News

 

  • Lettershandoney new housing development-Fleming


    Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming has welcomed the news that planning approval has been given for 91 new houses in the Lettershandoney area.

    Councillor Fleming said “It is welcome news that such a development has been given the go ahead by the planning committee of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

    “The shortage of housing in rural areas will come as no surprise to the many rural families who have been forced to relocate to urban areas because of lack of housing.

    “Young people in particular, whose families have been in rural communities for generations, can on many occasion  find themselves unable to find housing where they grew up and have to move elsewhere.

    “Building homes in rural areas also helps sustain the likes of the local school , sporting organisations and keeps alive  vibrant communities.

  • 100th Anniversary of the First Dáil Éireann to be marked in Derry

    100th Anniversary of the First Dáil Éireann to be marked in Derry
    Sinn Féin will host a major event in Derry to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First Dáil Éireann.


    The event will take place in the Guildhall this coming Monday 21 January 2019. There will be an exhibition from 6.45pm followed by the main event at 7pm which will include an address by Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O’Neill. 


    Speaking ahead of the event Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has said it is important that we recognise the inaugural meeting of An Chéad Dáil Éireann which took place in the Mansion House on 21 January 1919.
    The Foyle MP said:
    “The meeting of the An Chéad Dáil Éireann was an unequivocal act of national self-determination. 
    “This followed the landslide election victory for Sinn Féin in 1918, which was an overwhelming endorsement of the desire for an independent Ireland.
    “The Irish Republic established here 100 years ago was based on the proposition that the people are sovereign and that the public right and welfare comes before the interests of private profit and property. Never was that principle of the Democratic Programme needed more than it is now.
    “This event is open to the public and entry will be permitted on a first come first served basis. We anticipate a large crowd on Monday night, therefore I would people encourage to arrive early.
    “There will be an exhibition in the Guildhall from 6.45pm followed by the main event at 7pm which will be addressed by Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O’Neill.” 
    CRÍOCH/ENDS

  • Education Authority decision to drop Irish must be overturned – Mullan

    Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has called on the Education Authority to overturn a decision to remove an Irish language translation from its logo.

    The party’s Education spokesperson said:

    “Moves by the Education Authority to remove Irish language translation from its logo are unacceptable and falls short of its own equality scheme for changing policy.

    “Following my challenge to the EA’s claim that they change was the result of a Ministerial direction the EA was forced to admit that this was not the case but rather an arbitrary decision by the Chief Executive of the EA.

    “The education system must be inclusive and for everyone in our society, including those who wish to be educated through the medium of Irish.

    “Government departments also have a duty to promote the Irish language and that includes the use of bilingual logos and Irish on official documentation.

    “This type of decision brings into sharp focus the need for Acht Gaeilge to provide legal protections to the Irish language.

    “It is now imperative that the EA take the necessary steps to rectify this. 

    “I will continue to press the case until there is a reversion to the direction set by John O’Dowd when he was Education Minister.” 

  • McCallion welcomes news Crisis Intervention Service is now operational

    Sinn Féin Foyle MP Elisha McCallion has welcomed the news that a crisis intervention service is now operational in the city.

    The Foyle MP said “Its great news that the pilot crisis intervention service has now become operational. It will be open from 8pm on a Thursday night until 8am on a Sunday morning.

    “I would like to pay tribute to former MLA Maeve McLaughlin who lifted and pursued the campaign for the service locally.

    “I also have been very committed to making this happen and when I was Mayor of Derry I took the issue into the Council to ensure that it was kept firmly on the agenda.

    “This final piece of the jigsaw has come about due to a lot of hard work of the steering committee over the last couple of years. It is essential that we all do everything in our power to support all those affected by these issues in their daily lives.”

    “We will be keeping a watchful eye on the project as it moves forward and we hope to expand on it in the years ahead.

  • McCallion welcomes news Crisis Intervention Service is now operational

    Sinn Féin Foyle MP Elisha McCallion has welcomed the news that a crisis intervention service is now operational in the city.

    The Foyle MP said “Its great news that the pilot crisis intervention service has now become operational. It will be open from 8pm on a Thursday night until 8am on a Sunday morning.

    “I would like to pay tribute to former MLA Maeve McLaughlin who lifted and pursued the campaign for the service locally.

    “I also have been very committed to making this happen and when I was Mayor of Derry I took the issue into the Council to ensure that it was kept firmly on the agenda.

    “This final piece of the jigsaw has come about due to a lot of hard work of the steering committee over the last couple of years. It is essential that we all do everything in our power to support all those affected by these issues in their daily lives.”

    “We will be keeping a watchful eye on the project as it moves forward and we hope to expand on it in the years ahead.

  • ‘Auditor report vindicates welfare protections’ -Mullan

    A new report by the Comptroller and Auditor General underlines the importance of the welfare mitigations secured by Sinn Féin in protecting the most vulnerable from Tory cuts, Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan  has said.

    The Foyle MLA was commenting after the Auditor General concluded that claimants here have been ‘insulated from the full impact of welfare reforms’ by the £585 million package secured as part of the 2015 Fresh Start Agreement.

    “The auditor’s report is a clear vindication of the crucial protections that are available here and nowhere else,” Karen Mullan said.

    “He paints a stark picture of what the alternative would have been, warning that without these protections we would be facing the same kind of increased hardship and foodbank use that is happening in Britain.

    “No-one should be in any doubt about that, because the British Government was adamant that unmitigated welfare cuts would be imposed over the heads of the local Executive and Assembly. There would have been no top-up payments to those losing out, no flexibilities and full-blown sanctions.

    “Instead, as evidenced by the report, the mitigations have reduced the impact of welfare cuts in a number of key areas. 

    Karen Mullan  also strongly criticised the British Treasury for continuing to oppose elements of the mitigation protections.

    “No one should be in any doubt about the opposition that we faced from the British Treasury regarding the mitigation package,” he said.

    “Unfortunately that opposition continues to this day. For example, the British Treasury are insisting that mitigation top-ups under the Cost of Work Allowance should be taxable. This would mean the British Treasury taking money off people on low incomes who are entitled to mitigation top-up payments.

    “That is unacceptable and the stand-off over that element has led to a substantial part of the underspend identified in the Auditor General’s report.

    “Going forward, the Sinn Féin position is unambiguous. We will continue to oppose the welfare cuts agenda in its entirety. It is clearly not fit for purpose and should be scrapped completely.

    “Protecting the most vulnerable will remain our key objective, whether that is by mitigating it where possible or by unpicking the entire disastrous Tory welfare agenda.”

  • Duffy urges support for Kurdish solidarity rally

    Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has called on people to attend a rally in Derry this Friday in support of Kurdish hunger striker Leyla Güven MP.

    The Turkish MP has been on hunger strike since November in protest at her detention and the ongoing isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    Councillor Duffy said:

    “Leyla Güven is now in her 68th day of her strike and is in critical condition. Sinn Féin has stood and will continue stand with her in protest of her unjust imprisonment.

    “We would call on all people to join us this Friday at Free Derry Corner in a show of solidarity for Leyla and all political prisoners held in Turkey. 

    “The denial of my party colleague Martina Anderson MEP to visit Leyla this week shows the need for people everywhere to support Leyla’s protest and put pressure on Turkish authorities to bring about her immediate release.

    “We must stand with Leyla Güven as the international community stood with us during the hunger strikes of 1981.”

    CRÍOCH/ENDS 

    The protest will be taking place at 7pm this Friday (18th) at the Free Derry Corner.

  • Heaney calls for new Safety Signals at Colmcille PS

    Sinn Féin representative for the Faughan area Conor Heaney has pressed Transport NI to replace school safety signs at Colmcille Primary School in Claudy.

    Conor Heaney said: 

    “These signs have not been working for quite some months and although contractors have made repairs on a number of occasions, they clearly now need to replaced.

    “Having spoken to local Transport NI officials, I know they are of the same view but are currently between contracts in terms of sourcing new signs. 

    “I intend to contact the departmental Headquarters to press them to get the contract renewed as soon as possible so that these flashing signs can be replaced.

    “I know that both teachers and parents at the Primary School are concerned about the risk to children due to this situation. They have also been in regular contact with Transport NI and I will be urging them to find a resolution without delay.” CRÍOCH/ENDS — 

  • Fleming welcomes Strathfoyle road maintenance and resurfacing work

    Commenting local Sinn Féin Councillor Fleming said “I welcome the news from Department for Infrastructure (DfI) that the much needed road maintenance and resurfacing work in Strathfoyle is to go ahead.

     “It’s been long overdue and this news will be warmly by local residents.

    “It’s anticipated that the work will take place throughout the months of February and March. 

    Ends

  • Duffy welcomes agreement which sees plans for massive Thornhill site a step closer

    Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed the news today  that the signing of a Section 76 legal agreement will clear the way for plans that have been lodged for the redevelopment of the large redundant Thornhill School.

    Speaking today Councillor Duffy said “It’s good to see that the Section 76 legal agreement has been signed off on, which now opens the way for the plans for this massive site to proceed.

     “At present the Thornhill site is a terrible eyesore situated on a key gateway into our city.

    “These proposals to convert this site into a modern retirement village will I believe transform this entire area. And at the same time provide much needed retirement accommodation for older people in our community.

    “This development could help regenerate the greater Culmore area along with all the other ongoing projects such as the new community centre, the new country park at Coney road and the 3G pitch that are happening.

    Ends