Sinn Féin Leader and former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness dies after short illness

It is with deep regret and sadness that we have learnt of the death of our friend and comrade Martin McGuinness who passed away in Derry during the night. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Speaking this morning Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said:17426092_1439307229701149_2874232241966975743_n

“Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness.

“He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the re-unification of his country.  But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both.

“On behalf of republicans everywhere we extend our condolences to Bernie, Fiachra, Emmet, Fionnuala and Grainne, grandchildren and the extended McGuinness family.

“I measc laochra na nGael go raibh a anam dílis.”

by Gerry Adams TD

‘Time to plan for Irish Unity’ – Gerry Adams

Speaking in Washington Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD called on: “All parties which see the value of Irish Unity to act together.”

Gerry Adams said:gerry-adams

“The academic paper by Professor Kurt Huebner of Vancouver University, entitled, ‘Modeling Irish Unification’, which was published in November 2015 is an important contribution to the debate about Irish unity. The author concluded that political and economic unification would likely result in a sizable boost in economic outcomes and incomes in the North and a smaller boost in the South

In November 2016 Sinn Féin launched ‘Towards a United Ireland’. It is a detailed discussion paper setting out the arguments for a United Ireland. It addresses the impact on the economy, on inward investment, on exports, on the health service, on the border region and much more.

It takes head on and demolishes the argument that the people of the North and South cannot afford a United Ireland.

The cause of uniting Ireland is not the property of any one grouping or party. That has always been Sinn Féin’s consistent position. I therefore welcome Fianna Fáil’s entry into the discussion. It will be interesting to read the detail of whatever paper Fianna Fáil publishes. They should also engage with campaigning in communities and political actions and cooperation within the Oireachtas.

For Sinn Féin’s part we are currently exploring the possibility of establishing a Dáil Committee on Irish Unity, that would bring forward proposals for what a United Ireland might look like, how we get there and how the Irish State needs to plan for reunification across all areas of the economy and society.

To inform that discussion we are also working on a follow-up paper to our ‘Towards a United Ireland’ discussion document. It is a white paper-type document that lays out the benefits and outworkings of Unity across a range of areas, including enterprise, health, education, agriculture, energy, infrastructure and taxation on a short/medium and long-term basis.

It is expected that the British government will trigger Article 50 shortly to commence the negotiations on Brexit. This, the Assembly election results, which saw the Unionist parties lose their Assembly majority; and the announcement by the Scottish First Minister of a second Independence referendum, are the context for the current discussions on a United Ireland.

It is crucial that Irish-America is fully aware of the hazard that a hard Brexit poses for the island of Ireland.  The reality is that Brexit is bad for the island as a whole. It runs contrary to the political, economic and social interests and aspirations of the Irish people. In the Brexit referendum vote in the North last June Brexit was rejected. This was repeated in the recent Assembly election, which saw a majority of MLAs opposed to Brexit elected.

The people of the six counties have not consented to being dragged out of the European Union. For the British government to ignore this fact flies in the face of the progress that been made in the North since the start of the peace process and the signing of the Good Friday.

On Monday, Michelle O’Neill warned that Brexit will significantly undermine the Good Friday Agreement and lead to the imposition of a hard border. She argued that all of this increases the urgency for a referendum on Irish unity.

The Good Friday Agreement obliges the Irish and British governments to legislate for unity if that is the choice of the people north and south. These changing times present real challenges and real opportunities. We need to continue to strategise, organise, and persuade for Irish Unity. We need to plan for a United Ireland. There is no short cut. Irish America has a real and crucial role in this transition.

Reunification cannot be simply a case of adding the north to the south. It must be an agreed Ireland – in which unionists can feel comfortable and secure.

It is about creating a new Ireland – in which the rights of citizens are upheld by the state. A new Ireland built on the principles of equality and inclusion. A new Ireland with a new constitution and Bill of Rights.

A new Ireland with symbols and emblems to reflect a fair and inclusive society, that includes the safeguarding of British Citizenship and recognition of the Unionist Identity.

This cannot be a rhetorical debate. All parties that see the value of reunification and hold to the ideal of unity must act together.

There is an onus on the Irish government to plan for unity. To become a persuader for unity. To build the maximum agreement and to secure and win a referendum on unity.

The days of leaving the debate on a united Ireland for another time are over. History has presented us with an unprecedented opportunity to advance this entirely legitimate and logical objective. Let’s not waste it.”

Time to deliver on unfinished business – O’Neill

Sinn Féin Leader in the North Michelle O’Neill said today, “it’s time to deliver on the unfinished business and chart a course for the future”.20170128_154209

Michelle O’Neill said:

 “Over the past two weeks Sinn Féin has met daily with the other Assembly parties and the two Governments as part of the implementation talks at Stormont Castle.

“The recent election and strengthened mandate which Sinn Féin has been given makes clear that the people made the extra effort to come out and vote and stand up against corruption, arrogance and bigotry.

“This election has ended the perpetual unionist majority at Stormont, however Sinn Féin does not want minorities or majorities, we want equality and integrity in Government which must deliver for everyone and treat citizens decently, fairly and with respect.

“Nothing less is acceptable.

“The DUP has demonstrated a negative and cynical approach towards the Good Friday Agreement and the power-sharing institutions, including the All-Ireland bodies, which must operate on the basis of equal partnership.

“Responsibility within the Agreement for delivering on equality and rights protections lies ultimately with the British Government. They must now step up and deliver on their commitments otherwise political progress on restoring the institutions is in serious doubt.

“We face into a week where it is crucial we make a difference, which means full implementation of political commitments and firm actions which can restore public confidence in the Assembly, Executive and All-Ireland dimensions of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Sinn Féin has entered these implementation talks in good faith and will continue to honour our responsibilities and agreements. We will continue to represent all within the community based on respect and equality.

“There is a rightful expectation that the Irish government will assert itself as a co-equal guarantor of the Good FridayAgreement and ensure that full implementation is now delivered.

“I want to make clear that now is the time to deliver on the unfinished business and chart a course for the future based on equality, respect and integrity.”

McCartney pays tribute to Derry City captain Ryan McBride

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has expressed his sympathies following the death of Derry City FC captain Ryan McBride. mcbride

The Foyle MLA said:

“There is widespread shock across the city and beyond following the sudden death of Derry City FC captain, Ryan McBride.

“Ryan was an excellent player, a great leader on and off the field and an inspiration to many.

“I send my condolences and those of the party to the McBride family and everyone who knew Ryan.

“I have no doubt the community across the city will rally round to support them at this sad and difficult time.”

Success on Irish bi-lingual signs on bus service in Derry campaign –Campbell

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has welcomed the news that Translink is launching a public consultation on the proposed display of English/Irish bi-lingual destination screens for place names on buses operating in Derry. And that they are looking at a pilot scheme in the city. kevin-campbell

Councillor Kevin Campbell said

This is great news .Sinn Féin have been lobbying on this issue for a number of years in Derry and have held a number of meetings with Transport NI and have raised  this with successive Transport Ministers.

I and party representatives Maeve McLaughlin and Colly Kelly met with the senior management of Translink in the Derry office at Foyle Street bus depot back in February 2015 to discuss our request that a bilingual destination signage pilot scheme be established for the Derry area.

In November just past I wrote to the Minister Chris Hazzard and i outlined our request for a pilot scheme.

I believe this is doable and is achievable at very little cost.

Translink bus services operating in West Belfast have been featuring both English and Irish language signs on destinations screens since 2011. And there has been bilingual passenger information on bus shelter timetables and route information.

There are hundreds of children going to schools in the city learning through the medium of Irish and hundreds of people of all ages attending night classes and hundreds taking part in cultural musical and sporting activities. This was magnified tenfold when Derry hosted the Fleadh in 2013.

To have bus services using bilingual signage on a number of routes would i believe a very positive and progressive move for the city and would encourage people to take part in this consultation.This can be done via the online link http://www.translink.co.uk/bilingualbusscreens or fill out the questionaire at the Foyle Street bus depot .

In January of this year the Minister Chriz Hazzard said

 “Translink has provided bilingual destination information on buses travelling along Metro corridor 10 in Belfast for some time.  This has been well received by those using the services.

“I now want to look at the possibility of introducing similar signage in Irish in Derry city.  I believe that the provision of this information would be welcomed by many in the city and would improve access to public services by Irish speakers.

“I have therefore asked Translink to take forward a public consultation on this issue, with a view to signage being in place in May this year.   The consultation will formally launch in March following the completion of an Equality Impact Assessment and engagement with key stakeholders. I would urge people to come forward with their views during the upcoming consultation period ”

Kelly proposes DCSDC send condolences and solidarity to Irish Coast Guard.

Chair of Environment and Regeneration Comittee Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has requested that Derry City and Strabane District Council send a letter of condolences to the family and colleagues of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick who tragically lost her life while on a rescue mission with the Irish Coast Guard off the Mayo Coast in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Councillor Colly Kelly

Councillor Colly Kelly

Councillor Kelly proposed that the Council ‘on behalf of the citizens of the District express sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, who has lost her life as a result of the R116 Coast Guard helicopter crash off Blacksod Bay Co Mayo and solidarity with those involved in the combined rescue services that continue in efforts to find the remaining missing crew members. They are in all of our thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.

Councillor Kelly said:

“It was with deep sadness that we heard of the tragedy which occurred off the Mayo Coast in the early hours of Tuesday morning when an Irish Coast Guard helicopter crashed into the sea with four crew members on board. While Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was rescued she unfortunately died a few hours later.

“As we are acutely aware, the Irish Coast Guard is called into action regularly on rescue missions in all 32 counties of Ireland to fishermen, seafarers, and many others who have gotten into difficulty over the years. I want to pay tribute to their dedication and send a message of solidarity to all the emergency services who are currently involved in the search for the remaining missing crew members. We can only imagine how difficult it must be to be involved in such a search, especially when it involves colleagues in service.

“On behalf of the citizens of Derry City and Strabane District Council I recommend that a letter of condolences on the death of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and thoughts and prayers for the families of the three missing crew members be sent to the Irish Coast Guard.”

British government Brexit border plans will not allay fears – McCallion

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion has said attempts by the British government’s Brexit secretary to offer reassurances on the border will not allay fears. dsc_4127

She said:

“Attempts today by the British government’s Brexit secretary David Davis to reassure people about the prospect of a hard border in Ireland post-Brexit were laughable.

“He claims there will be a digital border and that his government will develop the technology to manage it. But given his government’s track record of trying and failing to develop bespoke computer systems his comments will not reassure anyone.

“And his comments are all the more ridiculous because it won’t be up to Britain to decide what any EU border will look like. That decision will be taken by the 27 member states.

“There is a genuine fear across Ireland that the British government’s reckless Brexit agenda will lead to a hard border to the detriment of the economy across the island. That is one of the reasons the majority of people here voted to remain in the EU.

“The only alternative is to secure designated special status for the north within the EU.”

Direct rule not an option – Adams

Speaking at a meeting with the Congressional Friends of Ireland, on Capitol Hill in Washington later this morning Gerry Adams TD will commend all of those Irish Americans and others in the USA and Canada who advocate on behalf of Irish Unity.dsc_4284

The Sinn Féin leader will brief the Congressional leaders on the outcome of the recent Assembly election; the negotiations currently taking place and the threat posed by Brexit. Gerry Adams TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD will meet the Congressional group at 10 am Washington time.

Gerry Adams said:

“Currently the two governments and the political parties in the North are engaged in talks following the Assembly election.

“The election result has transformed the political landscape. The unionist majority in the Assembly has ended.  There is also have for the first timer the potential for a progressive political consensus among the majority of MLAs and parties. Sinn Fein’s focus is on reaching agreement on the restoration of the political institutions. But it cannot be on the same basis as before. That is why the current talks are for us about the implementation of agreements previously made.

“It has been suggested that British Direct Rule could be imposed if there is no agreement.  This would be an enormous act of  bad faith by London and a reversal of the joint position set out by the two governments in 2006.

“In April 2006 the British and Irish governments in a joint statement agreed that the restoration of the political institutions would see the British government’s power to suspend the Assembly lapse for good.

“They also agreed, if the Executive was not formed, to begin detailed work on British-Irish partnership arrangements to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is actively developed across its structures and functions. At that time the British government committed to introducing emergency legislation to facilitate this.

“A year later the DUP, led by Ian Paisley, joined with Sinn Féin to form an Executive. This arrangement lasted for almost ten years. While the governments have not developed the British Irish partnership arrangements envisaged if the Executive was not formed at that time, the British governments power to suspend the Assembly is gone. Of course this legislation could be reintroduced at any time but this would be a very serious step  which the Irish Government would be compelled to oppose.

“Let me be very clear Sinn Féin is totally committed to the re-establishment of the political institutions. But these must be based on good governance and on the terms which underpinned the Good Friday Agreement and other agreements.

“The British government is not committed to these principles. In fact, its current position is in opposition to some of these, particularly on the issue of rights. I am also concerned that the Irish government is not assertive enough – as a co-equal guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement.

“So, getting the institutions in place will be a challenge given the DUPs stated position on an Irish Language Act, a Bill of Rights and other fundamental requirements, and the British government’s obstructive approach to legacy issues and other matters.

“The DUP position on Brexit is also entirely wrong. The consequences of Brexit represents the biggest threat at this time to the wellbeing of the people of the island of Ireland. I presented the Congressional leaders with Sinn Féin’s proposal ‘The Case for the North to achieve Designated Special Status within the EU.’  Special status for the North is now supported by Fianna Fáil and Labour in the Oireachtas and by the majority of parties and MLAs in the Assembly. I asked the Congressional leaders to support this position.”

Sinn Féin committed to Acht Gaeilge – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle  MLA Raymond McCartney has said the party remain committed to an Irish Language Act which delivers rights, along with recognition and respect. dsc_6528

His comments come after the publication of a discussion document regarding an Acht Gaeilge was published today by Conradh na Gaeilge.

He  said:

“Sinn Féin remain absolutely committed to Acht Gaeilge and to the delivery of rights and respect for the Irish Language and for Irish speakers.

“I welcome Conradh na Gaeilge’s publication today, which once again highlights the need for legislation.

“An Irish Language Act is well over due. Now is the time for legislation that shows respect and recognition, and delivers rights.”

Privacy requested for the family of Danielle McLaughlin – Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has requested that the media respect the privacy of the family of Danielle McLaughlin, who was tragically murdered in India.

Senator Mac Lochlainn made this appeal after meeting with the family in Buncrana today.

The Senator from Donegal said:jan-top-right

“The people of Buncrana and Inishowen are united in grief with the McLaughlin family at the loss of their daughter and sister. This is a tragic loss and Danielle is in all of our thoughts and prayers.

“On meeting with the family earlier, they had one request and that was that their privacy be respected. Media outlets from Ireland and further afield have been bombarding the family with messages and queries and I strongly believe that this is unwarranted and inappropriate at this time.

“The McLaughlin family must be given room and come to terms with their loss and they will come forward when they feel it is time.”

McCartney welcomes return of Clipper round-the-world yacht race

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the news that the Clipper round-the-world yacht race is to return to Derry in 2018.Its comes following the approval of the £250k plan by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

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Raymond McCartney said “It’s good news that the Clipper round the world yacht race is to return to Derry in 2018.

Bringing the race back will be of immense benefit to the North West economy and offers global media exposure money simply can’t buy.

The last Maritime Festival was a very exciting week for the thousands of people of all ages who thronged the quayside walkway from Bay Road right up to the Peace Bridge. For years the people of Derry have been crying out to see the riverfront location fully utilised.

McCallion welcomes SEUPB final approval for North West Transport HUB.

Sinn Féin MLA Elisha McCallion has welcomed the SEUPB final approval of the North West Transport Hub which will be located at the Old Waterside railway station.
Ms McCallion said:dsc_4127

“The purchase of the Old Waterside Station for the development of the North-West Integrated Transport Hub was completed in January and today seen the final phase put into place with the SEUPB Committee approval.

“This will allow the project to be progressed without further delay and I look forward to work beginning on it now that all of the statutory requirements are completed.

“This is a very important development for Derry and the North West and will incorporate a new train station, park and ride facilities with approximately 100 spaces and additional facilities to improve public transport in the City.

“It is further evidence of Chris Hazzard’s delivery on committments to the North West in the short time he was Infrastructure Minister and I have no doubt it will be welcomed by all.”

CRÍOCH/END

Brexit could hit future infrastructure projects – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said future infrastructure developments could be jeopardised as a result of Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The north has benefitted hugely from European Union funding to help develop our transport infrastructure network.

“I welcome the fact that the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) has approved funding for the North West Transport Hub at the old Waterside railway station.

“We want to see more of these type of projects in the future but if the British Tory government succeeds in dragging us out of the EU then this type of funding will not be available.

“That, along with so many others things, is the impact of the British government’s Brexit agenda.

“Sinn Féin has put forward a case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU and we are working to build support for that across Ireland and across Europe.” Ends/Críoch

Brexit damaging to Irish economy north and south – McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney  said Brexit is damaging to the economy across Ireland with the people of the North being hit the hardest.

The Foyle  said:dsc_6528

“Brexit is damaging to the economy across the island.

“News that the economic activity is expected to slow will hit customers hard. The reality is that the people of the North are already paying the price of a proposed Brexit.

“It is impacting on their everyday lives and the rising cost of living, fuel and household goods is proof of this.

“Last week the British Minister Philip Hammond unveiled his budget which will see further austerity measures being implemented in the North. This will also pose a threat to the economy in the North.

“The people of the North voted to remain in the European Union, the people of North and South are better off in the EU, in the Single Market and no hard border.

“The Irish government need to stand up for the island of Ireland when they are negotiating with the British Government and the EU and secure special designated status for the North within the EU.”

New safety railings to be installed outside busy Blighs Lane school

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has said new safety railings are to be installed outside St Johns Primary on Bligh’s Lane .She made her comments following a meeting she held with Transport NI and the Principal and Vice Principal of St Johns.

Councillor Patricia Logue

Councillor Patricia Logue

Councillor Logue said “I am glad that this decision has been reached. Anyone who is in and around Bligh’s Lane on any week day will tell you how busy it is particularly at peak times of the day. You have hundreds of children attending St Johns Primary, the adjacent St Cecilia’s College and the nursery school.

It was apparent there needed to be a couple of additional safety measures in and around St Johns to prevent any accidents taking place there.

Transport NI have now agreed to install new railings at the school and paint the road safety markings in the area. It’s anticipated that this work will take place in the next 4-6 weeks. It was also agreed that there is a need to look at the situation outside the nursery school.

She went on to say

I would also appeal to motorists to show due car and attention whilst travelling through the area particularly during school hours and also the same when parking in around the schools there.

End

Cooper welcomes visit by Pennsylvania State Economic Development agency to Derry/Strabane:

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the local economy Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the forthcoming visit by a delegation from the Pennsylvania state government’s Office of International Business Development to the Derry and Strabane district. He said it was the culmination of a long term engagement involving himself, former finance minister Mairtin O’Muilleoir and Derry Strabane Council to bring the delegation to the city. Councillor Mickey Cooper said 

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

“I am delighted that representatives from the Pennsylvania State government have agreed to make a presentation to the Business & culture Committee this week to outline opportunities that exist for further trade and investment links to be developed between the two areas. Pennsylvania is already a key export location for Irish firms in product areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical and surgical instruments, cosmetics, industrial machinery and IT equipment with total exports of over $1.5 billion dollars going from Ireland to Pennsylvania in 2015.

 

As our council area continues to diversify its product and services base it is vital that we as a local council make further connections with PA and other cities on the eastern seaboard to maximise opportunities for export and also to allow Irish companies to reciprocate trading opportunities for US companies seeking to forge alliances here. I am therefore delighted that PA state representatives have agreed to come to our city and district to see all that it has to offer. This presentation will hopefully be the start of this relationship and lead to further job creation and economic benefit for both Derry/Strabane and Pennsylvania”.

Ends

Multi agency response to Bogside rat problem – Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed the news that a multi-agency meeting is to be held to address the issue of rats in the Bogside area.CVz6GH9XAAAjCyt

 

 ‘While I understand that rodents can be a problem in any district, there has been a particular problem in the Meenan Square area and a number of streets off it and in and around Lisfannon Park.

 

I am glad that following  discussions with the Bogside and Brandywell Initiative (BBI)  a multi-agency meeting will now be held with the NI Water ,Housing Executive, Environmental health and the local residents group to see what measures can be put in place to jointly address this problem.

 

End 

Brexit damaging to Irish economy north and south – McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney  said Brexit is damaging to the economy across Ireland with the people of the North being hit the hardest.c48uh31wiaahbe_

The Foyle  MLA said:

“Brexit is damaging to the economy across the island.

“News that the economic activity is expected to slow will hit customers hard. The reality is that the people of the North are already paying the price of a proposed Brexit.

“It is impacting on their everyday lives and the rising cost of living, fuel and household goods is proof of this.

“Last week the British Minister Philip Hammond unveiled his budget which will see further austerity measures being implemented in the North. This will also pose a threat to the economy in the North.

“The people of the North voted to remain in the European Union, the people of North and South are better off in the EU, in the Single Market and no hard border.

“The Irish government need to stand up for the island of Ireland when they are negotiating with the British Government and the EU and secure special designated status for the North within the EU.”

Duffy welcomes announcement on Presidential Voting rights

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed the announcement that the Government has agreed to hold a referendum which will allow Irish citizens in the North and overseas the right to vote in Presidential elections.

She  said

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The Taoiseach’s announcement is very welcome, but the Government needs to quickly clarify what this means in practice and when the referendum will be held.

The office of the President is regarded as being one for everyone, and that is how it is regarded here in the North also, particularly among Nationalists and Republicans.

We have already had the ridiculous situation where a former President, Mary McAlesse, had she still been living in Belfast, would not have been able to vote for herself.

This needs to change.

We are not just seeking voting rights in presidential elections for nationalists in the North, but for people of all communities. Everyone on the island of Ireland deserves the opportunity to be able to vote for the President.

This also goes beyond the rights of people living in the North; Sinn Fein is also seeking the extension of Presidential voting rights to Irish citizens living abroad.

The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that take place in virtually every country in the world prove this.

Organisations working with the Irish communities overseas are actively campaigning for voting rights. Allowing people overseas to vote in elections in their own countries is not a new idea. More than 120 countries have already legislated to allow their citizens living outside the state to vote – we need to do the same.

Sinn Féin believes in extending the vote to allow more people to participate in the democratic process. We want voting rights extended to people living in the North, to Irish communities living abroad, and to 16 year olds.

British government should pay cost of redress for abuse victims and survivors – O’Neill

Sinn Féin Leader in the North Michelle O’Neill has said the British government should pay for the cost of redress for victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse.20170128_154209

Michelle O’Neill said:

“No one could fail to have been moved by the harrowing evidence brought forward during the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

“Sinn Féin believes that victims and survivors are entitled to redress as a result of their abuse.

“We have raised this directly with British  Secretary of State James Brokenshire during the current talks, putting forward our position that his government should pay for the redress for victims and survivors.

“The British government should now, as a signal of good intent, publicly state to victims that it will cover the cost of redress.

“Sinn Féin will continue to raise this issue directly with the British government in the interests of victims and survivors in the coming days.”

Adams travelling to the USA for St. Patrick’s celebrations

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD will be travelling to the USA on Wednesday for a two day visit. He will join the Party’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD.dsc_4284

The Sinn Féin leader will be in Washington on Thursday to meet with the Congressional Friends of Ireland group, attend the Speakers lunch, and the St. Patrick’s Day White House event.

The Sinn Féin leader will also meet with Irish-American activists in a short 36 hour visit.

Gerry Adams said:

“The St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the USA is a week-long celebration of all things Irish. It also a time when Irish politicians engage with Irish America on those issues of concern to both. This especially true for the peace process and the difficulties faced by the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the United States.

“My focus during this short visit is to brief Irish America and Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill about the recent election, the current state of the negotiations to restore the political institutions, the future of the Good Friday Agreement and the implications of Brexit.

“With the British Prime Minister Theresa May only days away from triggering Article 50 and for the negotiations on Britain’s divorce from the EU to commence, this is a hugely important issue for Ireland, for Irish America and the USA.

“There are no plans for me to meet with President Trump.”

Irish Government must step up to the plate on Brexit – Adams & O’Neill

One week on from the election and one week closer to the triggering of Article 50, the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle met in Dublin to discuss the impact of the Northern Assembly election, the ongoing implementation talks, and the impending triggering of Article 50 and Brexit.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD and Michelle O’Neill MLA spoke with the media.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said:20170128_154209

“The British Government are continuing with their plan to impose Brexit, regardless of the views of people of Ireland north and south.

“The Taoiseach has expressed impatience over the lack of clarify from Britain on Brexit. I welcome his remarks, but, as usual, the Taoiseach is too slow and too mesmerised about what the British Government is doing.

“The Taoiseach needs to stop waiting for the British Government. I know he is engaging with EU partners, but he must act in our national interest, at European level, to secure special designated status for the north within the EU. That is the consensus of the majority of parties north and south.”

Responding to questions on the threat by James Brokenshire to call another election, Gerry Adams said:

“It is a sign of change that a British Government is threatening us with an election. Back in the day, the threat was martial law, internment, censorship, and lead and plastic bullets. So, Mr Brokenshire’s threat is progress.”

Sinn Féin’s northern leader, Michelle O’Neill MLA, said,

“The clock is ticking on talks to secure the full implementation the agreements and to rebuild public confidence in the institutions.

“I welcome the comments of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD, at the recent Pat Finucane Lecture where he called on the British Government to honour the agreement to release the funding to allow for around 50 conflict related inquests to proceed.

“Behind each of these inquests are families that have not been afforded the basic right to an inquest for their loved ones. Some having been waiting for 45 years.

“The funding for these legacy inquests is agreed. Mr Brokenshire should release this money as the Lord Chief Justice has requested.

“This British Government continue to refuse to honour their obligations and refuse to implement other outstanding issues from the agreements.

“This approach by the British Government is the biggest impediment in the talks.

“The Irish Government must live up to their role as co-equal guarantor of the agreements to ensure that the British Government act. That is key to progress being made in the talks.  The Irish Government step up to the plate.”

1st Anniversary – Release Derry man Tony Taylor -McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said

On the first anniversary  of his incarceration  I repeat Sinn Féin’s call for the release of Derry man Tony Taylor.16819161_1306065849449476_7277101871423416578_o

 

Tony was sent to prison on the word of the James Brokenshire’s predecessor without bringing forward any evidence.

 

In October past Martin McGuinness raised this directly with James Brokenshire  and told him the continued detention of Tony Taylor is unacceptable and made it clear that , in the absence of due process, he should be released immediately.”

Ends

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Hammond ducks key issue of Brexit – McCallion

She said:DSC_0615

 “The British Chancellor has made it clear that he will continue to impose Tory austerity.

 “We face a cut in real terms to budgets in the north when our public services, particularly the health service, are already under severe strain.

 “Philip Hammond also failed to comment on his plans to set tens of billions aside to mitigate the impact of Brexit.

 “Brexit will be an economic catastrophe, it is bad for business, bad for jobs, bad for our agri-food industry.

 “Brexit is damaging to the economic interests of the people of the north and the people of this island as a whole.

 “Sinn Féin will continue to work to ensure the democratic decision of the majority of people in the north is recognised through designated special status.”

EU Report again shows British government failing Irish Language rights – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney  has said that the latest report from the Council of Europe, regarding the protection of national minorities, once again highlights the British Government’s failures to the Irish Language community.

Raymond McCartney  said:12998349_1037714449617952_1759881580700105285_o

“The British Government have once again been internationally criticised for their neglect of the Irish Language and for their lack of action to secure the rights of Irish speakers.

“The report rightly points out the British Government’s shortcomings on issues of legislation, strategy and  provision.

“We support the call in this report, and from the Irish Language Community, that the British Government must take immediate action.

“The British government made a commitment to bring forward an Irish Language Act and has failed so far to honour its agreement.

“This failure was compounded by the DUP blocking an Irish Language Act at the Executive and an Irish Language Strategy, a Programme for Government commitment.

“If the current political talks are to have any value then agreements need to be implemented.

“Legislation for an Irish Language Act should be brought forward now.”

Ends

McCallion welcomes £4m investment in UU research posts

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion welcoming the news that 12 new research jobs are being created at the Ulster University (UU) headquartered at the Magee Campus.It follows  the announcement of a £4m global data analytics research unit and offices at the Belfast campus.elisha new head shot 2014 2

She said “This is a positive development for Magee University with the creation of twelve highly paid research jobs.

Just last month I and Raymond McCartney were delighted to accept Professor Paddy Nixon’s request to meet with him and senior management to discuss their ongoing work to expand the Magee campus. Our discussions focused on a range of issues including the UU’s plans for the development of a medical school at Magee.

In the time ahead we need to ensure that  Magee’s potential is realised and that opportunities to develop further research programmes which is a crucial area of income and activity for the UU are identified and capitalised on”

 

CRÍOCH/END

Brexit could undermine progress made in peace process – Anderson

Sinn Féin Foyle MEP Martina Anderson has told the EU’s Brexit negotiators that the north being forced out of the EU could potentially undermine progress made in the peace process. 

Speaking from Brussels, Ms Anderson said:

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

“Today I led a delegation made up of representatives of the campaign group Border Communities Against Brexit and Sinn Féin representatives to meet officials from the office of Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit.

“We made it clear during our meeting that the British government’s Brexit agenda would be disastrous for Ireland, particularly for those living in border communities.

“I also explained how Brexit and the prospect of a hard border could undermine the Good Friday Agreement and the huge progress which has been made over the last two decades of the peace process.

“EU funding, particularly the PEACE programmes, has made a huge impact in terms of building and strengthening communities and promoting reconciliation. I do not believe for one second the British government would replace such funding.

“Today’s meeting is part of Sinn Féin’s engagement across Europe to build support for our campaign to secure designated special status for the north within the EU.”

Vandals start fire at Bogside Brandywell Republican Monument

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has condemned vandals who started a fire within yards of the Bogside and Brandywell Republican Monument overlooking the Lecky Road on Thursday night.20170309_205150

Councillor Kelly said “I got a phone call from a local resident just before 9pm to say trees within yards of the main monument were on fire. When I went there I was met by a group of 6-8 young  people aged between 15-17 years old. The flames were shooting up from the trees and they had an old sofa sitting right in the middle of the monument.

A number of local residents also came on the scene and were met with a lot of verbal and bad language from the group before they ran off up the banking towards Bishops Street.

Thankfully the Fire Brigade were quickly on the scene and put the fire out.

He went on to say

I would just make an appeal for people to respect the area in and around this monument which is dedicated to the memory of the Republican patriot dead from the Bogside ,Brandywell and Bishop Street areas .And for this nonsense to stop.

Celebrate International Women’s Day – McCallion

Speaking on International women’s day newly elected Foyle Sinn Féin  MLA Elisha McCallion saidcaod8pqwiaarkac

“This year is the 106th anniversary of International Women’s Day when women all over the world will celebrate the lives of women and their achievements.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated back in 1911 when women came together worldwide to campaign for better pay, voting rights and an end to discrimination.

Today it continues to be celebrated by women in Derry and across Ireland, and has become a global day of recognition of women’s contribution to society celebrating the economic, political, social and cultural achievements of women.

Everyone agrees that women have come a long way since the first International Women’s Day, but unfortunately Gender Inequality is still very much prevalent in Irish society.

she went on to say

“It is vitally important we encourage more women into politics and participate in the democratic process.

So in 2017 we need to celebrate who we are, and recognise what we can achieve.

Ends

Logue welcome news on exciting plans for new play park in the Brandywell

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed the news at building work is set to start within weeks on a new play park in the Brandywell  after Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed the appointment of contractors.Patricia Logue new pic 22

 

Councillor Logue said “I am very pleased that the council has confirmed the appointment of contractors to build a new state of the art play park in the Showground’s. This is another piece of the overall jigsaw in plans for the area.

 

“I have campaigned for many years to see the Brandywell, Showgrounds and Daisyfield developed and it is great news to see this coming to fruition.

 

The need for a play park in the locality has been a key issue for the residents and Sinn Féin for a considerable period of time.

 

It’s important now that this moves to the next stage and the commencement and completion of this project takes place as quickly as possible.

78 news homes in Top of the Hill –Jackson

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has welcomed the news today that the go ahead has been given for 78 new houses on the site of the former Immaculate Conception College site.

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

 

I welcome this much anticipated housing development, the only significant social housing development in this part of the Waterside in a generation. For many people currently homeless, this development is the only prospect of them finding a home of their own.

 

The development on this derelict school site will benefit the community as a whole, linking the road network from Corrody Road to Trench Road as well as bringing the football pitches back into use. The school site is also earmarked for a new purpose built community centre so the granting of permission today is an important step in what is an exciting time for our community.

 

While this development provides hope for many on the housing list, in my opinion the 78 houses will merely scratch the surface in addressing the housing need in the greater Top of the Hill area and we need to be working towards delivering further developments in order to address the housing crisis we currently see throughout the city.

McCallion welcomes £1.8m funding for Year of Youth programme

Sinn Féin MLA Elisha McCallion has welcomed the announcement of a £1.8m funding package for the Year of Youth programme for young people in 2019. 

Elisha McCallion said:dsc_4127

“I welcome the announcement that Derry City and Strabane District will receive £1.8m towards youth and community led projects.

“During my term as Mayor, I prioritised the campaign to enhance youth provision and inclusion throughout the City and District. I wish to commend the excellent work carried out by Oonagh McGillion and the team, ensuring young people are at the heart of the organisational process.

“The unsuccessful bid for the 2019 European Youth Capital opened a window of opportunity to build on the momentum and energy this bid created. The events must be broad, inclusive and shaped by the young people.

“I look forward to seeing the finalised programme of events in 2019.”  ENDS/CRÍOCH

Celebrate International Women’s Day – McCallion

Speaking on International women’s day newly elected Foyle Sinn Féin  MLA Elisha McCallion said

“This year is the 106th anniversary of International Women’s Day when women all over the world will celebrate the lives of women and their achievements.

©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 27th January 2016.  Culture Minister Car‡l N’ Chuil’n launching the Talent Northwest 2016. Included are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Laura McNutt, previous competitor, Ollie Green, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

International Women’s Day was first celebrated back in 1911 when women came together worldwide to campaign for better pay, voting rights and an end to discrimination.

Today it continues to be celebrated by women in Derry and across Ireland, and has become a global day of recognition of women’s contribution to society celebrating the economic, political, social and cultural achievements of women.

Everyone agrees that women have come a long way since the first International Women’s Day, but unfortunately Gender Inequality is still very much prevalent in Irish society.

she went on to say

“It is vitally important we encourage more women into politics and participate in the democratic process.

So in 2017 we need to celebrate who we are, and recognise what we can achieve.

Ends

Anderson meets European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator

Sinn Féin MEP for Foyle Martina Anderson met the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on Brexit today as part of Sinn Féin’s campaign to secure designated special status for the north within the EU. 

Speaking from Brussels, Martina Anderson said: Martina news

“I had a very positive meeting today with the European Parliament’s chief negotiator on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, in Brussels.

“We discussed the last week’s election, and the huge concern right across society over the prospect of Brexit and its disastrous impact for the island of Ireland.

“This meeting is part of Sinn Féin’s ongoing diplomatic offensive to secure designated special status for the north within the EU.

“Sinn Féin will continue to meet Guy Verhofstadt and others in the European institutions to garner support to ensure the democratic decision of the majority of people in the north is recognised through designated special status.”

McCartney urges those denied vote to get back on electoral register

Sinn Féin MLA  Raymond McCartney has called on people denied their vote in the recent election as a result of a decision by the Electoral Office to remove them from the electoral register to ensure they get re-register now.

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Mr McCartney said:

“Before the election some 60,000 people were taken off the electoral register by the Electoral Office.

“Despite the hard work to get people back on the register there are still thousands of people effectively being denied their right to vote.

“The right to vote was hard won through the campaign and sacrifice of the Civil Rights Movement so I would once again urge people to get re-registered.

“Anyone who requires more information on how to register to vote should contact their local Sinn Féin office or the electoral office on 0800 432 0712 or online http://www.eoni.org.uk.

ENDS/CRÍOCH

Genuine power sharing is the only way we’ll have government – O’Neill

Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O’Neill has said political unionism must live up to the responsibility to share power.

Michelle O’Neill said: c3rymkpwcaasoae-jpg-small

“We have been given a very strong mandate to enter negotiations and we must now make a difference.

“The people have had their say and the message is very clear. They don’t want minorities or majorities – they want equality. They want agreements implemented. They want progressive change.

“Political unionism must now live up to its responsibility to share power on the basis of equality, to demonstrate respect and to act with integrity in government.

“From today we will start meeting with the other parties and the two governments and tell how we see it and what it’ll take to fix it.

“We will confront the two governments who have shamefully undermined and failed in their duty to protect, nurture and develop the Good Friday Agreement.

“What is required is genuine power sharing and partnership with Republicans, based on equality and respect and mutual respect for our Irish national identity.”

Anderson to host Border Communities Against Brexit delegation in Brussels

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will host a delegation from campaign group Border Communities Against Brexit in Brussels this week.

Speaking ahead of the delegation’s visit to Brussels, Ms Anderson said: 

“The impact of the British government’s Brexit agenda will be particularly keenly felt in border areas.

“I will be hosting a delegation from Border Communities Against Brexit in the European Parliament this week and they will be raising their concerns directly with leading MEPs.

“They will also be meeting with representatives from the office of Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit.

“There is considerable anger in border areas about the plans of the British government to drag us out of the EU against our will and we will be lobbying MEPs from across Europe, building support for our case for designated special status for the north within the EU.”

Farren Park -Busy Pennyburn junction to get new restriction markings – Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has said 15m yellow corner restriction markings are to be  put down at the road junctions at Pennyburn Pass and Farren Park .This is following  meetings Cllr Cooper had with Transport NI to raise concerns over obstruction to the view of  motorists and pedestrians.

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Councillor Cooper said “I met with Transport NI to raise concerns over obstructions to the view  of motorists  exiting these junctions and pedestrians just trying to the cross the road. This is a very busy road with hundreds of cars travelling through here each day.

 

They are proposing that a 15m yellow corner restriction markings are put down as per the junctions at Pennyburn Pass and Farren Park .

 

The corner markings will keep people from parking close to the junction and this will improve people’s sightline when exiting this roads.

 

Its hoped that his work can be carried out the next 4-6 weeks when the weather improves a bit.

What Sinn Féin wins in this election will be a win for all – Mitchel McLaughlin

What Sinn Féin wins in this election and the negotiations that follow will be a win for all progressive elements in society.

In this election we need to stand up against arrogance, bigotry and disrespect for any section of society.7220552786_fe59df45d8_o

There can be no return to the status quo.

This means power sharing institutions that deliver quality public services, investment and jobs for all our citizens and which operate on the basis of equality, respect and integrity.

British governments reneging on commitments in the Good Friday and subsequent political agreements has emboldened DUP arrogance and disrespect. Non-implementation of these agreements must be confronted – not renegotiated.

A strong Sinn Féin negotiating team will stand up to the British government and the DUP to defend your rights.

That is why Sinn Féin seeks a stronger mandate in this election to enter upcoming political negotiations to defend your interests and firmly put your social, economic and political interests first. To deliver a society where all people are cherished equally.

We must defend the democratic mandate of the people to remain within the EU, through designated special status, which can secure the position of the entire island of Ireland within the European Union.

To achieve this, strong leadership is required to ensure the delivery of a process of continued change that benefits everyone.

What Sinn Féin wins in this election and achieves in any negotiations that follow will be a win for everyone who considers themselves a progressive and who believes in a society of equals.

That is why I am appealing to you to give Sinn Féin a strong hand in the negotiations that will follow this election by Voting Sinn Féin 1 and 2 in Foyle.

McCallion condemns gun attack on Derry home

Sinn Féins  Elisha  McCallion has condemned an incident  last night during which shots were fired at a house in the  Cornshell Fields area of Derry .

The incident happened around midnight.

A family was in the house at the time of the shooting.

Elisha McCallion said;

“Such attacks are wrong and I condemn it.

“There can be no place for the use of guns on our streets.

“I would call on anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI.”

DUP need to come clean over relationship with Brexit funding group -McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney  has said the DUP need to come clean and the nature of its relationship with the mysterious group, which funded its Brexit campaign.

He  said: dsc_6528

“Every piece of information in recent weeks has had to be wrought from the DUP, whether over RHI or the latest revelations over donations to its Brexit campaign.

“We know that the DUP received £425,000 from a mysterious group of British right wing business and corporate interests but the DUP have yet to explain the nature of their relationship with this group.

“There are serious questions that need to be answered. How long have the DUP had links to the Constitutional Research Council? Is this shadowy group still funding any DUP campaigns?

“It’s past time the DUP came clean on this and explained its links to this group to the public and they should do so ahead of Thursday’s poll.”

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Tests at 11 unnecessary and wrong – McCallion

Sinn Féins Elisha McCallion said improvements in educational attainment in recent years serve to underpin the fact that academic selection is both wrong and unnecessary.

Speaking after the Association of Quality Education (AQE) and the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) issued a statement saying they want to produce a common test, she said:

“Sinn Féin believes strongly that academic selection in our schools has a hugely negative impact on children.

©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 27th January 2016.  Culture Minister Car‡l N’ Chuil’n launching the Talent Northwest 2016. Included are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Laura McNutt, previous competitor, Ollie Green, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

“We are not alone in our opposition to academic selection. Many educationalists, parents, teaching unions, and both children’s and human rights organisations also oppose academic selection.

“The Human Rights Commission in the North has called for the abolition of academic selection as it is socially divisive and not in the educational interests of children or young people.

“Sinn Féin believe that education should be about nurturing the individual talents of the child or young person.

“The huge improvements in educational attainment under successive Sinn Féin education ministers demonstrates clearly that academic selection is wrong and unnecessary.”

Brexit donation makes mockery of DUP claims on transparency – McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCratney  has said the fact the DUP received £425,000 from a shadowy group of British corporate business interests to fund its Brexit campaign makes a mockery of its manifesto commitment to transparency.

He said:

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“There have been consistent calls for the DUP to come clean on donations to the party for their Brexit campaign.

“Just as we saw with the drip feed of information about the DUP’s handling of the RHI scandal, the DUP have been brought to the point of disclosing some information.

“However, it is still not clear who is in the group that gave the DUP £425,000, and what the group got in return for this huge donation.

“Instead we have the name of a secretive body, no list of members and donors. This makes a mockery of their manifesto claim of transparency.

“It now appears that the DUP spent at least £370,000 on newspaper advertisements and campaign materials in Britain where they don’t stand for election. This raises serious questions about transparency.

“The public is entitled to expect integrity in the political process.

“These are key issues of accountability and transparency and the public have a right to know so they can make up their mind before they go to the polls next week.”

Vandals torch Madams Bank Road Traffic lights –McCallion

inn Féins Elisha McCallion  has condemned the latest wanton vandalism that took place at traffic lights at Madam Bank Road.

She  saiddsc_4127

These lights have been repeatedly attacked since they were introduced in 2012.They provide safety for pedestrians, particularly children going to school.

This is also a major road which services several housing developments and carries a high volume of cross border traffic.

I am appealing to whoever is carrying out this nonsense to stop. Attacking any sort of road safety measure is placing the lives of motorists and pedestrians in danger.

It is local people who are suffering and their lives being disrupted by these senseless incidents and that is something no one wants

Lower Ballynagard Road Traffic Calming Measures

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan said “We have been campaigning for these for some time and have been in negotiations with Transport N.I. for 18 months regarding the need and installation of traffic calming measures.

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Transport N.I. have now been in contact to let us know that they will be installing these calming measures and it is now out for consultation, this consultation will be open for a number of weeks.

 

Once this is complete, Transport N.I. will be back in contact with a proposed start date and confirmation of the traffic calming measures that they will be installing.

 

As soon as we have this information I will inform residents of their proposed actions and we think this will happen later on this year, the area that will be affected is from the Culmore Road area to Ballynagard Crescent.

 

If anyone would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sinn Féin raises Derry/Dublin Bus Service with Ministers

Sinn Féin Assembly Candidate for Foyle, Raymond McCartney has said that  Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Imelda Munster TD has raised the Derry/Dublin bus service in Dáil Éireann and Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has committed to raising the  issue with his southern counterpart Minister Shane Ross TD.dsc_6528

Mr McCartney said:

“I have been in touch with our Transport Spokesperson in the Dáil, Imelda Munster TD who has raised the issue of the Derry/Dublin bus service in the Oireachtas Transport Committee with the CEO of the National Transport Authority .

I have also spoken to Minister Chris Hazzard who has assured me that he will spare no effort to assure that a first class service is maintained between Derry and Dublin.

“The Sinn Féin Infrastructure Minister is in contact with his Southern counterpart Shane Ross TD to ensure the continuance of this essential link between the North West and the National capital.”

SF welcomes PSO investment for direct Derry /Stansted flight

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney  has welcomed the news that the City Of Derry Airport has been awarded Public Service Obligation (PSO) for a direct flight to Stansted.ctc9bzzxeaadwx7-jpg-large

BMI regional has been selected as the preferred operator for the route between Stansted and the City of Derry Airport .

He said “I welcome the news that City of Derry Airport has been awarded Public Service Obligation (PSO) for a direct flight to Stansted.

This news will be welcomed by regular commuters to London for business, employment and those in the tourism sector in the North West region.

It will allow the airport to build for the future.

PSO funding from the British government follows on from the  Executive funding of £7m for route and aviation development.

The move by the Executive to put in place a package of support for City of Derry Airport was vital in helping to secure the future of this much needed facility.

“We need to see the airport continue to develop and grow in the future in order to support and stimulate the economy of the wider North West.

Campbell challenges Brokenshire over failure to implement Irish language act

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has challenged British secretary of state James Brokenshire over his government’s failure to implement an Irish language act.

He said: kevin-campbell

“Today, Irish language activists from across the north gathered at Stormont to protest at the failure of the British government to live up to its commitment to implement an Irish language act.

“This was agreed in the St Andrew Agreement in 2006 but more than a decade later the British government still haven’t acted.

“Their failure to live up to this responsibility has given cover to the DUP who have treated the Irish language and identity with disrespect and disdain.

“My party colleague Carál Ní Chuilín today has written to James Brokenshire calling on him to fulfil his government’s obligation by implementing the agreement for an Irish language act.

“It is long past the time the Irish language community is treated with respect and equality.”

Sinn Féin raises Derry/Dublin Bus Service with Ministers

Sinn Féin Assembly Candidate for Foyle, Raymond McCartney has said that  Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Imelda Munster TD has raised the Derry/Dublin bus service in Dáil Éireann and Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has committed to raising the  issue with his southern counterpart Minister Shane Ross TD.

Mr McCartney said:

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“I have been in touch with our Transport Spokesperson in the Dáil, Imelda Munster TD who has raised the issue of the Derry/Dublin bus service in the Oireachtas Transport Committee with the CEO of the National Transport Authority .

I have also spoken to Minister Chris Hazzard who has assured me that he will spare no effort to assure that a first class service is maintained between Derry and Dublin.

“The Sinn Féin Infrastructure Minister is in contact with his Southern counterpart Shane Ross TD to ensure the continuance of this essential link between the North West and the National capital.”

Bank branch closures will hit rural areas hard – McCallion

Bank branch closures will hit rural areas hard – McCallionstream_img

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion has said the planned closure of half of the First Trust bank branches in the north will hit rural areas particularly hard.

She was speaking after it was announced First Trust was closing its branch at Crescent Link in Derry this summer.

She said:

“News that First Trust bank is planning to close half of its branches across the north including its branch at Crescent Link will come as a shock to many.

“Bank branches provide a key service in many local communities for both small businesses and personal banking customers.

“The loss of these branches will be particularly keenly felt in rural areas with people having to travel longer distances to access a bank.

“The news will also come as a blow to bank staff who will be facing an uncertain future following this announcement.”

Concern over anti-community activity in Ballymagroarty

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has called on parents to ensure children do not become involved in anti-community activity in Ballymagroarty.eric-1

Cllr. McGinley said: “Over the past couple of weeks a number of bins have been stolen and burned in Ballymagroarty whilst garden fencing has also been damaged in the same area.

The most serious disturbances took place last weekend with the PSNI intervening and arresting at least one person.

It is apparent that those responsible could be as young as thirteen or fourteen and there is a real onus on parents to ensure that their children are not involved in behaviour which is causing residents in the area serious concern.   There is no excuse for these actions which only cause worry and inconvenience for the local community.

I have been in contact with the Housing Executive in relation to repairs which are required for residents’ fencing and I am presently working to have bins replaced as quickly as possible.

Ends

Culmore Bomb Attack

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion has condemned those responsible for a bomb attack at the home of a PSNI officer in Derry. 

Elisha McCallion said:

“This bomb attack at the home of a PSNI office in the Culmore area of Derry was wrong and I condemn it.

“Thankfully no-one was injured in this incident but it must have been a frightening experience for people living in the area.

“Those responsible for this attack have noting to offer the people of Derry or the north.

“They do not represent the views of the city and they need to call a halt to these futile actions imediately.”

McCallion calls on Education Minister to provide certainty on Youth Work Funding

McCallion calls on Education Minister to provide certainty on Youth Work Funding

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion has called on DUP Minister for Education Peter Weir to provide certainty to Youth Workers on programmes such as ‘Extended Provision’.

The Sinn Féin Foyle Assembly Candidate said:dsc_4127

“The Education Authority announced the reinstatement of ‘core’ funding for youth workers, but unfortunately this does not include those youth workers involved in programmes such as ‘Extended Provision’

“Therefore uncertainty still exists over these programmes and the Minister must act to give certainty to these workers.

“These essential services were put in place by then Minister for Education, John O’Dowd aimed at areas most in need. They require Ministerial approval every year and I therefore call on the present Minister to provide this approval without further delay.

“I believe that it is imperative that these jobs be mainstreamed to ensure continuity of services and programmes.

“I will do all in my power to keep everyone informed on any new developments or information as they become available.” CRÍOCH/END

Mary Lou McDonald to host positive mental health event in Derry

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion said “We are very pleased to announce that  Mary Lou McDonald TD, Sinn Féin’s all-Ireland Spokesperson on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention is holding an event on positive mental health in our city this coming  Friday 24th February at 3.30pm in an Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin Great James Street Derry. 16797802_1915198492045845_3576471845321862694_o


The speakers for the event are Caolán Doherty ,Mickey Doherty and & Sarah Curran of Men’s Action Network. All will bring their own experiences to the event. The event is open to everyone and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along.

It has become abundantly clear to me from previous events that people clearly want to talk about and be heard on this issue.They are about listening to people, giving people a voice, and talking about issues close to their heart.

The harrowing stories we have heard time and time again across the country illustrate some harsh realities for those with mental health issues.

I would encourage all those concerned with mental health, suicide awareness or addiction to attend and we look forward to seeing you there.

Ends

Sinn Féin committed to securing Irish language act – McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney has said Sinn Féin is committed to securing an Irish language act.

He  said: dsc_6528

“Sinn Féin commends and supports Irish speakers in the long fight to secure the rights of the Irish language community. We are proud of the contribution and the efforts that our Party and our Ministers have made to promote the Irish language, and the rights of Irish speakers.

“Sinn Féin supports entirely the implementation of an Acht na Gaeilge.

“Our ministers have delivered unprecedented investment in the Irish Language in the north. Investment that has positively impacted the development of the Irish Language in our communities and in our schools.

“We have fought against bigotry in the Executive and put forward proposals and drafts for legislation on Acht na Gaeilge and for an Irish Language Strategy. We launched the first ever state-sponsored programme to attract new learners of Irish – ‘Líofa’. None of this has ever before been done before in the history of the 6 county state.

“We understand the importance of the inclusion of pobal na Gaeilge and have provided platforms in the political institutions for Irish Language organisations to be heard and to make an impact.

“There will be no retreat by Sinn Féin in terms of any of this progress.

“Campaign focus and lobbying efforts must continue to be aimed at those who oppose Acht na Gaeilge and language rights.

“Sinn Féin fully recognise that there must be a change in how the DUP in particular treat the Irish Language and Irish identity.

“No political institutions can be reformed without the fulfilment of previously agreed commitments.

“We are committed to ensuring that there will not be a return to the status quo.

McCallion welcomes reinstatement of youth worker funding

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion  has welcomed the decision by the education authority to reinstate the funding for youth workers.

She said:

©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 27th January 2016. Culture Minister Car‡l N’ Chuil’n launching the Talent Northwest 2016. Included are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Laura McNutt, previous competitor, Ollie Green, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

 

“The process of issuing notices of intent to youth workers who are involved in essential programmes in the most socially deprived communities was wrong.

“It is essential that these jobs are be mainstreamed to ensure continuity of service and programmes.

“I would like to congratulate those who campaigned to have the funding secured. Without their participation this reversal would not have occurred.”

Ends

Sinn Féin will continue to support Finucane family – McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney  has said the party will continue to support the family of Pat Finucane in their campaign for truth and justice.

Raymond McCartney  said; 12998349_1037714449617952_1759881580700105285_o

“Today’s decision in the Court of Appeal in Belfast is yet another attempt to deny the Finucane family access to truth about the murder of Pat Finucane.

“The Finucane family have campaigned long and hard, in a dignified manner despite having continual obstacles being placed in front of them by the British government.

“The fact is the British government agreed to hold a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and it has reneged on that commitment.

“The British government has failed the Finucane family and the families of so many other victims.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the Finucane family in their campaign for truth and justice.”

No hard border in Ireland

Marriage Equality for the North

Ginley welcomes Road Safety event in the city centre organised by O W Y F.

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed the proposed Road Safety event in the city centre organised by Outer West Youth Forum.fb_img_1486465834450

Cllr. McGinley said: “Outer West Youth Forum has been awarded funding from the PCSP to assist with the organising of a major event in Guildhall Square highlighting the dangers posed by death driving and car crime.

The event will involve the showing of a DVD prior to the staging of a mock road traffic collision highlighting an issue which directly impacts on young people and their communities.

This initiative will take place on Saturday, 25th March and I would take this opportunity to commend Outer West Youth Forum for the leadership being shown around such an important issue.”

Repairs to busy Springtown Road – Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed confirmation from Transport NI that they will be carrying repair work out on the Springtown Road next month.

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Councillor Cooper said “Transport NI will be carrying out repairs to Springtown Road in section going through the Springtown Industrial Estate .Hopefully this will address a number of sections which have become worn down and will help local businesses as well as customers visiting area.

 

Ends

Matt Carthy MEP to speak at Derry event- Economic argument for a United Ireland

Matt Carthy MEP will hold a discussion in Derry City outlining the economic argument for a United Ireland. 31182352541_292ab82d3e_o

There is now an urgent need for an inclusive, constructive debate on the future, including how a United Ireland will be brought about and what it might look like.

The event will take place in Da Vincis Hotel on Thursday 23rd February at 1pm.

Light lunch will be provided.

All welcome.

Foyle Haven immediate future secure- McCallion

Former Mayor and Sinn Féin Assembly Candidate Elisha McCallion has said despite some negative commentary circulating regarding the future of Foyle Haven day centre for adults with acute addiction issues its immediate future is secure.

©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 27th January 2016.  Culture Minister Car‡l N’ Chuil’n launching the Talent Northwest 2016. Included are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Laura McNutt, previous competitor, Ollie Green, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

Councillor McCallion said:

“During my term as Mayor I took particular interest in issues around addiction and people in crisis. One of those projects was the Foyle Haven which was at that time experiencing funding problems.

“I established a working group to assess the situation and seek funding that would secure its future.

“We were successful in securing a rescue package at that time and since then I have continued to meet with the working group to look at sustainability. Funding is currently in place and secure until June 2017 and we have a number of active applications which are pending decisions and I am confident that come June funding wil continue.

“I met with CEO  of De Paul Ireland who operate Foyle Haven just last Friday and she is happy with the progress to date and has assured me that she will continue to assist the working group in securing the long-term future of the facility.

“The Working Group will meet again in the coming weeks to plan a sustainable way forward. It is unhelpful and creates anxiety for those who use the facility when rumour is presented as fact and I would ask anyone with the best interests of this facility at heart to work positively for its future and refrain from uninformed negative comment.

“At every stage of this process staff have been kept informed and from my contact with them are happy with the progress being delivered by the Working Group.” CRÍOCH/END

Sinn Féin permanently closed RHI scheme – Murphy

Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy said today that Sinn Féin voted for permanent closure of the RHI scheme while the SDLP and UUP voted to keep it open.

Conor Murphy said:_90288770_chara

“The Sinn Fein proposal was for urgent and permanent closure with a short two-week run down period to allow companies already in the process of installing equipment to complete their work.

“While Sinn Féin voted to close the scheme, the SDLP and the UUP voted to keep it open despite knowing the threat to public services that would result.”

McCartney calls on DUP to clarify on who funded lavish pro-Brexit campaign

Sinn Féins Raymond McCartney has called on the DUP to clarify who funded its lavish pro-Brexit advertising campaign. dsc_6528

Raymond McCartney  said;

“Revelations that the DUP received huge amounts of money from England to fund its lavish pro-Brexit advertising campaign raise serious questions.

“The DUP took hugely expensive newspaper ads in a London newspaper which is not circulated in the North and DUP campaign material was also used in other British cities where they do not stand for election.

“The DUP need to come clean and clarify who gave them the money and how much they received.

“It is vitally important in the wake of other scandals that the DUP clarify this in order to ensure integrity in the political process.

“There are strict rules around corporate sponsorship and there can be no place for anyone attempting to get around those rules.”

Bridgend rally to highlight the implications of Brexit

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion said dsc_4127

Its very important that rallies such as today’s take place to highlight the implications that Brexit will have on places like Derry , Strabane and Donegal.

There is a growing sense of anger out there  in our communities as people find out the implications it will have on their daily lives.

In the years since the Good Friday Agreement, the border has become all but invisible.

Brexit seriously threatens that important progress and risks inflicting significant hardship on border communities like Derry, Donegal and the wider economy and society.

The very last thing we need to see is the re-emergence of border controls, customs posts and all the paraphernalia of Partition which had been banished with the peace process.

There is a real and deepening concern now, right across the border region, as to how Brexit will impact on businesses, tourism and on people who cross the border on a daily basis for work and education.

 

Ends

Adams commends Brexit protesters and calls on DUP to reveal funding it received for Brexit campaign

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has praised the actions of those who  protested on the border on Saturday at the likely damaging impact of Brexit.c48uh31wiaahbe_

Gerry Adams said:

“The Irish Government needs to clarify as a matter of urgency whether it is preparing contingency plans for border posts and checkpoints as a result of Brexit. During the week, we received conflicting information on this from the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance. There is huge concern from Louth to Donegal and Derry about the impact of a hard border on local communities, jobs, and trade.”

Speaking also on the allegations from within the DUP of corruption arising from the RHI scandal, the Sinn Féin leader revealed that Sinn Féin will be publishing a document on Monday to tackle corruption, as well as the lack of accountability and transparency around party funding titled ‘Integrity in Government’.

Gerry Adams said:

“The scandal over the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme has rocked public confidence in the political institutions. Restoring that confidence must be a priority for every political party in this election. There can be no place for allegations of corruption and malpractice.

“On Monday, Sinn Féin will launch robust proposals for achieving this. They will address the issues of political donations, lobbying, conflict of interests, and whistleblowing.

“The Assembly election is an opportunity to resolve outstanding issues arising from the Good Friday and subsequent negotiations, but also to put in place legislation and mechanisms to ensure that the integrity of the political process is above reproach.”

The Sinn Féin leader today also urged the DUP to “address the widespread concerns about the funding of its Brexit campaign. The people of the North voted to remain in the referendum last June. The majority of citizens recognised the significant economic and political damage leaving the EU will create for farmers, local communities, jobs, and trade.

“In this context, citizens have a right to know who funded the DUP campaign, how and where that money was spent, and how much is involved? The DUP should not hide behind the electoral commission. The party should release this information now. The fact are strict rules around corporate sponsorship and there can be no place for anyone attempting to get around those rules.”

POC necessary safeguard to protect minorities – McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney  said recent comments about scrapping the Petition of Concern are a further attempt by the DUP to deflect attention from the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal.

He  said:

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“These comments are the latest attempt by the DUP to divert attention from the RHI scandal, the potential waste of half a billion pounds of public money and allegations of corruption.

“The Petition of Concern was put in place to protect minorities following decades of unionist misrule and discrimination.

“The DUP abused the POC to undermine the rights of minorities and used it to block for example all attempts to bring forward legislation on marriage equality.

“Their approach was unsustainable and reflected their disrespect and arrogance for whole sections of our society.

“It comes as no surprise that they want to end these protections.

“The POC is a necessary safeguard required to prevent the kind of discrimination and excesses we have seen from unionism.

“We are content to address this in any negotiations.

“What is required is an end to the abuse of the POC system and full equality and respect granted to all sections of society regardless of race, religion, sexuality or gender.”

McCallion welcomes Derry jobs boost

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion has welcomed the news that 80 new jobs will created with the opening of a major retail store at the former B&Q site on the Buncrana Road

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Elisha McCallion said “There was much disappointment in the city last year when the former B&Q business closed down here with the loss of many local jobs.

“It’s now great to see this site coming back into use and the retail company The Range creating up to 80 jobs. This announcement comes just week weeks before Home Bargains is to open a brand new store on the Strand Road creating 100 jobs.

Hassan welcomes new safety measures at Culmore Primary School

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan has welcomed the completion of a new car park at Culmore Primary School  on the Culmore Road which the contractors have told Councillor Hassan will be open next week.

Cllr Tony Hassan said lg_tony_hassan_copy2

This is good news for parent’s, children and of course the staff of the school .I commend the developers of the site on the barley field for the completion of the work.

For a long time and over many years there have been problems on the Culmore Road at the school which was a matter of health and safety for parents leaving their children off in the mornings and also collecting them  in the afternoon.

Now with the safe car parking and the new pathway into the school things are now a bit safer for very one at the school.

I would like to commend the school staff, board of governors, and the developers for making this possible.

 

ENDS

McCallion calls on all candidates to support marriage equality pledge

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion  has called on all candidates in the upcoming Assembly election to support a pledge to work for bring marriage equality to the north.

She  said;

©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 27th January 2016. Culture Minister Car‡l N’ Chuil’n launching the Talent Northwest 2016. Included are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Laura McNutt, previous competitor, Ollie Green, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

“There is a growing demand for marriage equality across the north.

“Equal marriage threatens no one. It is about equal rights for everyone.

“This pledge asks all candidates to sign up to work to legislate for equal marriage and to eradicate all forms of prejudice.

“Sinn Féin is committed to seeing marriage equality extended across the island and to opposing homophobia, sectarianism, sexism and all other forms of discrimination wherever they occur.

“This is part of Sinn Féin’s commitment to equality and we are asking all other candidates to sign this pledge.”

McCartney supports Brexit Border Rally

Sinn Féin Assembly Election Candidate, Raymond McCartney has called for support for a protest rally organised by Derry based campaign group ‘Breaking Down Brexit’ at the Bridgend border crossing this Saturday 18th February at 10am to highlight the negative impact and everyday reality that Brexit will have for people crossing the border.

 

Raymond McCartney said:14502798_1164193246970071_6565486456371092707_n

 

“The organisers have assured me that while their intention is to highlight the realities that Brexit will have on day-to-day life for anyone who has to cross the border they will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum.

 

“There will be a mock custom post and older citizens will have some memory of the disruption these border checks caused but which it will be totally alien to younger generations.

 

“I believe that it is important that people are given an indication of what the reality of Brexit will have for the 30,000 people who cross the border on a daily basis to work or study. But it will also give a flavour of what it will be like for other travellers also.

 

“It is important to ensure that the democratically expressed wishes of the majority citizens in the North who voted to remain within the EU is respected and that this message is sent loud and clear to the British government at every opportunity.
“The ongoing election campaign provides every person intending to cast a vote – and I would encourage the maximum number to do so – to interrogate candidates and parties on their record and policies on protecting the rights of citizens in the North post Brexit.

 

“We have lived with the negative effects of partition in economic, social and political terms for over 90 years. The border has fractured our economy, separated communities and stunted investment and development in the general border corridor area.

 

“It is only in recent years that we have begun to surmount the obstacles in areas of health, education, food production etc caused by partition and any suggestion of a British government reimposing a visible border, hard or soft, stretching from Derry to Dundalk, is unacceptable and Sinn Féin the only party with representation in every elected fora on this island and in Europe will lead robust opposition to it.

 

“I welcome this initiative by the ‘Breaking Down Brexit’ group – a non-political broad range group – and encourage anyone who has an hour on Saturday morning to join them at Bridgend at ten o’clock.”

Fleming welcomes road improvements at accident blackspot

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming has welcomed the news that the Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has given the go ahead for a major £105,000 road resurfacing and reconstruction scheme on A2 Clooney Road at Judges Road in Maydown.Paul Fleming strathfoyle

Councillor Fleming said

“I am pleased that this vital work is taking place .We have been raising concerns about this section of road over the last number of years. Residents have also been campaigning about safety issues along it.

In November past our Sinn Féin council team held a meeting with the Transport NI Divisional Manager, and his staff.

We raised a number of important issues across the City and District .Top of our agenda was the ongoing issues with the Clooney Road Dual Carriageway.

This is a very busy road with hundreds of vehicles using it daily so on that basis  clearly something needed to be done there as a matter of urgency.

Hopefully this work will now address those concerns and improve safety.

Sinn Féin supports Tesco workers

Legacy delegation raises British failure to deal with legacy in Strasbourg – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said relatives of victims of state violence raised concerns directly with EU officials about the British government’s failures to deal with the legacy of the past.

Ms Anderson said; c4ovldqweaarnvu-jpg-large

“I am currently leading a legacy delegation to Strasbourg to meet senior European officials, including Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

“We also met with Genevieve Meyer, head of division at the Council of Europe’s Execution of Judgement Committee, who is currently preparing a report into the British government’s breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.

“These were very positive meetings. The relatives of victims of state violence on the delegation had the opportunity to raise their concerns at the British government’s failure to live up to its responsibility to deal with the legacy of the past.

“Nils Muiznieks in particular was very concerned at the British government’s failures to implement the legacy aspects of successive agreements and its refusal to release funding for the Lord Chief Justice’s plans to deal with legacy inquests.

“Europe is very concerned with the British government’s failures on legacy and we will continue to update MEPs and officials from across Europe on behalf of victims.”

Trade Union Movement has key role in effecting change – McCartney

Sinn Féins, Raymond McCartney has urged the Trade Union movement in the north to realise its potential as an agency of change in society.

Raymond McCartney said:12998349_1037714449617952_1759881580700105285_o

“The election to be held on March 2nd will be a watershed election for society in the north.

“Sinn Féin took decisive action in standing against political corruption and arrogance. Our decision will ensure that the electorate will have its say on these issues and the future of society.

“Sinn Féin will not return to a situation where these issues remain unresolved.

“As the largest civic organisation on the island, the trade union movement should seize this opportunity to ensure that the necessary step change in politics is enacted.

“There is agreement among progressives across a wide range of issues ranging from the rights of workers and marriage equality to tackling poverty and protection of public services, and ensuring equality and power sharing are delivered.

“Brexit poses the most serious threat to workers and human rights. It will undermine the Good Friday Agreement.

“I appeal to the trade unions and their membership in particular, to look beyond the rhetoric and to stand against corruption and the DUP, and support parties committed to equality and respect for all, for powersharing and the Good Friday Agreement.”

Sinn Féin Foyle candidates meet University Management

After meeting with the management of the University of Ulster Sinn Fein assembly candidates Raymond McCartney and Elisha McCallion said the discussions were focussed both on the opportunities provided by Magee expansion and the potential implications of BREXIT on the research activities of the UU:

 

Mr McCartney and Ms McCallion said:20170128_154209

 

“We were delighted to accept Professor Paddy Nixon’s request to meet with himself and senior management to discuss their ongoing work to expand the Magee campus. Our discussions focused on a range of issues including the UU’s plans for the development of a medical school at Magee.

 

“We again reiterated Sinn Fein’s commitment to making this happen as the first step in the wider expansion of Magee through an increase in MasN student places and the development of new economically relevant courses to complement existing provision. We also expressed delight at the swift progress being made on the new teaching block which will further enhance the infrastructure on the campus.

 

“Crucially, we discussed the potential implications of BREXIT for the UU and the wider Further and Higher Education sector across the north and negative impact it will have on funding opportunities to finance research and development projects in the aftermath of BREXIT.

 

“We outlined how our colleague Martina Anderson MEP is working tirelessly to persuade the European Commission and other decision makers in Brussels that Designated Status is the only option for the north once Article 50 is invoked.

 

“We also discussed how the UU could reinforce this message by conducting their own lobby to demonstrate the importance of EU funding to their research activities and the wider activities of the UU and other educational institutions.

 

“We look forward to developing this conversation further in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that the Magee’s potential is realised and that opportunities to develop further research programmes which is a crucial area of income and activity for the UU are identified and capitalised on ” CRÍOCH/END

Sinn Féin is standing up to DUP arrogance and contempt – McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney  has said Sinn Féin is standing up against DUP arrogance and contempt for for the public.

 He said:dsc_2730

“RHI should stand for Respect, Honesty and Integrity in the political process rather than being a byword for scandal and incompetence as a result of the DUP’s handling of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

“The DUP’s RHI scheme literally saw money that could be used for frontline public services going up in smoke.

“Sinn Féin is standing in this election to restore public confidence in the political institutions, which must be based on the principles of equality and respect for all.

“We are standing up against corruption, arrogance and contempt for whole sections of the public at the heart of government.

“What is won in the negotiations post election is a win for everyone.”

Nesbitt must clarify if UUP remains opposed to marriage equality – McCallion

Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion  has called on Mike Nesbitt to tell the public whether his party still opposes marriage equality.

©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 27th January 2016.  Culture Minister Car‡l N’ Chuil’n launching the Talent Northwest 2016. Included are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Laura McNutt, previous competitor, Ollie Green, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
She  said:

“As leader of the UUP Mike Nesbitt has rejected the rights of the Irish language speaking community to legal protections under an Irish language act.

“I am calling on him to clarify if his party remains opposed to marriage equality.

“The north is now the only part of these islands which does not have marriage equality. This is shameful and unacceptable.

“There is a growing demand to see marriage equality extended across the island.

“As a party we will campaign for equal marriage rights for all.

“Sinn Fein stands for equality and respect for all citizens regardless of creed, gender, race or sexuality.”

Altnagelvin cancer centre a boost for all-Ireland healthcare – McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney has said the official opening of the new North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital this morning is a boost for all-Ireland healthcare. dsc_5535

Speaking after attending the opening alongside Health Minister Michelle O’Neill and Elisha McCallion, Mr McCartney said;

“The opening of the North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin is a great addition to health provision in the north west and a boost for all-Ireland healthcare as it will provide first-class treatment for patients from Derry, Tyrone and Donegal.

“This is good news for the North West region and all those who have lobbied and campaigned hard to have the new Radiotherapy Unit located at Altnagelvin Hospital.

“This new facility will make a dramatic impact on the lives of cancer sufferers as it will mean that the vast majority of patients will be able to receive radiotherapy treatment within one hour travelling distance of their homes.

“This is further evidence of Michelle O’Neill and Sinn Féin delivering for everyone in our society.”

Sinn Féin Foyle candidates meet University Management

After meeting with the management of the University of Ulster Sinn Fein assembly candidates Raymond McCartney and Elisha McCallion said the discussions were focussed both on the opportunities provided by Magee expansion and the potential implications of BREXIT on the research activities of the UU:

 

Mr McCartney and Ms McCallion said:20170128_154209

 

“We were delighted to accept Professor Paddy Nixon’s request to meet with himself and senior management to discuss their ongoing work to expand the Magee campus. Our discussions focused on a range of issues including the UU’s plans for the development of a medical school at Magee.

 

“We again reiterated Sinn Fein’s commitment to making this happen as the first step in the wider expansion of Magee through an increase in MasN student places and the development of new economically relevant courses to complement existing provision. We also expressed delight at the swift progress being made on the new teaching block which will further enhance the infrastructure on the campus.

 

“Crucially, we discussed the potential implications of BREXIT for the UU and the wider Further and Higher Education sector across the north and negative impact it will have on funding opportunities to finance research and development projects in the aftermath of BREXIT.

 

“We outlined how our colleague Martina Anderson MEP is working tirelessly to persuade the European Commission and other decision makers in Brussels that Designated Status is the only option for the north once Article 50 is invoked.

 

“We also discussed how the UU could reinforce this message by conducting their own lobby to demonstrate the importance of EU funding to their research activities and the wider activities of the UU and other educational institutions.

 

“We look forward to developing this conversation further in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that the Magee’s potential is realised and that opportunities to develop further research programmes which is a crucial area of income and activity for the UU are identified and capitalised on ” CRÍOCH/END

Mike Nesbitt will not dictate who can have rights and entitlements-McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney said that neither the UUP or the DUP will dictate who can have rights and entitlements following his latest rejection of an Irish language act.

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He  said;

“Mike Nesbitt, the leader of the UUP, has rejected an Irish language act. This is a failure to provide positive leadership and embrace change to move society into the 21st Century.

“The north is now the only place in these islands not to have legal protection for Gaelic speakers.

“There are people right across the community calling for an Acht na Gaeilge on the basis of respect and equality for all citizens.

“However, Mike Nesbitt has chosen to firmly hitch his wagon to the British government and the DUP’s continued denial of rights and equality.

“It is not up to Mike Nesbitt or the UUP to determine who can and cannot have rights. We had 50 years of the UUP doing that. It failed.

“Mike Nesbitt needs to wake up to that reality.”

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