance to demonstrate the level of support that exists across the West and Northwest for this much needed project, and I would encourage everyone to attend.”
 
“Over the past number of decades our region has suffered from neglect and a lack of investment in key public services such as public transport. This trend must be reversed and we will set out our arguments as to why this is vital to ensure the region has a prosperous and sustainable future.”
 
“Building a fit-for-purpose rail network in the West of Ireland, with regular connections that make sense for local and regional travel, assist business and tourism, provide ease of access for those with disabilities and relevant onward connections for passenger and freight, will increase the social, economic and educational opportunities for the region.”   
 
MacManus noted the importance of the Western Rail Corridor’s environmental credentials. “Rail can also play a major role in decreasing CO2 emissions from the transportation sector and provide workers, families and communities with an alternative and sustainable mode of transport.”
 
“This meeting will hear that it is vital that the all-island rail review acknowledges the importance of the Western Rail Corridor to the future of the region and the need to reopen the line without delay. The can has been kicked down the road for too long by successive Governments and we need decisive action on the future of the rail line.” 
 
“Anybody wishing to attend the meeting can receive the zoom link by emailing my office at [email protected]”  ENDS
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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice Senator Lynn Boylan has called for immediate action to address the slow progress in achieving the Climate Action Plan measures.

Senator Boylan’s comments come as the Taoiseach published the quarterly Progress Report for Q4 2021 and Q1 2022, which highlighted significant gaps between climate ambition and action.

Senator Boylan said:

“The gap between the government’s rhetoric and climate action continues to widen.

“Worse still, we know from the EPA we would still be on course to miss our carbon budget targets even if the government delivered on the climate action plan measures.

“Unnecessary planning restrictions are still preventing schools and community groups from installing solar PV to generate electricity. 

“Last week, Sinn Féin introduced a piece of legislation that would fix that problem and remove restrictions on rooftop solar for schools.

“If the government can’t even get the simple things right, it does not inspire confidence in delivering the step-change that is needed.

“The pathway to a sustainable future gets steeper and steeper with every progress report. The government must outline how it is going to make up lost ground.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ni Chuilin has said that patients misdiagnosed in the Neurology scandal must get access to the truth about what happened to them. 

The North Belfast MLA said:

“Last year The Medical Practitioners Tribunal approved Dr Michael Watt's application for voluntary erasure which meant that that Michael Watt could not be compelled to answer questions at the public inquiry into the Neurology Scandal or in relation to how he treated patients.

“These are patients who have suffered grievous trauma as a result of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.

“It is unacceptable that they are still waiting for truth and accountability.

“These victims and their families are entitled to thorough and transparent investigation of this scandal which leaves no stone unturned in establishing the truth and providing whatever redress is necessary to patients. 

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the victims and their families in their campaign for truth and accountability.”

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has said that today’s Consumer Price Index published by the CSO, which shows the highest rate of inflation in 38 years, underlines the need for the government to introduce targeted measures that support low and middle-income households.

The Donegal TD again called on the government to bring forward an emergency budget to protect struggling households.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Figures produced by the CSO today show that inflation has hit the highest rate in nearly four decades

“In the year to May, prices rose on average by 7.8 percent.

“Household energy prices are up by 57 percent while the cost of home heating oil has more than doubled.

“Food prices are up by 5 percent and will rise further.

“These are not just numbers, but represent the real hardship being felt by households who simply cannot bear these price increases.

“For months, Sinn Féin have called for an emergency budget to provide targeted support to struggling workers and families.

“It is disgraceful that this government refuses to act while households face the biggest price shock in decades.

“That even the Tories in Britain have responded to the cost of living crisis with greater urgency shows how out of touch this government is.

“Yesterday, the OECD in their Economic Outlook noted that the government’s response to date has provided only limited protection to poorer households.

“We recognise that inflation has been turbocharged by the war in Ukraine, and that everyone cannot be insulated from every price increase.

“But the government can and must do more – they have a responsibility.

“Sinn Féin has been consistent in calling for an Emergency Budget that provides targeted and sensible measures.

“By reducing the cost of home heating oil, not increasing it.

“By reducing the rate of excise duty applied to petrol and diesel to the minimum level permissible.

“By increasing social welfare rates, which the government has disgracefully allowed to fall far behind the rate of inflation.

“By introducing cost-of-living cash payments to lower and middle-income households.

“By reducing childcare costs, increasing the minimum wage and helping struggling renters with a refundable tax credit and a ban on rent increases.

“The government’s refusal to act is inexcusable, with workers and families paying the price."

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Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan has welcomed today's news that Minister Helen McEntee will bring forward legislation to address the concerns around jury selection at the Stardust Inquest.

Senator Boylan said:

"Knowing that the Stardust Inquest will be held before a jury - a jury that will be independently selected, will come as a huge relief to the families and their supporters. 

"In February of this year, I brought forward a bill that sought to ensure that the jury would be selected in the same manner as that of a criminal case. 

"During the debate on my Bill, the Minister acknowledged the concerns we outlined regarding jury selection and the importance of protection of jurors income given the length of time the inquest is expected to last for.

"I am delighted that she has finally acted on those concerns and that this legislation will be passed before the Summer recess.

"Hopefully, it will be the last obstacle for the families and the Stardust can begin without delay in the Autumn."

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Sinn Féin MP Órfhlaith Begley has welcomed the Infrastructure Minister's commitment to progressing the A5 road upgrade.  

The West Tyrone MP was speaking after meeting with Minister O’Dowd at Stormont with local MLAs Nicola Brogan, Declan McAleer and Maolíosa McHugh.

Órfhlaith Begley said:

“There is widespread support for the delivery of the A5 upgrade and Minister O'Dowd has outlined that the A5 road upgrade is a priority for his department.  

“Most importantly, this upgrade will save lives and make what is a notoriously dangerous road safer.

“But it will also open up huge opportunities by connecting the north west to the rest of the island and help to create jobs and attract investment.

“The A5 upgrade must face no more delays and be ready for construction immediately following the public inquiry that will be held in the Autumn.

“Minister John O’Dowd has stated his intention to progress the road upgrade and introduce measures to improve road safety in the interim.

“Signage to enhance the safety of the Garvaghy section of the road is being installed this week and that a footpath and lighting will be put in place in that area soon. 

“Let’s get the A5 built with no more delays.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has called on the DUP to get back into the Executive and work with other parties to prioritise our health service and to support the needs of patients.

The party's health spokesperson said:

''Reports that up to 500 patients waited more than 12 hours in A & E departments for hospital beds this week are deeply concerning and require an urgent response.

''We need an Executive up and running today so that we can start to fix the health service.

''Sinn Féin stands ready to work with others to invest an extra £1 billion to tackle lengthy waiting lists, hire more doctors and nurses and fund vital cancer and mental health services.

''If the DUP are serious about making health a priority, they will end their boycott of the Executive and join with the rest of us who want to make politics work.

“Sinn Féin is ready to get down to business today to start investing in the health service and deliver the real change that people voted for.”

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