Derry Sinn Féin Christmas Post

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2016 Derry Graves Association Calendar

12241251_951244398264958_4050574769603750374_n12241251_951244398264958_4050574769603750374_nPeadars ,Tracys ,The Castle ,Dungloe ,@CheckpointDerry ,Georges,PJs William St ,Pennywise shop Ráth Mór ,SF offices or local Cumann £5.00

Anderson welcomes passing of report to support marginalised communities.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the passing of the Reintke report in the plenary session of the European Parliament, dealing with EU cohesion policy and marginalised communities.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Speaking after the vote, Ms Anderson said,

“In the European Parliament, I had a responsibility to work on a report on how European Union’s cohesion policy can assist in empowering marginalised communities.

“The term ‘marginalised communities’ covers a broad range of concepts, such as disadvantaged neighbourhoods, people at risk of poverty, and groups in society that are disadvantaged or discriminated against.

“As the lead negotiator for GUE/NGL on this particular report, I proposed a range of amendments such as the acknowledgement that people in cross-border, rural and isolated areas are often subject to marginalisation due to their geographical situation and should be better taken into consideration by the Cohesion Policy.

“This is particularly evident in Ireland and I have met with many of these communities, most recently the Irish traveller community, who have long suffered social and economic marginalisation.


“Additionally I proposed a focus on the problems of unemployment, housing, education, people suffering from a disability and healthcare faced by marginalised communities and we asked for a promotion to better access.

“In order to overcome disadvantage in marginalised communities, governments need to take responsibility to change the situation by implementing as many supportive measures as possible, rather than prioritising budget cuts over meeting the needs of their most vulnerable in society.

“Sinn Féin has long played a leading role with marginalised communities and these communities need to be actively involved at a grass-roots level, and enabled to participate as full partners in developing and monitoring the programmes that affect them.” ENDS

Fleming confident Strathfoyle will get new Play Park

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming is confident that Derry City & Strabane District Council will be able to provide the entire funding required for the construction of a Play Park for the wider Strathfoyle community.Paul-Fleming


Cllr. Fleming said: “The need for a play park has been a key issue for the residents of Strathfoyle and Sinn Féin for a considerable period of time.


RAPID, with the support of local community groups, placed an application with the Big Lottery ‘People and Places’ fund but was unfortunately unsuccessful.


There was obviously deep disappointment and anger that the application did not secure the park and there have been a number of public statements issued by a cross section of people, organisations and political parties in the aftermath of the Big Lottery decision.


As part of Sinn Féin’s involvement in attempting to secure play facilities for Strathfoyle we have been committed to working genuinely and sincerely in coming up with solutions.


Following our ongoing discussions with council officers Sinn Féin will formally propose at the next meeting of the Governance and Strategic Planning committee that the council should provide the entire funding required for the construction of a Play Park for the wider Strathfoyle community.


We will ensure that the commencement and completion of this project takes place as quickly as possible.”

Anderson commemorates 26th anniversary of UN Convention of the Rights of the Child

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has outlined her continued support to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, as today marks the 26th anniversary of its adoption.

Ms Anderson said,CUPiuJrWEAAxQm2.jpg large

“Today, the 20th of November 2015, we celebrate the 26th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

“As a Member of the European Parliament, I am happy to work with World Vision, a child and youth-focused organization to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 United Nations Member States this September in New York.

Goal 7 is of particular interest to me because it aims at ensuring access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all.

“Solar panels, electrification and community-based renewable energy projects are just a few of the ways that development and relief organizations are preparing children, young people and their communities for the future.

“World Vision projects in the developing world use solar power to harness the sun to provide much needed water for communities around the world.

“Its Clean and Energy-efficient Cooking Stoves (CEECS) Project, is an effective approach to providing energy for cooking which also protects women’s and children’s health in rural and urban settings.

“As a Member of the European Parliament, I will work with organizations like World Vision and others to ensure that Goal 7 is fully implemented by the EU so that children and young people everywhere can enjoy a better future.” ENDS

Need to maximise opportunities from European funding

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has encouraged local groups to be aware of the funding opportunities which exist in Europe.

MEP Martina Anderson

MEP Martina Anderson

Speaking at a European funding event she hosted in Derry’s Guildhall alongside Mayor of Derry Elisha McCallion, Ms Anderson said;

“There are many opportunities for local businesses, statutory organisations and community and voluntary sector organisations to access EU funding.

“Sometimes however it can be difficult for groups to know how to apply for and access funding streams.

“The purpose of the funding seminar is to provide knowledge of how to access available funding.

“Numerous funding streams exist within a number of key themes including climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security and coping with the challenge of an ageing population, employment and job creation and many others.

“I and my party colleague Matt Carthy have brought together a panel of experts from various agencies including Intertrade Ireland, SEUPB and Derry City and Strabane District Council to help people access these funding opportunities.

“Europe presents huge opportunities for groups across the North and as an MEP I want to ensure that people have the information to maximise the benefits of our EU membership.”

Further threat to Irish Neutrality – Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has reiterated arguments that Ireland needs a legally binding protocol on neutrality.

Speaking ahead of the AGM of the Peace & Neutrality Alliance (PANA) in Dublin lynn, which Ms Boylan will chair, she said,

“An Taoiseach Enda Kenny indicated yesterday that the Irish Government is prepared to send a small number of Defence Force personnel to Mali or Lebanon to relieve their French counterparts, freeing them up to participate in conflict elsewhere.

“An Taoiseach made this announcement in the wake of an EU wide meeting of defence ministers, where the French Minister of Defence Jean Yves Le Drian received unanimous support for the use of the Mutual Defence Clause of the Lisbon Treaty. A clause which Sinn Féin consistently argued undermined our neutrality.

Irish neutrality is being systematically eroded by current and previous Governments. Irish participation and financial support for the European Defence Agency, our involvement in the Rapid Reaction Force and the continued use of Shannon airport by US warplanes involved in several conflicts combine to show that Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil have at best, a flippant attitude to neutrality.

The suggestion that Irish soldiers may be sent to Mali to relieve French soldiers is indirectly involving the state in conflict and is the most recent example of an undermining of our position of neutrality.

Sinn Féin has consistently argued that Ireland needs a legally binding protocol on neutrality. The Danish Government secured an opt-out clause from the European Defence Agency and Ireland should move to mirror this model.

The Irish Defence Forces are incredibly active and play an admirable, humanitarian role internationally. Irish troops have been deployed in a peace-keeping capacity for decades in several conflict areas across the world. The Irish Naval Service has been instrumental in coordinating and participating in search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean. Between them, the crews of LÉ Eithne, LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ Niamh have rescued thousands of lives.

This is the type of work our Defence Forces should be doing – they should not be involved, directly or indirectly, in conflict or in the facilitation of conflict.”

McCartney condemns Derry security alert

Mr McCartney said;raymond mccartney

“I utterly condemn those behind this security alert close to Strand Road PSNI station.

“The owner of the vehicle which was hijacked must have had a traumatic experience.

“This has brought nothing but disruption to a main arterial route and in doing so they have shown total disregard for the people of this city.

“Derry is a city moving forward and those behind these incidents do not speak for the people.

“They need to call an end to these futile actions once and for all.”


McLaughlin to host cervical cancer awareness event at Stormont

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin will host a cervical cancer awareness event at Stormont next week to remember Derry woman Sorcha Glenn who died with the illness at 23 years-old.

Ms McLaughlin said; 

“The tragic death last year of Derry woman Sorcha Glenn at just 23 years-old highlights the devastating impact cervical cancer can have on families and communities.

“Too many woman of all ages are dying as a result of cervical cancer.

“It is vitally important that women are aware of the signs of cervical cancer and seek treatment as soon as possible.

“I will be hosting an awareness event at Stormont on Tuesday November 24 at 2.30pm to remember Sorcha and to make people aware of the dangers of cervical cancer.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the event to raise awareness of this cancer.”

40th Anniversary of Sinn Féin Christmas Post in Derry

The annual Sinn Féin Christmas Post has been launched in the city


Councillor Colly Kelly said DIGITAL CAMERA
“The annual Sinn Féin post has been a feature of the Christmas period in Derry now for many years and I would encourage people to make use of it

In fact its quite remarkable that this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the annual post. I don’t think those with the foresight to start the annual post up would have thought it would still be going strong forty years on particularly with the advances of the modern technology .But there is a on old tradition in Derry that people still like sending cards to family and friends  at this time of year.

Christmas cards will be delivered to any part of Derry City for the minimal price of 20p. The theme of this year’s stamp is the Centenary of the Easter Rising 1916-2016.

“Cards can be left at the Sinn Féin constituency Office on the Racecourse Road Shantallow, at the new Ráth Mór office on Eastway /New Road and Spencer Road office. The Post will operate from today until midday Thursday 17th December”

For any additional information can contact 02871 377551 or 02871359747 for   details.

Lead thieves target Long Tower Chapel –Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has slammed thieves who have stolen lead from the roof of St Columba’s Church / Long Tower.Patricia Logue new pic 22

The theft was only discovered after workmen went to do repairs to a leak on the roof.

Councillor Patricia Logue said

I would urge anyone with  information about this despicable act at the Long Tower chapel to contact the police straight away.

In the last few years we have seen a rise in the number of lead thefts from homes and businesses across the city .We have also seen schools in particular being targeted by these gangs with the repair bills running into tens of thousands of pounds.

Obviously whoever is behind these thefts see our schools, homes and now chapels as easy targets. It’s very hard to keep a 24 hour watch on these buildings but if people do see anything they should contact the PSNI or local representatives.


McCartney welcomes results of independent study on Irish Unity

McCartney welcomes results of independent study on Irish Unity

Sinn Féin spokesperson Raymond McCartney MLA (Foyle) has welcomed the results of an independent study which shows that Irish Unity would be economically beneficial for both jurisdictions on the island.

Raymond McCartney said:

MLA Raymond McCartney

MLA Raymond McCartney

“The report, “Modeling Irish unification” produced by KLC – Consulting for Tomorrow, presents three unification scenarios, each with increasingly positive economic benefits for both North and South.

“In every case, the authors concluded that political and economic unification would likely result in a boost in economic outcomes and incomes North and South.

“The most aggressive unification scenario estimates a boost in all island GDP of €35.6 billion Euro over eight years.

“In my view, this Report is an important contribution to the debate on Irish Unity and is in line with the view held by Sinn Féin that a united Ireland economy would deliver economic growth and prosperity across this Island.

“While opponents often claim that we cannot afford to be united, the simple reality is that we can not afford partition. The human price of partition is too high to pay.

“A united Ireland is achievable, affordable and deliverable. We would all be better off economically, socially and politically in a United Ireland.”


Ní Chuilín reinstates £940,000 for arts and sport

The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín, has announced the reinstatement of funding for arts and sports.15251175137_aa21579d1d_o

As a result of funding reallocations as part of the November Monitoring Round, the Department is now in a position to reinstate £620,000 to the Arts Council which will be passed on to the 32 arts organisations and £320,000 to Sport NI.

In making the announcement, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to be announcing the reinstatement of this money for our arts and sporting communities. As I have said consistently, the cuts to our block grant by the Tory Government in Westminster are causing huge difficulties for the Executive and are having a detrimental effect on front-line services.

“I pledged to do my utmost to secure additional funding so that some or all of this money could be reinstated.

“I made a strong case for the reinstatement of this money and I am pleased that the Finance Minister, Arlene Foster, took this into account when making reallocations during November Monitoring. I thank her for listening to the arguments which I made.  “As a result £940,000 has been secured and I know that this will be welcomed.”

Austerity is the cost of the union-McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin said the recent agreement is not an end point and that the Tory government will continue to try to impose their austerity policies on the North.Maeve McLaughlin, City Hotel

The Foyle MLA  said:

“Sinn Féin is opposed to the austerity policies of the Tories in London and Fine Gael and Labour in Dublin and their attack on public services and welfare supports. These policies are discredited and are unfair, undemocratic and economically counter-productive.

“The Tory government has made it clear that they will press ahead with their cuts. We will continue to oppose these polices.

“Over the past ten weeks we have negotiated a package of measures including an extra half billion in new money and also additional flexibilities to invest in public services and the economy.

“We have negotiated a fund of £585 million over four years to support the vulnerable and working families.

“We have also reached an agreement that will deal with the issue of criminality and the continued existence of armed and active groups.

“The British government has failed to honour the Stormont House Agreement on full disclosure to meet the needs of victims.

“They continue to cover up the action of their agents, army, police and political establishment by using a so-called national security veto. This is unacceptable and means that no agreement was possible on dealing with disclosure and the past.

“This agreement is not an end point. The Tory Party, with Dublin on the sidelines will continue to try and impose their policies on the people.

“The campaign against these cuts must continue and must be won. The only safeguard against future Tory’s cuts is the executive having the full suite of powers to manage and grow the economy in a fair and sustainable fashion.

“It is clear that austerity is the cost of the union and that both should end.”

A Fresh Start – The Stormont House Agreement & Implementation Plan

What’s in the new agreement concluded at Stormont today

THE CRISIS in the political institutions was created by Tory austerity and their failure to honour commitments made in the Good Friday Agreement and other agreements, including full disclosure on the legacy of the past.

Tory austerity cuts have taken hundreds of millions of pounds out of public services since 2010 and they also launched an ideologically-driven assault on the safeguards of the welfare state.

In July of this year, British Chancellor George Osborne announced that another £1.4billion would be removed from the Executive’s budget over the next four years.

He also announced cuts to tax credits for working families and those on low incomes. These changes will take another £1.1billion out of the local economy.

While tax credits are not within the remit of the Executive, Sinn Féin cannot discriminate between supporting those on in-work and out-of-work benefits.

A package of measures has now been negotiated in the Stormont House Agreement & Implementation Plan to provide support to those who will be most affected by the Tory cuts agenda and to invest in public services and the economy.

As a result of the negotiations we have secured approximately an extra £615million in new money and between £525million and £650million in flexibilities, allowing this money to be used to grow our economy.

This agreement also provides for the establishment of a fund of £585million to provide support to people who will lose out on benefits and tax credits.

A panel will be appointed (headed up by leading benefits expert Eileen Evason) to bring forward a report on how this package of funding will be used.

This additional money will be used over a four-year period with a review at the end of the third year.

Funding for a number of key infrastructural projects was also agreed during the negotiations with £75million for the A5 upgrade project and £2.5million for the North-West Gateway Initiative.

This agreement also deals with institutional reform and makes provision for the number of MLAs to be reduced to five members per constituency at the 2021 Assembly elections.

The number of departments will also be reduced from 12 to 9 in time for next year’s Assembly elections. Parties which are entitled to ministerial positions in the Executive but choose not to take them up will be recognised as an official opposition.

It was not possible, however, to reach an agreement on dealing with the legacy of the past.

In the Stormont House Agreement, the two governments and the parties agreed to mechanisms to provide full disclosure for victims of the conflict.

The British Government has failed to honour that agreement and has sought to put in place a veto on the information to be disclosed to families under the bogus guise of national security.

These documents relates to events which happened 30 to 40 years ago; it is a nonsense to suggest that this information should be subject to national security.

It is not acceptable to families of victims and is not compatible with the Stormont House Agreement.

They continue to cover up the action of the state’s agents, army, police and political establishment by using a national security veto. That is unacceptable.

Sinn Féin will continue to press the British and Irish governments for full implementation on outstanding issues from the Good Friday and other agreements.

These include the establishment of full inquiries into the murder of Pat Finucane and the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, Acht na Gaeilge, and the creation of a Bill of Rights in the North

Legacy failure at Stormont talks angers human rights groups

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS Pat Finucane Centre and Justice for the Forgotten have expressed “deep disappointment and frustration” on behalf of the 200 families they work with at the failure of the Stormont talks to reach agreement on legacy issues and truth recovery.

The Pat Finucane Centre campaigns for “truth recovery” about events during the conflict. Justice for the Forgotten provides support and advocacy to victims and survivors in the 26 Counties, including those bereaved and injured in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and other attacks in the South.

In a joint statement, the two organisations said after the unveiling of A Fresh Start – The Stormont House Agreement & Implementation Plan:

“In their homes around the country, those who lost loved ones in the conflict will be privately grieving and angry at London’s insistence that it must be able to redact/censor reports from the proposed Historical Investigations Unit on ‘national security’ grounds.

“The PFC and JFF consider it totally unacceptable for the state to demand the right to conceal the actions of its agents in bombings, shootings and murders during the conflict. This was not part of the Stormont House Agreement in December 2014.

“If London had this right, it could mean that families would never discover that state agents, informers, UDR soldiers and RUC men had a role in their relatives’ murders.”

Urging the politicians to return to the table and “work this out”, the two organisations add:

“London is also ignoring its international obligations under European human rights law in insisting on being able to redact reports using its own interpretation of ‘national security’.

“We cannot agree that revealing details of the state’s criminal actions 40 years ago could possibly affect the personal security of any individual today.”

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness shared Sinn Féin’s frustration over the deadlock about legacy issues from the conflict and truth recovery.

The senior Sinn Féin negotiator said:

“The legacy of the past remains a huge gap. The onus remains on the British Government to live up to their responsibilities to victims, in particular full disclosure.”

McCartney welcomes £75 million funding boost for A5 upgrade

Sinn Féin Foye  MLA Raymond McCartney  has welcomed a £75 million funding package for the upgrade of the A5 secured in the agreement. IMG_1223

Raymond McCartney said; 

“The A5 upgrade is one of the most major infrastructural projects which has been planned in recent years and has the potential to transform the economy of the north west of Ireland.

“I welcome the fact that the Irish government have restated their support for the A5 project in this agreement.

“£75 million is now committed for this vital infrastructural project.

“Work on the first section on the upgrade is ready to begin in 2017, as soon as the remaining planning issues are resolved, and is due to be completed in 2019.

“This will see the redevelopment of the road from Newbuildings to north of Strabane.

“Sinn Féin has committed that work will start as soon as possible and we are determined to see the second phase of the A5 upgrade from Omagh to Aughnacloy start at the same time in 2017.

“This progress on the road is welcome and I look forward to the full completion of the A5 project as soon as possible.”

Previous messageNext messageBack to messages Villiers to meet victims’ groups on British failure on disclosure – McGuinness‏

British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has agreed to meet with relatives of victims of the conflict to discuss their concerns over the British government’s failure to uphold its commitments to full disclosure, Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has revealed.Martin McGuinness outside the Dáil giving press statement.

Martin McGuinness said:

“Sinn Féin said in the hours after the agreement we will continue to campaign along with victims’ groups to achieve the full disclosure they deserve on the killings of their loved ones.

“We also said we would hold the two governments to their commitment to return to the issue in the near future.

“That is why I met with Theresa Villiers today and pressed her to do exactly that. She confirmed that it remains her intention to seek a resolution and, for our part, Sinn Féin will continue to work to meet the needs of victims and their families.

“The fact is we were unable to reach an agreement during the talks because of the British Government’s failure to honour the Stormont House Agreement commitment to full disclosure.

“They continue to cover up the action of their agents, army, police and political establishment by using a so-called national security veto.

“That pretext for blocking disclosure is clearly nonsense as much of the information families are looking for is related to events 30 to 40 years ago.

“Therefore I asked Theresa Villiers to meet with victims’ groups face to face because it is for the British Government to explain why they are determined to withhold this information. She also needs to hear the concerns of victims’ groups directly.

“I welcome the fact that she agreed to meet with the groups and I believe those engagements need to take place as soon as possible if we are to resolve this issue.”

Mayor welcomes Commitment to North West in Agreement

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion has welcomed the political and financial commitment to the North West contained in the ‘Fresh Start’ agreement reached between the Executive and the Irish and British governments.elisha new head shot 2014 2

Speaking prior to a meeting of the North West Gateway Initiative in Derry , Mayor McCallion said:

“I welcome the political and financial commitments to North West Development contained in the Agreement reached at Stormont this week.

“As well as recommitting to progress the A5 which will deliver major employment and investment opportunities for our District’s economy, the Executive and the Irish government have committed a further five million to the regional development work of the North West Gateway Initiative.

“This involves a partnership between Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council as part of the work programme of the North South Ministerial Council.

“The Irish Government has agreed to provide funding of €2.5m to support the Initiative, and this is matched by £2.5milion from the Executive.

“This is good news for our Regional economy and will be welcomed by everyone with the interests of the North West at heart.” CRÍOCH/END

Importance of support for victims of bullying –Cllr Patricia Logue

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Councillor Patricia Logue has said it’s important that people support various initiatives taking place this week to coincide with Anti-bullying awareness week.

Councillor Patricia Logue said FRONT(1)

“This is  Anti-bullying week and dozens of initiatives will be taking place in our schools, youth clubs to raise awareness of this issue and to provide support services and additional information for anyone suffering at the hands of the bully.


Nowadays bullying has taken on a whole new meaning with the age of the mobile phone and internet, so its very important that  awareness programmes are put in place and guidance given for both children and parents alike to highlight the dangers of unsupervised use of internet chat rooms and various web sites.

“Cyber bullying and malicious use of the internet can cause victims of this practice serious hurt and pain and many times the effects of that can remain hidden if the victims do not come forward to seek support and help”


“Technology is moving so quickly it’s hard to keep up with the dangers it can create so we must be to the fore in highlighting these Internet chat rooms, social networking sites, emails etc.Mobile phones enables bullies to develop increasingly sophisticated techniques with which to torment their victims so we must always be looking at ways to prevent it .

“The welfare of both teaching staff and pupils is paramount. The environment of teaching and learning must be done in a safe and secure setting”


Changing organ donation legislation would save lives – McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has said the changing organ donation legislation would change lives. CTE2e25WIAElo4v

Speaking during a debate on the Human Transplantation Bill, the chair of the Assembly’s health committee said;

“Organ transplants not only save lives, but enable people to live their lives more fully, for example by freeing them from the need for dialysis.

“The majority of respondents to the consultation on the Bill, as well as the Public Health Agency’s attitudes survey were supportive of some sort of ‘soft opt-out’ option.

“It is clear we need to improve donor levels and transplantation rates.

“Consent to organ donation is a difficult decision for families to take, particularly at a time of terrible grief and loss, and it is made even more difficult if there are differences of opinion between family members or others involved.

“The Bill proposes to place additional duties on the Department to promote transplantation and provide information about transplantation through a campaign at least once a year.

“This is intended to increase the public’s understanding of organ donation and make it more socially acceptable to discuss the issue.”


Political institutions the best way forward – McGuinness‏

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said today the political institutions remain the best way to protect people from the worst excesses of Tory austerity.

Martin McGuinness said;21132301229_42a8a1c516_k

“At the heart of this agreement is our common commitment to a better future.

“The cuts to our welfare budgets, tax credits and our block grant are wrong and unfair. We are determined to do all in our power to oppose this austerity and protect our people and our public services.

“We have secured more than half a billion pounds of additional funding for the Executive plus flexibilities that can be invested in growth and public services.

“We are providing a package of £585 million to support the most vulnerable in our society and low-income working families.

“We have appointed a panel under the leadership of Professor Eileen Evason to draft proposals on how this money will provide essential support to people on welfare and thousands of families targeted by Tory cuts to tax credits.

“We will continue to do all we can to support those in need.

“The legacy of the past remains a huge gap in this work. The onus remains on the British government to live up to their responsibilities to victims, in particular full disclosure.

“We also addressed directly the issue of paramilitarism. There can be no place for armed groups in our society. That is why the agreement includes additional resources for policing and mechanisms to challenge armed gangs and criminality.

“Our political institutions are the best way forward. The First Minister and I are absolutely united on this.”

British government must honour its commitments on disclosure -McCartney‏

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA  Raymond McCartney has said the British government must honour the Stormont House Agreement on full disclosure to meet the needs of victims. IMG_1223

Raymond McCartney said;

“The British government has failed to honour the Stormont House Agreement on full disclosure to meet the needs of victims.

“They continue to cover up the action of their agents, army, police and political establishment by using a so-called national security veto.

“That pretext for blocking disclosure is clearly nonsense as much of the information families are looking for is related to events 30 to 40 years ago.

“This is unacceptable and means that no agreement was possible on dealing with disclosure and the past.

“The two governments committed to return to this issue to seek an early resolution, we intend to hold them to that.

“Sinn Féin will continue to campaign along with victims’ groups and the families of victims of the conflict to achieve the full disclosure they deserve on the killings of their loved ones.”


Kelly welcomes Bogside bulky lift initiative (Wednesday 18th Nov)

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has welcomed the news that a bulky lift/clean up initiative is to take place in the Bogside area this Wednesday 18th November  from 08.00am.-2.00pm

Organised by the  Council & the  Triax neighbourhood management teamCOLLY

The areas covered is from Creggan St/William Street right out to Dove Gardens/Stanley’s Walks and all streets in between.

Councillor Kelly said

“I welcome the news of this bulky lift scheme in the Bogside on Wednesday.This comes on the back of other environmental initiatives in the area over the past year.

“I would appeal for people to take pride in their area and refrain from any type of fly tipping. There is no excuse for this indiscriminate dumping. If anyone has an item of furniture or bulky items that needs collected for disposal they should ring the City Council cleansing department to make arrangements for that to happen.

“These bulky lifts and clean ups give the local residents pride in their area and a sense of ownership and responsibility through community participation.


McCartney expresses solidarity with victims of Paris attacks

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has today expressed solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks and all victims of global wars.

He said; City centre walkabout

“We pledge our solidarity to the people of Paris at this terrible time.

“We extend deepest sympathy to the victims and survivors of Friday night’s horror and send our love and respect to all the people of that wounded city with which we enjoy close ties of history and community.

“Our thoughts are with all victims of the global wars which engulf us today, wars in which it is civilian populations who suffer most and who are most frightened as we saw clearly in Beirut also this weekend.

“We stand with the people of Paris in their message to the assailants of ISIS, in the words of the famous civil rights song; ‘We are not afraid’.”

Let see factory girls sculpture in 2016 -McLaughlin

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called on Derry City and Strabane Council to submit a planning application for the Factory Girls sculpture.Maeve McLaughlin, City Hotel
The Foyle MLA said “It’s hard to believe that this process is over 10 years old.  There have been sufficient discussion and obstacles that in my view have been overcome.
I find it unacceptable that this process to remember the role that Derry women played in our city has taken this time. It’s dragged on for far too long so we need to move this to the next stage.
Let’s make 2016 the year when we see this legacy to an important piece of our citys history clearly marked in front of the Guildhall.

Sinn Féin will continue to support Bloody Sunday families – McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said Sinn Féin will continue to support the Bloody Sunday families in their campaign for justice.

Mr McCartney said; bloody_sunday

“Over the years the relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday have faced many delays in their campaign and have done so with great dignity.

“They have already waited too long for justice and no further obstacles should be placed in their way.

“The PSNI investigation into the murders carried out on Bloody Sunday should proceed without any further delays or interference.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the Bloody Sunday families in their long campaign for justice.”

Stalling on disclosure a major stumbling block to comprehensive agreement – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said  that the failure so far to deliver maximum disclosure for families of victims of the conflict is now a major stumbling block to reaching a comprehensive agreement.City centre walkabout

He said:

“Over the past nine weeks Sinn Féin has worked constructively to implement the existing agreements and resolve the many challenges facing the institutions, our economy and the community.

“Progress has been made on the talks between the parties and governments across a number of issues.

“The Stormont House Agreement provided maximum disclosure for the families of victims of the conflict.

“Thus far this has not been delivered. This is now a major stumbling block to reaching a comprehensive agreement.”


Money for injury claims but not prevention measures ?Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has said resident’s in the Bogside are aghast money has been set aside for injury claims but not pumped into what many would see as prevention measures.

She was speaking after residents called for the installation of dropped kerb to make easy wheelchair and pedestrian accessPatricia Logue new pic 22


Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue said


Residents have been in contact with me calling for drop kerbs to be installed to make access to their homes and end of footpaths easier particularly for wheelchair access. This is a very settled community and has a high older population and we need to be doing everything we can to make it better area to live in.


I did an onsite meeting in the Bogside with Transport NI employees looking to get dropped kerbs for the Father Mulvey Park, Eglington Place, Lisfannon Park and Blucher Street areas.



Sadly I was informed whilst it was agreed that there is a need for dropped kerbs and this location has now been added to the list that there is a year’s waiting list and it normally just three months for the process



The Minister has cut the budget for dropped kerbs, sign posting and filling in potholes if they are not a certain depth but ironically has kept budget for compensation.



Residents I have spoken to are aghast money has been set aside for injury claims but not pumped into what many would see as prevention measures.



I will be writing to Disability Action about this as a matter of urgency. It’s disgraceful that people with disabilities are being treated in this way.

McGinley welcomes agency response over Ringfort Road roundabout

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed the response from agencies to requests for overgrowth at the Ringfort Road roundabout to be removed as a matter of urgency.


Cllr. McGinley said: “I had been made aware that foliage bordering the bottom of Ringfort Road had grown to such an extent that pedestrians were moving on to the roadway to pass particular points.


Of particular concern were the potential dangers that faced schoolchildren who would use the footpath going to and returning from school.   There were also dangers posed through drivers having their sightlines obscured as they approach the roundabout from certain directions.”


I am pleased to report that Transport NI, Housing Executive and Choice Housing have all responded positively to  my requests and work is now ongoing to address the concerns which I have raised.”

Install carbon monoxide detectors in all new builds -Hassan

Commenting Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Councillor Tony Hassan said???????????????????????????????


” November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness month and I am calling on people in Derry to be aware of the dangers.


“Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas that kills and unfortunately over the past few years we have seen an increase in tragic deaths of several people due to carbon monoxide poisoning.


“It is important that people are aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, the situations that cause poisoning and how we can protect ourselves from carbon monoxide.


“I am calling on house providers both public and private to install carbon monoxide detectors in all new builds and for a subsidy to be provided for people to purchase detectors for current homes.


“I would call on people especially those who live in buildings deemed at high risk to purchase a detector immediately as this small investment could save you and your family’s lives.”


Robbery of shop at Strathfoyle

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming commenting on the armed robbery of a shop at Deramore Drive in Strathfoyle just after tea time on Thursday night saidPaul-Fleming

“This must have been a very frightening experience for the member of staff as it’s reported a screwdriver was used during this robbery.

I would urge anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI immediately.


Nelson revelations highlight need for full disclosure – Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said today revelations in a Belfast newspaper on a campaign of murder waged against Republicans and nationalists by British military intelligence points up the necessity for full disclosure of the truth to victims and survivors of the conflict.

And the North Belfast MLA said that the Irish government need to hold the British government to account for its plans to launch another UDA bombing campaign in the south against civilian targets.

Gerry Kelly said:

“The revelations in the extracts of British military intelligence agent Brian Nelson’s manuscript are another damning indictment of those who ran Britain’s Dirty War and those charged with investigating it.

“It is time for the British Government to come out from behind the wall of ‘National Security’ and allow the victims and survivors to have the truth about the deaths of their loved ones.

“British military intelligence actively directed and assisted, at the highest levels, UDA death squads responsible for the murder and attempted murders of nationalists and republicans.

“The British state provided weapons and intelligence to the UDA through Nelson and other agents and directed and cleared them to assassinate Pat Finucane, Jack Kielty, Loughlin Maginn, Michael Power, Francisco Notorantonio and Gerard Slane.

“This state-sponsored gang also shot and wounded Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey, targeted Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness and made numerous attempts to murder other nationalists and republicans.

“Nelson has also revealed that his military intelligence handlers had also encouraged him to mount a bombing campaign in the south of Ireland.

“The Stevens inquiry sent files to the then DPP in 2003 on 25 individuals including military intelligence personnel with a view to charging them with offences related to this murder campaign.

“Twelve years later despite mounting evidence of collusion between military intelligence and unionist death squads there has been no progress made in prosecuting those at the heart of this.

“I have contacted senior police today and am writing to the Director of the Public Prosecution Service to ask for a meeting to discuss the latest revelations and to seek answers about the failure to prosecute a single person following John Stevens third inquiry into collusion.

“The British state has demonstrated clearly that it is not capable of investigating the illegal and murderous actions of its own forces in the conflict.

“There is a need too for the Irish government to hold the British government to account on its efforts to launch a UDA bombing campaign against civilian targets in the South.

“The bombing campaign planned by military intelligence handlers in the late ‘80s followed on from a series of British inspired bombings in the south in the 1970s including the Dublin/Monaghan bombings which claimed 34 lives.

“It is imperative that we agree the architecture of dealing with all legacy issues in the present talks process. For that to be successful the British Secretary of State must relinquish her veto over families receiving the truth. The term ‘National Security’ is being used to hide involvement in State collusion and State-sponsored murder.”

Mayor says facilities for Strathfoyle is a priority

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion is to convene a meeting with statutory agencies and community groups to discuss the need for facilities for people living in the Strathfoyle area of the city.

Last week the Mayor spent a day in Strathfoyle meeting with community representatives and local residents to see at first hand the excellent work being done on the ground. During her visit, the lack of facilities for the community was highlighted and the Mayor pledged to support their campaign for better facilities, most notably a play park for the area.

“I was delighted to be invited to Strathfoyle last week. It was a great opportunity for me not only to meet with local residents but to find out the real issues affecting them and help identify areas of real need in their locality. There is an amazing amount of work being done in the Strathfoyle area, so many people doing so much positive work to benefit the area and the community living there. I think it is important that we build on that good work and collectively engage to campaign for better facilities for Strathfoyle.

“I will be convening a meeting over the coming weeks with statutory agencies and community groups to look at what we can do collectively to secure funding and a commitment from Government to invest in this area of the city and district,” she said.


Governments’ contribution key to getting a resolution – McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said today that the contribution of the British and Irish governments is key to getting a resolution to the difficult issues facing the Executive.

Martin McGuinness said:21248933615_c29bc001b5_k

“Sinn Féin is working constructively to find solutions to the many challenges facing the institutions and society in the north.

“We are seeking to secure the full implementation of the previous agreements and to tackle Tory austerity.

“Key to this in these negotiations is the contribution of the British and Irish governments.

“Sinn Féin has been seeking to get both governments to address the central issues of a workable budget and the need for full disclosure in dealing with the past.

“The British government is not honouring its agreement to provide relatives of victims with full disclosure on the actions of its agents, army and police during the conflict.

“The British government need to provide a workable budget for the Executive.

“The Irish government has thus far not honoured its commitments. It must stand up for the Good Friday and other agreements.

“The talks process cannot continue indefinitely. Citizens deserve a successful conclusion.

“To achieve this the two governments must demonstrate the same urgency as the political parties have in seeking an agreement.”

‘Those who died in WW1 were not heroes but victims,’ say Veterans for Peace

White Poppy ceremony at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance

Veterans for Peace lay a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin

A WREATH OF WHITE POPPIES was laid in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin on Wednesday by veterans from the Irish, US and British armed forces to remember all those – soldiers and civilians – killed and injured in war.

The ‘White Poppy‘ event was organised by Veterans for Peace (Ireland), who hit out at the Irish Government for complicity in ongoing wars by allowing places such as Shannon to serve as “forward air bases to fuel wars in the Middle East”.

One of those taking part in the event was World War 2 veteran Norman Scarth, aged 90.

On Christmas Day 1943, Norman was serving on HMS Matchless during the Battle of the North Cape and took part in the sinking of the feared German battleship Scharnhorst, an attack that left more than 1,800 German sailors dead.

At the Garden of Remembrance, Norman told An Phoblacht:

“Tragically, those men all died in vain, as did my own brave young shipmates. Everything we fought against is now in Britain,” he said, condemning the failure of the British state to uphold human rights along with what he described as “endemic corruption” within the state itself.

Noting the ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, Veterans for Peace said:

“The present chaos in the Middle East has been mainly caused by irresponsible and illegal wars waged under the false banner of humanitarian intervention, just as World War 1 was justified in Ireland as a war ‘in defence of small nations’.”

Others taking part in the event included Edward Horgan, a former Irish Defence Forces commandant and UN peacekeeper, who said:

“Those soldiers who died in WW1 were, for the most part, not heroes but victims who were conned by their leaders. Those who were shot at dawn due to post-traumatic stress (PTSD) were not cowards. They too were victims of war.”

◼︎ Veterans for Peace UK – made up of British armed forces former personnel, including those who have served in Ireland and the Middle East – staged their own ‘White Poppy’ commemoration at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

Veterans for Peace

Large fire at Campsie industrial estate-Fleming‏

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming commenting on the large fire at the an industrial estate at Campsie just outside Derry.Paul-Fleming

He said “This is a major fire and I hope that it can brought under control as quickly as possible. Of paramount importance also is the safety of local residents who live nearby. I would urge anyone with chest problems or breathing difficulties to stay indoors until this incident is over”


McLaughlin concerned at Invista jobs fears

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has expressed concern that 48 jobs could be lost at Invista in Maydown.

The Foyle MLA said; Maeve McLaughlin, City Hotel

“News that Invista is seeking 48 redundancies at its plant in Maydown is very worrying.

“This will undoubtedly come as a shock to the employees involved and their families, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

“This announcement is a blow to the local economy in the north west.

“I would call on management at the company to work with staff and trade unions to keep employees up to date during this difficult time.

“They should also make sure that retraining and upskilling opportunities are put in place for the workers involved to help them secure alternative employment.”

Governments need to bring urgency to the political talks – McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said today the British and Irish governments needed to bring the same urgency to the political talks as the local parties if there was to be a successful conclusion.21132301229_42a8a1c516_k

Martin McGuinness said:

“Sinn Féin has been actively seeking a resolution to a number of difficult issues including a workable budget for the Executive and the full implementation of previous agreements.

“We have worked constructively on the issues of parades, identity, institutional reform and criminality and the continued existence of armed and active paramilitary groups.

“We have been involved in an intensive rounds of talks with all the parties and the two governments.

“Progress has been made on a number of these issues between the parties.

“The two governments need to live up to their responsibilities in regard to legacy, budget and outstanding commitments.

“The governments need to bring the same focus, generosity and urgency to the talks as some of the more responsible parties have if they are to be successfully concluded.”

McLaughlin launches Aware’s Mindfulness Day

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has praised Aware for its Mindfulness project to help people with depression. CTE2e25WIAElo4v

Speaking at the launch of Aware’s Mindfulness Day, the chair of the Assembly health committee said;

“I was pleased to launch Aware’s Mindfulness Day to raise awareness of the excellent work Aware does to help people with depression.

“One in four people will experience depression at some stage in their lives.

“Aware have been delivering its Mindfulness programme successfully across the North for the last 18 months.

“They have now announced plans to make November 10th ‘Annual Mindfulness Day’ to raise awareness of this way of treating depression.

“As well as helping people with depression, mindfulness can also help across a range of areas including health, education and the criminal justice system.

“I congratulate Aware on their great work to date and wish them every success with the roll out of this project in the future.”

Bloody Sunday arrest a step forward in campaign for justice – McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has described the arrest of a former British solder in connection with the investigation into Bloody Sunday as a step forward in the campaign for justice.

MLA Raymond McCartney

MLA Raymond McCartney

Mr McCartney said;

“This is another step forward in the long campaign for justice by the Bloody Sunday families.

“This is the first arrest to be carried out as part of the new investigation into the murders carried out on Bloody Sunday.

“I would call on the PSNI to ensure the relatives are kept up to date of all developments on the investigations.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the Bloody Sunday families in the campaign for truth and justice.”

Xmas shoppers don’t get caught with Sunday parking fees -Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has urged Christmas shoppers heading into Derry on a Sunday to be mindful that there is a charge for using car parks in the city centre during November and December.

Councillor Colly Kelly said “I would just like to warn people not to get caught out with parking fines over the next two months. In the run up to Christmas these car parks on Sundays are always very busy so I would urge people to check the signage and the correct parking charges.

Every penny counts at this time of year and last thing anyone wants to happen is to return from a day out in the city centre to find a parking ticket on their car.


McClean victim of ‘poppy bullying’ culture — McCartney

Sinn Féin Derry MLA Raymond McCartney has condemned what has become an annual witch hunt by sections of the media and on social media sites against footballer James McClean for his decision not to wear a poppy.Raymond Brandywell Head shot


Raymond McCartney said:


“No person, in any walk of life, should be forced to wear any symbol. That includes the poppy symbol of the Royal British Legion. Neither should any offence be read into a person’s choice to wear such a symbol.


“It appears that James McClean is now the subject of an annual witch hunt because of his choice not to wear a poppy on his shirt when playing football.


“This ‘poppy bullying’ culture raises its head at this time every year. We have even seen attempts to make workplaces compulsory poppy wearing zones.


“The right of people not to feel intimidated into wearing a poppy must be recognised. That includes professional footballers.


“James McClean chose not to wear a poppy but did stand respectfully during the minute’s silence and his choice in this regard should be respected.” CRÍOCH

This election is a chance to make history for Donegal & a chance to make real change – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has spoken of the importance of the general election for the constituency of Donegal, as a third Sinn Féin candidate, Gary Doherty, is selected.

Addressing the selection convention, Ms Anderson said,CTW4EZfWwAAtS9-

“It’s only by us taking time to recognise the journey we’ve travelled that we can today appreciate the magnitude of the threshold on which we now stand.

“As Republicans, as Democrats, as Socialists, as Progressives, as Irish Citizens, north and south, we have changed the face of Irish history. From conflict to politics, from discrimination to progress, from isolation to inclusion.

“For too long, Donegal’s past has been dominated by conservative parties.

They have managed the neglect of this county.

“Their catalogue of chaos is unending – some of the highest unemployment and emigration rates in the country, poor healthcare provision underwritten by a privatisation agenda and failure to deliver serious rail and road infrastructure.

“The list goes on, and on, and on. Small towns across this county have been decimated by the scourge of neglect and inequality and emigration.

“This election is about farming and fishing families in this great county; about corner shops and small business; and about redressing decades of social unfairness and economic injustice.

“This election will be a chance to make history for Donegal, for Sinn Féin and is another chance to make real change.” ENDS

McCartney congratulates Shiels on Derry City FC appointment.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA and Derry City FC supporter Raymond McCartney has congratulated Kenny Shiels on his appointment as the new manager of Derry City Football Club.

He saidRaymond Brandywell Head shot

“I would like to congratulate Kenny on being appointed as manager of Derry City FC and wish him every success as he takes over the reins and prepares for next season.

Kerrigan should withdraw offensive comments made about the LGBT community‏

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Fleming has said the deputy mayor of Derry and Strabane should withdraw offensive comments made about the LGBT community.
Councillor Fleming said; 
“There can be no place for these out-dated and intolerant views which will no doubt have caused great offence within the LGBT community.
“Sinn Féin is totally opposed to all forms of discrimination, including homophobia, racism and sexism.
“Derry and the north west has established an internationally recognised reputation for its welcome for all communities, particularly members of the LGBT community.
“The Foyle Pride festival is well supported by the entire community and is one of the highlights of the local civic calendar.
“Those in positions of civic leadership have a responsibility to represent everyone in our community.
“These offensive comments were made just days after the DUP once again blocked marriage equality in the Assembly, despite the democratically expressed will of the majority of MLAs.
“Councillor Thomas Kerrigan should withdraw these offensive remarks and apologise for the offence they have caused.”

Campbell meets Housing Executive over Gas installation

Councillor Kevin Campbell said “Maeve Mc Laughlin MLA and i held a meeting with senior members of the Housing Executive in relation to the installation of gas to nearly 180 homes in the city. 

As stated in the letter they have issued to the residents the scheme is to go ahead in early 2016 and Housing Executive will be in touch with them early in the New Year to firm up a start date.

Whilst this is welcome news it is wholly unacceptable that residents have been placed in this situation in the first place. Residents now need to be given a definite start date as a matter of urgency and we will continue to lobby to ensure that this happens.


Spate of burglaries in the Foyle Springs area -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has urged residents to increase their home security following a spate of burglaries in the Foyle Springs area.Eric new head shot 20144

Cllr. McGinley said: “In recent weeks residents have expressed concern at the number of attempted and actual burglaries in the Foyle Springs area of the city.   It appears as though the criminals involved are looking in particular for doors and windows which are left open.

Whilst there is no excuse for the actions of those involved in these crimes I would urge residents to take every precaution they can to ensure that these criminals are denied the opportunity to access their properties and steal their belongings.   I will continue to make representations to the PSNI to provide increased resources to combat this criminal behaviour.

I would also highlight to residents the home security equipment and advice which is available on request and to make contact with me if you wish to avail of this service.


Minister to come before health committee to discuss plans – McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has said health minister Simon Hamilton will come before the health committee on Wednesday to explain proposed major changes to the health service.

The Chair of the Assembly’s health committee said; CTE2e25WIAElo4v

“The health minister announced his intention to bring in major changes to the health service this week.

“Following his announcement I invited Simon Hamilton to come before the Assembly’s health committee to explain his proposals and provide more detail about the plans.

“The minister has now confirmed that he will come to the committee on Wednesday and take questions from MLAs on the proposals.

“There is no doubt that major change is required in the health service and I welcome any plans to make the service better for patients and frontline staff.

“I look forward to the minister’s appearance at the committee and hope he can provide the required detail about the planned changes.”

Positive response to first phase of Rosemount gas installation -Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the positive response he has received with the first phase of the installation of gas energy into homes in the Rosemount area nears completion.

Councillor Cooper said

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

“In July I welcomed the news that hundreds of residents in Rosemount would be available to avail of the option of getting gas central heating in their homes.

The first phase of this scheme is now nearing completion just in time for the winter.

Over the years residents had complained to me about their lack of energy options .Since the scheme started I have received very positive feedback from residents and landlords.

This will provide a cleaner and more efficient source of heating for the residents and give them a cheaper fuel option.

I look forward to similar response from other residents in Rosemount and Glenview and hope the reduced fuel costs will see more families moving into the area to bring an enhanced sense of community back to area.

Hassan welcomes commitment on new windows scheme

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan said lg_tony_hassan_copy2


I have been contacted by a number of residents in Fergleen and Ederowen Park  who highlighted their concerns that the Window Replacement scheme that had been scheduled for Housing Executive property in the area had been postponed or possibly cancelled.


In response to this I have spoken to the local manager of the Housing Executive to try and ensure that the work will happen as planned at the start of 2016.


I happy to inform those residents that where due to benefit from this scheme that I have managed to get this commitment from the Housing Executive and in fact they have told me that this work will commence sooner than planned and will begin in early November 2015.


I hope that this information alleviates residents’ concerns. If any resident wishes to discuss this matter further please do not to hesitate to contact at our constituency office on the Racecourse Road.


Report a damning indictment of Prison Service failures

Sinn Féin vice-Chair of the Assembly Justice Committee, Raymond McCartney MLA has described the report into the operation of the North’s Prisons as a damning indictment of the Prison Service failures.City centre walkabout

Mr McCartney said:

“This Report is a damning indictment of the Prison Service failures particularly in Maghaberry. It highlights a lack of leadership at senior level, resistance to change, concerns around Health care provision, endemic absenteeism among other serious failings.

“Prison service administration must at all times be delivered in a human rights compliant manner and every one of the findings in this report has a negative impact on the human rights of prisoners as well as the working environment for prison staff..

“This is just the latest in a litany of reports to highlight similar failings and it must not just become another addition to the existing library of reports that sit on a shelf until another incident occurs to trigger another investigation.

“The issues underscored in this report must be fully addressed and implemented and just as importantly be seen to have been addressed without further delay.

“I am calling on the Justice Committee to request that the Minister appear before it to answer the serious issues raised by this Report.

Stakeknife inquiry must be independent of PSNI -McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said that the families of Caroline Moreland and Joe Mulhern deserve an independent inquiry into the role of the British Secret Service and their agent ‘Stakeknife’ in their deaths.raymond mccartney

Mr McCartney said,

‘The families of Caroline Moreland and Joe Mulhern have no confidence in an investigation lead by the PSNI into the activities of British State agent ‘Stakeknife’ so they have taken their case to the High Court in order to secure an independent investigation.

“It is a known fact that British intelligence and RUC Special Branch personnel colluded with agents to commit murder with impunity so there is need for an independent investigative body to carry out any inquiry into the role of Stakeknife in the conflict.

“Sinn Féin support the action taken by the families today for an independent inquiry and will continue to support them in their search for the truth.”

McLaughlin calls on health minister to come to committee to explain plans

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called on the health minister to come before the health committee to explain the details of the proposed changes to the health service.

The chair of the Assembly’s health committee said; Maeve McLaughlin, City Hotel

“It is clear that there is a real need for major structural change in our health service and that is something we have been advocating for a number of years.

“Health care workers and trade unions have said there is too much duplication and bureaucracy in the service.

“I welcome the health minister’s intention to bring in major reforms of the service as a way of improving delivery.

“Hopefully this will result in more resources being made available for the delivery of frontline services and improved health outcomes for patients.

“However, we need to see more detail on these proposals so I have now invited the health minister to come before the Assembly’s health committee and explain these proposals in detail.

“Some of these proposals may also require legislative change and we need to examine that.

“Those who work in the health service and trade union should also be consulted on any proposals to change the service.”

McLaughlin welcomes health minister’s commitment on reform plans

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed a commitment from the health minister to bring forward plans for reform of the health and social care system.

The chair of the Assembly’s health committee said; MLA   MAEVE MCLAUGHLIN

“Sinn Féin has been calling for the reform of the health and social care system for a number of years to improve the health service for everyone.

“I wrote to the minister asking him to outline his plans for reform of the system to meet the challenges we are currently facing and he has now responded saying he intends to outline his plans shortly.

“There is a clear need for structural reform to address the duplication and confusion in the system.

“The minister needs to tackle the tiers in the service and ensure that bureaucracy does not come before the needs of patients.

“I welcome that commitment and look forward to hearing the minister’s proposals.”

Anderson raises data protection and privacy with Minister for cyber administration in China

As part of her trip to China with the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson today met Mr Lu Wei, Minister of the Cyber Administration of China.CS9LQ64WcAAcUIJ

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Anderson said: “We had a constructive meeting with Mr Lu and his colleagues in the State Internet Information Office, where we discussed several issues of importance to EU-China relations in cyber activity.

“European representatives raised the issue of internet freedom and censorship in China, as well as the issue of freedom of expression for Chinese citizens online, in particular on social media. The rights to access information on the internet, and to express ideas online, are fundamental and should not be unreasonably restricted in China, or anywhere else.

“European technology companies are pushing for increased access to Chinese markets for their products and programmes, and during the meeting I urged all representatives present that data protection and privacy of all users must be safeguarded.

“Last week the European Parliament passed a motion against mass electronic surveillance, which focused on the activities of Western security agencies, particularly the US NSA, Britain’s GCHQ and others. The privacy of internet users is a fundamental right, and this right should be defended in Europe and in China.

“In our meeting, I raised with the minister the need for change in the Chinese system where at present there are no legal restrictions on the state accessing the data and online activity of internet users.

“As we move increasingly towards cloud computing and online storage of personal information, we need demonstrable commitments from the Chinese government that legal restrictions on such unlimited state access will be imposed on any cloud storage based in China that holds information of EU consumers.”

Another topic discussed at the meeting was the issue of hacking and cyber attacks.

Ms Anderson said: ”Both Chinese and US authorities have been criticised by the international community over so-called cyber-attacks against each other, in which government personnel information, commercial secrets and military information have been stolen in hacking episodes.

“The EU needs to acknowledge that such activities have been carried out by EU member states and by the US in particular on a massive scale, instead of solely pointing the finger at China. Similarly, we need a commitment from China to engage in a framework for bringing these attacks to an end.

“We don’t want to see an escalating spiral of such cyber attacks. I welcome the fact that in recent weeks the US and China have reached an agreement on mutually ending such activities. This specific agreement may not be lasting in the long term, but such cooperation and international agreements are the key to bringing an end to this activity.” ENDS

Outrage after car set on fire inside City Cemetery –Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has slammed those responsible for setting fire to a car inside the City Cemetery on the Lone Moor Road.

Councillor Logue said “This is shock and anger in the local community on hearing the news of a car being set on fire in the new section of the City Cemetery along the Lone Moor  Road .

There have been a number of incidents of vandalism in the cemetery over recent years but this is taking it to a whole new level.

I would appeal for it to stop immediately and if anybody knows who was involved to hand that information into the council and the police straight away because we want this to stop.”


Anderson in China visit to crack down on so-called legal highs

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will travel to China today in a bid to crack down on the manufacture and sale of so-called legal highs.

Ms Anderson said;Martina new pic 201

“We are all aware of the misery caused by these psychoactive substances or so-called legal highs.

“These toxic substances destroy people’s lives and have been linked to countless deaths.

“While we have been able to limit the sale of some of these dangerous drugs in Ireland, others are still available and continue to put lives at risk.

“Many of these drugs are manufactured in China and end up on our streets across Ireland.

“My fellow members of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee are travelling to China to look at what can be down to combat the manufacture of these psychoactive substances and what can be done to stem the flow.

“We will meet a range of groups during our visit, which will last for four days.

“It is important that the trade in these drugs is stopped before any more lives are lost.”

History made as majority of Assembly backs marriage equality – McLaughlin‏

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin  has said history was made in the Assembly today when the majority of MLAs backed marriage equality.

Maeve McLaughlin  said; Maeve McLaughlin, City Hotel

“It is hugely important that more than half the Assembly has voted in favour of marriage equality.

“This signals a major shift in society with more and more people supporting marriage equality for our LGBT community.

“It vindicates our position to bring this motion forward for the fifth time and we will continue to push on until equality becomes law.

“It is also encouraging that growing numbers of unionists are now supporting marriage equality.

“It is disappointing there are still those who oppose equality and  used a petition of concern to block this motion.

“Marriage equality needs to happen right across the island. We cannot have a situation where we continue to have inequality against members of the LGBT community.

“This is a historic day but the campaign from marriage equality is not over and will not be until we have equality enshrined in legislation.”

Council action around Glen Play Park -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has highlighted the need for Council to ensure that the area around the Glen Play Park is kept clear of refuseWP_20151013_15_27_21_Pro

Cllr. McGinley said: “Over recent weeks large crowds of young people have been gathering at the Glen Play Park and this is an ongoing issue which we are continuing to monitor.   Whilst the vast majority of those congregating are not involved in any untoward behaviour a consequence of the crowds gathering has been the amount of refuse which is left behind.

I have asked Council to ensure that adequate resources are made available to clean up the area around the park as quickly as possible whilst the park is attracting such large crowds and to provide reassurance to residents that the streets will be kept free of litter and refuse as much as possible.”

Anderson calls on Irish government to grant asylum to Snowden

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed a European Parliament vote in favour of granting asylum to whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Ms Anderson said:

MEP Martina Anderson

MEP Martina Anderson

“My Sinn Féin colleagues and I are thrilled at the outcome of the vote on this amendment, which was proposed by members of the Greens and of our parliamentary Group, the GUE/NGL.

“The amendment calls on EU member states to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden and grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle blower and international human rights defender.

“I am absolutely astonished that the four Fine Gael MEPs voted against this amendment. Do they seriously favour the persecution of this man who, at enormous personal risk, has exposed the mass surveillance by US agencies of the communications of billions of people around the world?

“In 2013 Edward Snowden, a former senior NSA analyst, exposed the extent of the NSA’s domestic and international spying.

“He also provided irrefutable proof that NSA officials at the highest level had repeatedly lied to the US Congress for years about the extent of their domestic spying programs.

“The Irish government should acknowledge his status as a whistle-blower and international human rights defender, as affirmed by the European Parliament

“He applied for asylum in Ireland in 2013 but the Irish government refused to provide an assurance of granting asylum, saying it could not process an application unless it was made from within Ireland. In the wake of this vote by the European Parliament, the Irish government should immediately provide an assurance to Snowden that he will be granted asylum, protection and safe passage should he choose to live in or travel through Ireland.”

Hassan slams overnight “so-called joy riding” incidents

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan commenting after number of incidents in the Carnhill and Galliagh areas  overnight ,said

“There were a number incidents of so-called joy riding in the Carnhill and Galliagh areas in the early hours of Sunday morning.Residents are rightly worried that someone will be seriously harmed by the actions of the reckless individuals involved in these car crimes.

A number of cars were abandoned in the area. I am now hoping to get them removed as quickly as possible.

It is vitally important that we identify and hold to account those responsible and I would encourage residents to provide us with any information which will assist us in removing these criminals from our streets.

In another incident the window of a home in the Altcar area was smashed.


McLaughlin calls for urgent investment in older people’s care

Sinn Féin Foyle  MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called for urgent investment in caring for older people.

The chair of the Assembly’s health committee said; IMG_1223

“I welcome the report from the Older People’s Commissioner but very concerned that the health service is failing to meet the needs of older people.

“How we care for older members of our community speaks volumes about us as a society.

“If we are serious about keeping older people out of hospital and in the community then it is not rocket science that we should invest in care packages and residential and supported living options.

“More than three years ago we are told that the Transforming Your Care strategy would see the shift of £83million from hospitals to communities but to date only £44million has been moved. That needs to increase.

“If we are to improve how we care for older people and our ageing population then we need to increase investment and see proper planning for the future.”

Digital Hub for Rosemount factory launched next month-Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the news that the launch of the Outer West Digital Hub will take place in the Rosemount factory on 14th November- Saturday 12.00pm -5.00pm.

Councillor Cooper said

This is a culmination of many years work involving the  Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL), council, the Outer West Partnership Board and myself which has resulted in DCAL funding for the wide range of digital equipment including AppeMac PC’s, sound recording equipment and much more which will be available to used by all residents in the Outerwest area. The council has also provided support for the new accredited training programmes which will be delivered in the hub over the winter and spring period and partnerships have also been developed through the North West Regional College, NORIBIC and other agencies to develop further training and employment opportunity for young people from the OuterWest area.

The hub will also breathe new life into the Rosemount factory building which compliments the ongoing work to Brooke Park and the recently completed Creggan Burn.

I would like to thank DCAL for agreeing to supply the additional capital funding required to make the hub fit for purpose before its launch.

I hope the new facility will be used by all sections and age groups of the local community. Further information on what the hub will offer will be available on the 14th November at the launch.


Opportunity for Ebrington development to be progressed-McLaughlin

Commenting on the announcement that urban regeneration company ILEX is to be wound up Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin said:
“The winding up of ILEX and bringing it under the control of OFMDFM and SIB (Strategic Investment Board) presents  an opportunity to drive forward the development of the Ebrington site with a refreshed focus.?????????????????????????????????
“It is unfortunate for the employees involved that this development may result in some redundancies but I hope they will be kept to a minimum. 
“However it is vital that we ensure Ebrington is properly developed so that 100’s of highly paid new jobs can be delivered on the site, through the construction of the proposed new Grade A Office accommodation and other development.
“I would expect that an onsite office for its  officials, will ensure that we bring an OFMDFM presence to Derry to directly focus on this regeneration project.
“Despite the clear flaws in ILEX highlighted in the Review, momentum had been building more recently in relation to Ebrington and it is crucial that that momentum is maintained and accelerated.
“I also welcome the reviews recommendation that the Ebrington site passes to Derry and Strabane Council in a reasonably short period of time. 
“I am confident that the Council will also ensure that the potential jewel in the city’s crown becomes a reality.” CRÍOCH/END

McGinley calls for removal of dangerous undergrowth at busy roundabout

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has called for overgrowth at the Ringfort Road roundabout to be removed as a matter of urgency.WP_20151015_09_27_54_Pro


Cllr. McGinley said: “I have been made aware that foliage bordering the bottom of Ringfort Road has grown to such an extent that pedestrians are having to move on to the roadway to pass particular points.


Of particular concern is the potential dangers that face schoolchildren who would use the footpath going to and returning from school.   There is also the dangers posed through drivers having their sightlines obscured as they approach the roundabout from certain directions.”


I have been endeavouring to identify which agencies would have responsibility for maintaining this area and hope to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible.”

Sinn Féin and the IRA Army Council

Sinn Féin and the IRA Army Council

SO HERE’S how it works.

At 5am, my Army Council-issue alarm clock abruptly wakes me. I jump out of bed and take a 4-minute military-style cold shower.

I then eagerly stand to attention beside the Army Council-issue telex machine. At 5:25am, my orders arrive telling me where to go, who to meet and what to say.

Duly instructed, I go about my business as a Sinn Féin activist and South Dublin County Councillor.

At 10pm, having completed my allotted tasks for the day, I return home. I read my designated 24 pages of the Army Council-issue Collected Writings of Comrade Adams. At 10:45pm, content that I have served my master well, I go to sleep.

When confronted with the important political issues of the day, I take my cue from an unknown group of people, meeting in secret, deciding what I should think and how I should respond.

I have no mind or opinions of my own. I blithely take instructions from others. I am but a small cog in a well-oiled machine designed and directed by the IRA Army Council.

This is what a motley crew of disgruntled securocrats, failing politicians and partisan journalists would have you believe. They present no evidence to support their outlandish claims. They are trading in lies.

The idea that a non-existent IRA Army Council tells me what to do is not only absurd, it is an insult.

It is an insult to the hundreds of us elected to public office and the thousands of party activists.

More importantly, it is an insult to the half a million people who vote for Sinn Féin.

Do you really think all of us are that stupid? Is it really credible to assert that more than half a million people are willingly complicit in such deception or too stupid see that the IRA Army Council are pulling the wool over their eyes?

Give me a break!

These claims and the increasingly hysterical debate surrounding them has nothing to do with the existence of the IRA or their alleged relationship to Sinn Féin. This is all about politics.

In the North, the crisis in the political institutions has reached a turning point. Tory austerity is crippling the Assembly, souring Executive relationships and jeopardising the Peace Process.

Sinn Féin’s principled stand in defence of those who would be worst affected by welfare and public spending cuts has stopped David Cameron and Peter Robinson in their tracks. The strength of our mandate and our arguments has placed an obstacle in the way of their corrosive policy agenda.

So what do you do when you are losing an argument? You change the subject. Out of nowhere you reveal that the bogyman of the IRA is back on the scene. Worse still, you claim that they are pulling the strings of the Sinn Féin puppet.

In vain, Cameron and Robinson hope that such ‘revelations’ will weaken Sinn Féin’s resolve and force us into making concessions on the full implementation of the Belfast and St Andrews Agreements and the Assembly Budget.

Mícheál Martin looking dumb

Meanwhile, across the Border, poor aul Mícheál Martin is feeling the pressure.

Fianna Fáil are stagnating in the polls. Their leader knows that his post-election choices are grim – a junior partner in government or another five years on the Opposition benches.

So he stands in front of the grave of the IRA’s ideological and organisational ancestors and rails against the Mafia-like cult known as Sinn Féin. Of course, poor aul Mícheál knows a thing or two about Mafias, albeit of the Galway Tent vintage, but that is besides the point.

Now everybody knows that in politics if you have nothing positive to say about yourself your only option is to attack your nearest opponent. Unfortunately for poor aul Mícheál, such disparate tactics inevitably backfire.

While Fianna Fáil’s relentless focus on Sinn Féin will do little to revive their flagging fortunes, it has the potential to undermine the Peace Process. But, given their recent support for the unionists’ attempt to collapse the Assembly, they clearly aren’t too worried about that.

Joan Burton looking through fingers

If you think that Fianna Fáil are desperate that’s nothing compared to the Labour Party.

Sinking in the mire of their own broken promises and incompetence, Labour leader Joan Burton is only delighted to have something to talk about other than the fiasco of Irish Water or the deepening housing and homelessness crisis.

For Fine Gael, the utility of attacking Sinn Féin is a little more sophisticated.

Stability and chaos is their clarion call as they head into the general election. No harm if their claim of economic instability can be reinforced with the more general calamity of crime and cordite. And, sure, they never cared too much about the Peace Process anyway.

Meanwhile, back in Irish Independent HQ in Talbot Street, the new guard at the helm have a problem. Flagging readership has caused a certain panic. In response, Spindo hacks wade deeper into the gutter with ever more bizarre stories about moles and cover-ups.

At the heart of all of this distraction and disinformation lies a simple fact. Two elections are fast approaching.

AP Election Special poster

Sinn Féin are doing well in the polls. The centres of power and privilege, North and South, are nervous.

For different reasons, and in different ways, the interests of Southern conservatives, Northern unionists and the British Government have converged.

Interestingly, they don’t want to confront Sinn Féin on the ground of which party has a better vision and programme for the future of Ireland. Instead, they retreat into fantasies about the existence of the IRA and its apparent control over our party.

So let me make it very clear. The IRA no longer exists. Sinn Féin controls our own destiny. Increasingly, more and more people support us.

It is the fear of fundamental social, economic and political change rather than the existence of the IRA Army Council that has the Establishment in such a spin.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must get back to my Army Council instructions for today or I’ll be in trouble . . .

First published in the Sunday Business Post, 25 October 2015

Tory austerity must be challenged at every opportunity – McGuinness‏

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said today that Tory austerity must be challenged at every opportunity. 21248933615_c29bc001b5_k

Speaking at the launch of Unite’s economic strategy at Stormont, Mr McGuinness said;

“We cannot stand aside and passively accept the swingeing cuts being pursued by a Conservative government wedded to an austerity agenda.

“The Tories may have been dealt a major blow this week after the House of Lords voted to delay tax credit cuts and to compensate those affected in full.

“But George Osborne’s assault on the welfare system and the most vulnerable people in society isn’t over. He will be back because this is a matter of ideology for the Tories.

“This arrogance must be confronted and challenged at every opportunity.

“These challenges are best faced by working together and I welcome the proposals put forward by Unite.

“It is time for everyone across civic society to join together to challenge Tory austerity in order to protect the least well off in our communities.”

McCartney calls on Osborne to scrap tax credits plans‏

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has called on the British Chancellor to scrap controversial plans to cut tax credits and to end his party’s ideological assault on low-paid workers.Speaking after last night’s votes in the British House of Lords, Raymond McCartney  said; City centre walkabout

“These votes are an indication of the growing opposition to the austerity agenda of George Osborne and the British government.

“The British Tory government has no mandate in the North yet its proposals to cut tax credits would have pushed thousands of local families into poverty.

“George Osborne and his millionaire colleagues in the Tory cabinet should now listen to the increasing numbers of people calling for change and an end to failed austerity policies.

“There is also a need for wider civic society in the North to come together and present a broad based opposition to Tory plans to drive people deeper into poverty.”

Confidence that Brandywell refurbishment will proceed on time – McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney is confident that the Brandywell stadium refurbishment will proceed within the agreed time frame.

Mr McCartney said,IMG_1223

“At the meeting of the Councils Health and Communities Committee on 15th October, officials were asked to look at options that would ensure that the Brandywell project would move on to the construction phase and thus ensure the maximum use of the facilities for all users.

“Since then I have met with Council officials and we now believe that a proposal in relation to the greyhound track can be put in place which will ensure that rent for the use of track can set at an affordable rate.

“This proposal will also entail measures that will mitigate against the high rent that state aid rules can impose on Derry City and Strabane Council.

“This should allow all the major users of the Brandywell stadium to agree for the construction to proceed as planned.

“Sinn Féin’s has consistently stated that the Foyle Valley Gateway is a key strategic priority in the One Plan, that it would pose challenges for all involved but with everyone working collectively that it will be delivered.

“It is important that the stadium refurbishment moves forward as planned and I am now confident that this will be the case.”


Roaming charges – a thorn in the side of border areas” – Anderson‏

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has expressed frustration as the abolition of roaming charges has been postponed until June 2017.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said,??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

“Roaming charges are a thorn in the side of the thousands of individuals living along the border corridor and who commute across the border to work.

“The abolition of these charges is something Sinn Féin has been campaigning for for over ten years and we were hopeful that they would be finally eliminated this December.

“Whilst we welcome the commitment that the charges will be removed eventually, it is regrettable that they will continue until June 2017.

“For those commuting regularly across the border, this results in a further penalty of an increased phone bill. It is also places a barrier for start-ups and cross border co-operation.

“I, along with my Sinn Féin, colleagues will continue to work by whatever means possible to secure the earliest possible abolition of roaming charges and ensure border areas are no longer penalised.”


Review of assessments of damp problems in local homes needed -Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has called for a review from the Housing Executive and housing associations in the way they carry out assessments of damp problems in local homes.

Councillor Logue said Patricia Logue new pic 22

I have been dealing with a number of families who have been affected by the problem of dampness in their homes.

We all know the problems dampness can have on a home and affects it have on people health. The Housing Executive have been doing a lot of work to try and address this but the residents I have spoken to said it wasn’t working in the long  run and there needed to be long term solution to this.

Currently residents are given advice on how to ventilate their home, clean the spots will bleach, paint the ceilings with gloss paint.

While I agree that proper ventilation does count, I am suggesting that Housing Executive  and housing associations should be looking at the other underlying issue that may be causing the problems such as getting a roofer to carrying out an inspection of  the tar felt under the eves which ultimately can be a cause of damp.

Glenowen road safety concerns -Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has said that there is an urgent need for a review of traffic management in Glenowen and the Bywash , Creggan Road areas.

 Councillor Kelly saidcolly and kevin

“There are two elements to the traffic problems faced by residents, pedestrians, and road users in the greater Glenowen area. Residents have contacted me concerned about the speed of the traffic travelling through the estate and the need for some form of traffic calming.

The second concern was the dangers particularly for local young children crossing the Bywash /Creggan Road to go to school or catch the bus. Anyone who uses this road on a daily basis knows the high volumes of traffic that use it particularly during rush hour and the dangers that this presents. It’s also very hard for motorist to exit out onto Creggan Road from Glenowen.

We carried out a petition in the development calling for the installation of traffic calming measures in consultation with residents and we  engaged with residents got a very positive response. The areas was last assessed for traffic calming features in 2012 .At the time it had a score that placed it at number 42 on the traffic calming priority list. Transport NI (Road Service) as funding becomes available schemes will be drawn from the list on a priority basis.

Residents are now calling on Transport NI to look at both aspects as a matter of urgency and move on these issues.

British government must meet commitments on inquests – McCartney‏

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney  has said the British government should live up to its responsibilities to fund legacy inquests.

Raymond McCartney   said; City centre walkabout“The comments of Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan at the Victims and Survivors Forum  will be given a cautious welcome by families seeking the truth about what happened to their loved ones.

“Declan Morgan confirmed  that preliminary hearings for all legacy cases will be scheduled for January 2016 to access the readiness of each case.

“He also said a High Court Judge will be appointed to deal with the most complex cases.

“It is also welcome that Declan Morgan has made it clear that a ‘visible political commitment from Westminster’ is required.

“The British government has repeatedly put obstacles in the path of families seeking the truth.

“They have tried to hide behind excuses about cost. So it is important that they listen to the words of the Lord Chief Justice and properly resource the coronial process so that legacy inquests can go ahead as soon as possible.

“Britain, as a result of its direct role in the conflict, has a responsibility to fund these legacy inquests.

“Some of these families have been waiting for up to 40 years for the truth and they should not have to wait any longer.

“All of this underscores the need to reach agreement on dealing with the past that meets the needs of victims and survivors and is compliant with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Ireland must remain frack free – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the withdrawal of an application to carry out drilling associated with fracking on the north coast.

Speaking after the “When communities stand their grounds” section of an NGL Climate Conference in Brussels, Ms Anderson said;MartinaAndersonMEP

“I welcome the fact that Rathlin energy have withdrawn an application to carry out drilling associated with fracking at Ballinlea.

“Fracking poses a serious threat to our environment, health and agriculture, not to mention our scenery and tourism. Given that the north coast is famous for its natural beauty, fracking in that area, or indeed any area of Ireland, would be ludicrous.

“Last February, along with party colleague Michelle Gildernew, I hosted the first anti-fracking conference in Ireland, in Fermanagh and here I was delighted to meet some of the anti-fracking activists from the Protect the North Coast group (PONC).

“These individuals, as well as my party colleague Daithí McKay, must be congratulated for their steadfast campaign and unwavering opposition, as it has resulted in this positive outcome.

“Sinn Féin will continue to work with anti-fracking groups across Ireland and do all in our power to ensure our island remains frack free.” ENDS

Refugee policies must be based on human rights – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said policies to deal with refugees must be based on human rights legislation.

Speaking at a conference on human rights organised by NICEM and NICRAS, Ms Anderson said; Martina new pic 201

“The international community and the European Union in particular has a responsibility to help address the growing humanitarian and refugee crisis across the Middle East and Europe.

“As an MEP, I have been working to ensure that all policies to deal with refugees are underpinned by human rights concerns.

“We have to make sure that refugees fleeing violence and persecution do not end up in countries where their human rights are not guaranteed.

“In my role as a member of the Committee for Regional Development I have been helping to shape a report on how EU cohesion policies can help refugees.

“Migrants and refugees in particular often face multiple forms of discrimination and have unique circumstances and needs. It is vital they are given the opportunity to help shape the programmes designed to help meet those needs.

“It is important that the communities involved, including refugees and migrants, are given more of a role in developing these programmes.

“I’ve also highlighted the need for an integrated approach in addressing access to key issues such as housing, educational and employment.”



New gas central heating systems to over 140 homes postponed –Campbell

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has called on the Housing Executive in Derry to clarify if a scheme to install new gas central heating systems in over 140 homes is to go ahead.

He was speaking after concerns were raised that the scheme which was to benefit homes across a wide area including the Bogside, Creggan, Rosemount and the Fountain is being postponed until March 2016.

Councillor Kevin Campbell said “I am calling on the Housing Executive to clarify if this scheme is still to go ahead in March 2016 with some residents fearing the timeframe could be longer and some concerned it may never happen.

Last week I raised concerns that the scheme could be delayed and now today I have learned that is indeed the case. Preparations have been ongoing for the installation of new systems and some families have been letting their oil supplies run down in anticipation of the new gas system and now they are  fearful they could be left in limbo.

We are heading into the winter months and people were looking forward to getting new central heating systems into their homes providing a cleaner and more efficient source of heating and hoping for much cheaper fuel bills.

Residents are now worried that they may once again be facing another harsh winter with heating systems which are no longer fit for purpose.

We all know the impact that fuel poverty has had on many homes across the city and this is the last thing we need to hear.

DUP have robbed sporting clubs of a valuable resource – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle  MLA Raymond McCartney has slammed the use of a Petition of Concern by the DUP against his bill that would see rates relief for amateur and community sports clubs stating that the DUP have denied our sporting clubs a valuable resource at a time when DUP ministers won’t even take their seats.


Raymond McCartney said:City centre walkabout

“The use of a petition of concern to block a private members bill by Daithí McKay that would see rates relief for community and amateur sports clubs, is an absolute disgrace.

“They have effectively taken money out of the pockets  of sports clubs across the north and wasted the time which many clubs have invested to see this bill brought forward.

“Sporting clubs do find it hard to make ends meet and every penny counts.

“This bill would have seen them being able to avail of a smaller rates bill which is money that would naturally be put back into the club for development and better facilities for all our communities.

“This would have provided a greater resource within our communities. I don’t think anyone could say that our sporting clubs, made up largely of thousands of volunteers giving hundreds of hours a year, could not benefit from this bill.

“We all know the very valuable work that sporting clubs carry out in terms of community cohesion, improving health and wellbeing, tackling depression and much, much more.

“I would urge members of sporting clubs whether in boxing, rugby, the GAA or soccer to contact their local DUP office and ask them why they are denying resources to hard-pressed clubs especially at a time when the DUP won’t even fill their ministerial posts in the Assembly.”

Sinn Féin committed to peace and political processes – McGuinness‏

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said our society is on a journey from conflict to peace and we all need to work to complete that journey so that violence becomes a thing of the past.CRw_BisUkAE042r.jpg large

Mr McGuinness said: 

“First and foremost, the murders of Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan are personal tragedies for the families involved and we should be mindful of their grief.

“It is a matter of historical fact that the IRA instructed its members in 2005:

‘to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means’ and ‘not engage in any other activities whatsoever’.

“It is clear the IRA leadership has successfully delivered on this transition from conflict to peace.

“Let me be absolutely clear and unequivocal. Sinn Féin is now the only organisation involved in the Republican struggle and in Republican activism.

“Republicans who support the Good Friday Agreement support the political institutions, support the peace process and don’t represent a threat to anyone in the community.

“There are of course enormous and urgent issues to be dealt with around the existence of armed groups, paramilitaries and criminality.

“We all have a responsibility to deal with these issues to tackle criminality and bring paramilitarism to an end and Sinn Féin will play a full part in this important work.

“We now need to get on with the pressing issues facing the community and the economy; Tory cuts to essential public services and attacks on working families and those on welfare and dealing with the legacy of the past.

“We will work positively and constructively with all the political parties and the two governments to achieve all of this.”

Sinn Féin will defend Mandate – Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking last night CRs8_BQWUAApdIF in Strabane on the eve of the expected report by the panel set-up by the British government to examine paramilitary activity said:

“Whatever its conclusions Sinn Féin will not tolerate any undermining of the rights of citizens who vote for Sinn Féin. This party has a mandate, democratically achieved at the ballot box and we will not accept any infringement or erosion of that mandate by the British government or anyone else.”

Gerry Adams told the latest public meeting in a series of leadership engagements across the north that:

“All of the parties signed up to the Mitchell Principles, including Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin is committed to these. Other political parties and the British government need to be equally clear. Every political leader needs to remember how we got here and what we agreed to.

“I am hopeful that the DUP will take up their Ministerial positions again soon. If that is the case then our collective focus must be for the Executive to deliver for citizens.

“We need to make politics work. The deliberately slow approach of unionist leaders to the Good Friday Agreement does not encourage this. On the contrary it undermines politics. So does the reluctance of unionists to work positively with nationalists and republicans.

“Key to the Stormont House Agreement for Sinn Féin was the achievement of a workable and sustainable budget to meet the challenges facing the Assembly and Executive and communities ravaged by decades of discrimination and inequality and conflict.

“The British government subsequently reneged on its commitments and a new round of financial decisions have been taken that will increase poverty and hardship for tens of thousands of families in the north already pinned to the collar trying to make ends meet.

“It is estimated that up to 120,000 families in the six counties will see their incomes slashed as a result of cuts to tax credits.

“Public services will also face additional cuts impacting on their ability to support society.

“The British government has also produced draft legislation that will subvert the agreements reached on dealing with the legacy of the past.

“Specifically, the legacy legislation produced by Theresa Villiers provides the British Secretary of State with the ability to use so-called national security concerns to block the provision of information from British state forces being given to victims and their families. Another clear breach of the Stormont House Agreement.

“It is thought that the panel appointed by the British government to make a determination on the status of proscribed organisations will report early this week. Let me be very clear. Whatever its conclusions Sinn Féin will not tolerate any undermining of the rights of citizens who vote for Sinn Féin. This party has a mandate, democratically achieved at the ballot box and we will not accept any infringement or erosion of that mandate by the British government or anyone else.

“The next few weeks will be among the most challenging the political process, and the institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement, will have faced in many years. The institutions are at grave risk of complete collapse; an outcome that will only embolden the dissident voices on all sides.

“If the current crisis is to be ended then the British and Irish governments must honour their commitments. They have failed to do this thus far. The British government has to provide a viable, workable sustainable budget, which allows the Executive to deliver public services and proper protections for the most vulnerable in our society.

“In the meantime Sinn Féin’s focus will continue to be on building a future based on equality, respect and inclusion. Our resolve is to ensure that no else suffers as a result of conflict; that no other family is bereaved; and that the experience of war and of loss and injury is never repeated.”