- McCartney welcomes High Court decision on Daniel Hegarty killingSinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed a decision by the High Court to overturn a decision not to prosecute the soldier who shot Derry youth, Daniel Hegarty during Operation Motorman.Raymond McCartney said:“We welcome the High Court’s ruling to overturn a previous decision not to prosecute the soldier who shot dead Daniel Hegarty at close range during Operation Motorman in Derry.“I would like to commend the Hegarty family who have been campaigning for many years to have the truth told about how Daniel was killed. This ruling is an important step on their road to reaching the truth and justice.“All families are entitled to truth and justice and the best way to achieve that is through the legacy structures agreed at Stormont House. They should be established without further delay.“The British Secretary of State should immediately release the funding and enable the Lord Chief Justice to proceed with his plan to clear the backlog of legacy inquests.” CRÍOCH/ENDS
- Mc Callion meets CEO of Ambulance Service
Sinn Féin Foyle MP Elisha McCallion has met with the Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service to discuss concerns regarding Ambulance cover in the Foyle area.
Speaking after the meeting, Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said that she requested the meeting with Micheal Bloomfield after concerns were raised with her.
“Recently, concerns regarding the Ambulance Service were brought to my attention. Today I put those concerns directly to the Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service Michael Bloomfield and the area Manager for the Western Region, Laura Coulter.”
“We had a very open and honest conversation about the issues and pressures facing the Ambulance Service, especially in a time where Tory Austerity is stripping the Health Service to the bone”
Mc Callion said she welcomed the fact that senior figures within the Ambulance Service were aware of the problems and are currently working towards the delivery of a new clinical response model among other initiatives to improve efficiency within the service and to reduce the level of stress faced by staff. Currently there is around a 10% absence rate within the service and a recent review determined that an extra 330 frontline staff would be needed to offset the current pressures faced.
“Mr Bloomfield informed me that they are hoping to launch a public consultation later in the year with regards to the new clinical response model. I welcome his approach to the pressures faced and when speaking to him and Ms Coulter, they couldn’t praise the staff in the Western region enough for standard of service that they provide to the public. I want to echo that praise.”
“We also discussed the worrying topic of attacks on Paramedics, including two who have been attacked in the last week whilst on duty. I want to express my utter disgust at this and condemn outright these actions. Members of our emergency services should be free to do their job without the added pressure and fear of being attacked.”
- EA must work with schools and parents to secure post-primary places – MullanSinn Féin Education spokesperson Karen Mullan MLA has called on the Education Authority (EA) to work with parents and schools to ensure all children are allocated a post-primary place as soon as possible.The Foyle MLA said:“I am aware from contacts both directly to myself and to party colleagues that a number of children have yet to receive confirmation of a post-primary place.“Whilst most children have been awarded a place, and this is to be welcomed, there is now a pressing need to remove the anxiety from both children and parents about where they will be attending school this September.“I know that some parents will only have put down a limited number of school choices that they wished to see their children attend but in cases where those schools have been fully subscribed then the EA must inform parents of where appropriate places are available.“We do not have a shortage of places in the post-primary sector and the EA needs to work with parents and schools to get children placed as early as possible.”CRÍOCH/ENDS
- Waive associated cost of grave provision for under 18s -Logue
Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue is to bring a motion before Derry City and Strabane District Council this week calling on the council to waive the associated cost of a grave in the council area for those under the age of 18 who have passed away.
Councillor Logue said
“I felt it was very important to bring this motion forward to Derry City and Strabane District Council as a number of other councils in the North are currently working through similar proposals at the moment.
“The death of a child or a young person is a very distressing time for any family and the last thing they should have to worry about is funeral costs, but the reality is that they have to.
“Our proposal is that the council would waive the associated cost of grave provision in the council area for those under the age of 18 who have passed away.
This would go at least some way to ease the financial burden placed on a family and show that we are a caring council.
- Waterside cannot become “No-go area”due to sectarian attacks -Jackson
Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has condemned a sectarian attack on a teenager in the Waterside area of Derry on Saturday night.
The attack took place in the vicinity of Rossdowney Road .
Councillor Jackson said
“This must have been a very frightening experience for the young boy who was attacked and i hope he makes a speedy recovery.
“There can be no place for sectarianism in our City.
“Those responsible need to realise the possible consequences of their actions. At a time when communities in the Waterside are striving to cement peace and encourage reconciliation it would appear that there is a very small minority intent on living in the past.
“I have been warning over recent times about an increase in such attacks. And we cannot allow a situation that during the hours of darkness parts of the Waterside become no-go areas.
“I am calling on the PSNI to put in whatever resources are needed to counteract and apprehend those responsible for carrying out these attacks.
- Partnership key to north west region growth – McCallion
Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has called for increased north-south partnership working to assist with the delivery of a strategic growth deal for the north west.
The Foyle MP said:
“I led a Sinn Féin delegation in Letterkenny today, to engage with the local Chamber of Commerce, Chief Executives of local authorities and other sectors who are committed to securing the much needed growth of the north west region.
“The economic potential of the north west region has not yet been realised, we need to build on the foundations of existing collaborations in health, education and infrastructure.
“One of the key topics raised by these sectors is the A5 dual carriageway, which is an essential lifeline for addressing the infrastructural deficit west of the Bann and for reinforcing connections with the capital city in Dublin.
“We need to ensure that key infrastructure projects like the A5 and others are delivered in order to open up the entire north-west region and bring the benefits on an all-island basis so there is a responsibility on both Belfast and Dublin Government to ensure it is fully resourced.
“There is an onus on the Irish government, along with the British government, to step up to the plate with their contribution to an inclusive growth deal to tackle the longstanding regional imbalances, deprivation and economic deficiencies of the North West.”
- Vital that business community demand backstop is protected – Anderson
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said businesses in the border region need to make their voices heard to ensure the north stays in the single market and customs union.
Martina Anderson said:
“Today I met with business representatives from Donegal in the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce alongside my party colleagues from Derry and Donegal.
“It is clear there is widespread concern about Brexit among the business community, north and south.
“The border region will be the worst hit by the Tory Brexiteers dragging us out of the customs union and single market against our will.
“That is what is is vital that the business community, on both sides of the border need to make their voices heard and demand the backstop option, which would allow the north to remain in the customs union and significant elements of the single market, is protected.
“We cannot allow and reduction in what has already been agreed in the backstop.
“In particular, businesses need to call on the Irish government and demand that it maintains its position and ensure the backstop is maintained and expanded upon.
“It is essential for business that the north remains in the customs union and single market and the business community must raise their voices and make their concerns heard.”
- Mullan encourages schools to take part in BT Young Scientist & Technology ExhibitionSinn Féin Education spokesperson Karen Mullan MLA has encouraged local secondary school students to start preparing for next year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), which will take place from 9 – 12 January 2019 at the RDS in Dublin.Supporting BT’s call for more schools to take part, Karen Mullan said:“The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity for young people to showcase their talents across a range of STEM subject areas. It allows participants to develop their creativity, problem solving and team working skills – key qualities which are highly sought after by employers.“2019 will be the 55th year of the exhibition and the theme is ‘It Starts Here,’ highlighting the important role BTYSTE plays in inspiring students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and promoting the innovators, scientists and technologists of the future.“With the summer holiday fast approaching, I would encourage students to start coming up with ideas now and begin developing their STEM project in time to meet the deadline for entries in September.” CRÍOCH/ENDS
- Foyle Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion along Sinn Fein MP team meeting with Nomatemba ‘Tembi’ Tambo South African High Commissioner in London and daughter of anti-apartheid icon and revolutionary Oliver Tambo.
- Graveside oration for Derry Republican Jim (Hilter) Breslin
The death occurred on Saturday 12th May of Jim (Hilter) Breslin a lifelong and committed republican from Shantallow area of the city.
Jim A lifelong republican was one of the founding members of the Sinn Féin cumann in the Shantallow area and for years was the party’s organiser in the area.
At the City Cemetery graveside oration, former Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan said that Jim was a great inspiration to young republicans in Derry City and to the people of Shantallow, evident by the hundreds who attended the mass and at the city cemetery
Tony Hassan said of his “friend and comrade”:
Jim will always be remembered as someone who led from the front and for the hard work and dedication he gave to the republican cause “Like many other republicans in the early 1970s, Jim was at the forefront of protests and opposition to internment and British rule in Ireland, and when other work needed to be done Jim was never found wanting and because of that dedication Jim was interned in 1974.
“He was very much seen as an ‘old hand’ back in the early 1970 and 80s, he was the man that the people of Shantallow went to for advice and guidance.
“His Carnhill home in Shantallow was always open to republicans no matter what their problems were and his work for the political prisoners and their families was always at the top of his list and ensured that those on the run had a bed for the night.
Jim never shied away from his responsibilities and ensured that the republican struggle continued at a time when many might have faltered. He took a leading role in protests during the Hunger Strikes and worked in the first election in 1982 when the late Martin McGuinness won a seat in the first Assembly, He supported the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement, and he worked for Sinn Féin right up until he fell into bad health.
“As we lay Jim to rest I could not but think that on many occasions he could be seen at the graves of soldiers of Óglaigh na hÉireann, tending the graves and ensuring they had the respect they deserved. Jim never forgot his fallen comrades. In fact, he believed that their sacrifice should be a catalyst to spur us on in the pursuit of Irish unity.
“We will never forget the role he played in our struggle. He was in life an inspiration to those around him and in death people will look back on a man who was an example to us all.
“On behalf of Sinn Féin in Derry, I offer my deepest sympathy to Mary sons Michael, Seamus Paul and Eammon.