Rosemount clean up takes place -Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has thanked the Shantallow based Teamworks programme of  the major work they have carried out across the Rosemount and Glen areas over the summer monthsMickey Cooper

 

Councillor Cooper said “I would like to thank everyone involved in Teamworks for the work programme they gave carried out in the Glen and Rosemount areas over recent months.

 

I was directly involved in the request to get them to carry out the work on  the lanes which are not done by statutory agencies as they are in privately owned areas.

 

Some of the lane ways were in a very bad state with overgrown weeds and rubbish. This should make access to the rear of the homes more easy for the likes of oil deliveries and refuse collections particularly as we enter the winter months. It’s now important that residents play their part in keeping the lanes in as best shape as possible.

 

Those residents who look after the lanes should not be blighted by a minority who continue to illegally dump rubbish .I will continue to work with the  council to pursue new enforcement powers.

 

Pedestrians forced to walk on busy Southway –Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly said COLLY

“I have been contacted by residents concerned about the state of the pathway going down Southway leading to the Lone Moor Road with overgrown weeds and nettles.

 

This is causing people and more particularly pram users having to manoeuvre out onto the main road to get past. Anyone who uses this area on a daily basis will tell you it’s always very busy with traffic.

I have been in contact with Road Service and asked them look at this as a matter of urgency.

 

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Car fire could have spread to homes – Duffy

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy commenting after an abandoned car was set on fire within yards of homes in Donal Casey Court on the Buncrana Road.

Councillor Sandra Duffy said Sandra Duffy Head shot 1

Back in August there was a similar incident with a car being set on fire on the Beragh Hill Road and it was only the quick actions of the Fire Service which prevented the fire spread from the bushes to homes in Elmgrove.

It’s very worrying that residents in Donal Casey Court should have to put up with this.

Just last year there was a very serious fire there when a nearby hedge fire spread to a residents garden causing the oil tank to explode.

I would appeal to anyone who has information on those responsible for this latest despicable incident to give it to the police.

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Sinn Féin meet PSNI in Derry over car crime/burglaries

Sinn Féin Policing Board member and Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney , Cllr Sandra Duffy along with community representatives have held a meeting with senior members of PSNI in Derry which focused on car crime, burglaries and anti-community behaviour in the greater Galliagh and Shantallow areas.raymond mccartney

Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said “It was very important that this meeting took place as there is a lot of concern out in the community in relation to a number of crimes taking place in the locality.

The meeting focussed on car crime, burglary and anti-community behaviour.

We were reassured that there has been progress on several of the issues that we raised and that there have been a number of arrests.

It was accepted that there is still a number of challenges to be overcome to ensure that residents can live in safety.

We will keep our engagements with the PSNI going and support their efforts in tackling criminality.

 

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Hassan to call on Council to back fairer housing points scheme

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Councillor Tony Hassan is to bring a motion to DCSDC next week calling on the Minister for Communities to bring forward a replacement to the Housing Selection Scheme that ensures a fairer and more transparent system of assessing housing need.lg_tony_hassan_copy2

And that the Council calls on the Minister to bring forward the required regulation/legislation to give effect to this motion without undue delay.

Councillor Hassan said “I feel it’s very important that there is an overhaul of the housing points system here. I see the impact its currently has on applicants in Derry and the many people who are missing out on getting on the social housing ladder.

Sinn Féin have met with the Minister on a number of occasions and stressed the need for the system to be reviewed.

The current scheme is failing many people and intimidation points are being abused in order to secure housing.

The present scheme is not fit for purpose; it does not recognise people suffering from domestic violence or anti-social behaviour.

We need to develop a housing selection scheme that is robust and fair.

 

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Muck bomb nightmare for Hazelbank residents -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has called on young people to stop firing sinns at cars and property.Eric new head shot 20144

Cllr. McGinley said: “In recent times a small number of young people have been using pipes to throw muck at passing cars and houses in the Hazelbank area.

Apart from the mess which has been created – as seen at one particular property – there is a very real danger that an accident will occur if passing cars are struck by this debris.

I would call on young people not to engage in this type of activity and I would also ask parents to ensure that they are aware of their children’s whereabouts and to impress on them the dangers of their actions.”

 

Good news for Garden City residents –Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the news that work on a number of issues is to take place in the greater Garden City area of Derry  including new footpaths and trees getting cut back.

Councillor Cooper  said

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper


The footpaths in Garden City have been neglected for a very long time. I contacted DRD Roads Service away back in November 2012 to see if they could carry out an inspection on the state of the footpaths.

So I am pleased that the area from the junction of Culmore Road to Ballynasilloe Avenue is now getting a new footpath. And trees at rear of properties in Ballynasilloe Ave are also getting cut back. It’s an issue I have been lobbying on now for some months. I relayed the concerns from residents and asked that a solution could be found to sort this out as speedily as possible.

Anderson welcomes launch of ‘Still Me’ dementia awareness campaign

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the launch of the ‘Still Me’ dementia public information campaign.

Ms Anderson said:Martina news

“I welcome the launch of the ‘Still Me’ public information campaign. It is estimated there are 19,000 people in the north living with dementia yet only some 13,000 have received a formal diagnosis.

“Behind these figures are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters whose lives have been changed forever through the onset of dementia.

“Last week Michelle O’Neill launched the Dementia Learning and Development Framework and I believe both initiatives will help all of us, especially those who work and care for people living with dementia, to better understand their particular needs.

“The launch of these campaigns will help in the implementation of the Delivering Social Change Dementia Initiative, raise awareness and understanding of dementia and help address the stigma attached to the condition.”

Anderson calls for end of Israeli use of administrative detention

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed news that three Palestinian prisoners who had been on hunger strike are to be released and she called for an end to administrative detention by the Israelis.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Ms Anderson said;

“I welcome news from Palestine that brothers Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul and Malik Qadi who had been on hunger strike for 70 days have ended their fast and will be released.

“The three men, like hundreds of others, are being held under what Israel calls ‘administrative detention’. Here in Ireland we know it as internment.

“Sinn Féin opposed the use of internment here and opposes the use of administrative detention in Palestine.

“The international community must put pressure on Israel to end this affront to justice and call on the Israelis to release all prisoners currently held under administrative detention.”

Jackson slams Sectarian attack on children attending youth club

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has slammed those responsible for a sectarian attack on young people attending a youth club in the Dungiven Road area of the Waterside.

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

He was speaking after the attack on young people attending the club on Tuesday night.

Councillor Jackson said

I was contacted by parents who were very angry about this attack on children attending the club. A number were physically assaulted and there were also bottles and bricks thrown during the incident. It’s hard to imagine the fear these children must have being going through. The gang involved in this attack had their faces covered by scarves.

Those responsible need to realise the possible consequences of their actions. At a time when communities in the Waterside are striving to cement peace and encourage reconciliation it would appear that there is a very small minority intent on living in the past. There is no place in our society for this carryon and those involved in these attacks should hang their heads in shame.

We cannot allow a situation that during the hours of darkness parts of the Waterside become no go areas.

I am calling on the PSNI to put in whatever resources are needed to counteract and apprehend those responsible for carrying out these attacks.

Claims against Gerry Adams are total rubbish – McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has dismissed claims made against Gerry Adams in a ‘Spotlight’ broadcast as total rubbish. 

Mr McGuinness said; nwgf6fjsmrtiit1wu551yp5gucx8cb

“The allegations against Gerry Adams are total rubbish.  

“The fact is that anti-peace process republicans claimed responsibility for the killing of Denis Donaldson and An Garda Síochána have been investigating that line of inquiry for ten years. 

“The credibility of a paid agent, the old guard of the RUC who ran the intelligence war during the conflict, together with reliance on ‘sources,’ is seriously questionable. For me they have no credibility whatsoever.” 

 

Ends/Críoch

Co-ordinated approach needed to combat fuel poverty – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said a coordinated approach is needed across Europe to combat fuel poverty.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Speaking from a major conference of MEPs in Bratislava, Ms Anderson said;

“With rising energy costs more and more people across Europe are experiencing fuel poverty.

“It is simply unacceptable in 2016 that people should be faced with the choice of whether to heat or eat.

“A number of EU member states have put in place measures to tackle fuel poverty and international energy companies cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over those measures.

“It is important the EU supports renewable and affordable energy to fight fuel poverty.

“We need a common approach to tackling fuel poverty and I look forward to playing a role in that.  I reminded MEPs that the majority of people in the North voted to remain in the EU and that vote must be respected so we can work together to tackle this and other important issues.”

Logue expresses concerns over online grooming figures

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue  has called on young people to speak out if they have any concerns over online grooming.

She was speaking after new figures released by the NSPCC showed an increase in calls to Childline about online grooming.

Councillor Patricia Logue said:Patricia Logue new pic 22

“News that more than 160 children in the North phoned Childline concerned about online sexual abuse and that most of the calls were from children aged 12-15 years of age is deeply alarming.

“Online grooming poses a real risk.

“Given the growth of apps and webcams that assist online chatting I would call on young people to speak out about any concerns they may have.

“I would also encourage parents to take an interest in their child’s online activity.

“Childline can answer any questions and offer free and confidential support and advice. They can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk,”

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McGuinness welcomes news British government is prepared to fund Derry to London flight

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has welcomed confirmation that the British Government is prepared to fund a public service obligation (PSO) air service between City of Derry Airport and London.Martin McG1

Martin McGuinness said:

“This is more good news for the airport and comes just a day after the Executive confirmed a £7million package to secure the future of City of Derry airport. 

“I met with the Secretary of State James Brokenshire yesterday and impressed on him the importance of a PSO in terms of economic development and connectivity for the entire north west reaction. 

“This is crucial, particularly in light of Ryanair’s decision to scrap it’s Derry to London service.

“Therefore, I greatly welcome today’s announcement that the London Government is prepared to support the PSO. 

“Effectively that means they will subsidise the cost of the route, making it a very attractive proposition to many airline carriers.

“I am also lobbying the Dublin Government to put in place a similar arrangement for a Derry to Dublin flight and I believe there is a compelling case to be made in that case also.

“We could very easily have been facing the potential closure of the airport as a result of Ryanair’s decision to scale down its services. 

“However, swift intervention from the Executive and now the London Government has transformed the situation and the future looks much brighter for the airport with the prospect of more flights, more jobs and more opportunities.”

Calls for renewed focus on deterring illegal parking at Aberfoyle

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey  Cooper said “There are long standing issues around commuter parking and the high volume of traffic travelling through the area and the subsequent inconvenience this is creating for residents, pedestrians and motorists. So it’s vital that there is a renewed focus on deterring illegal parking in the Aberfoyle area as the new term in the University is about to begin.

DSC_0408(1)

The locality has a significant number of older people who have particular mobility and access needs and unregulated parking in the area is creating hardship for many of these people. We have had a number of cases in the past when emergency vehicles have been unable to access Aberfoyle Crescent because of the volume of cars parked there. This is intolerable.

 

I’ve spoken to redcoats and PSNI on the issue and the police have also been in contact with the  University.

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40 street lights out in Ballymagroarty Hazelbank -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has called on Transport NI to prioritise the Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank estates as a response to a large number of street lights needing replaced._76770968_streetlights

Councillor McGinley said: “I have counted almost 40 street lights out between Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank at this present time which is a situation which needs to be immediately rectified.

As the nights and mornings become increasingly darker the dangers to pedestrians and road users alike also increases.

I have brought this matter to the attention of Transport NI’s street lighting section and I have asked for an immediate response.”

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McCartney shocked and concerned by Maghaberry Report

Sinn Féin Policing Board Member, Raymond McCartney MLA, has expressed his shock and deep concern following the publication of the Prison Ombudsman’s report into an investigation surrounding the serious self-harm by Derryman Sean Lynch at Maghaberry Prison in 2014.

 

Mr McCartney said:raymond mccartney

 

“The report, published this week , makes a total of 63 recommendations to the Prison Service and the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT).

 

“I am deeply shocked at the detail of the Ombudsman’s Report.

 

“It is clear that both the Prison Service and the SEHSCT failed in their obligations to ensure the care and well-being of Sean Lynch.

 

“It is appalling that Prison Service staff watched him inflict terrible injuries upon himself for a period of over an hour while he shouted and cried in pain. 

 

“This case points towards an institutional culture which appears to give primacy to a security mindset within the Prison Service over the care and safety of prisoners in Maghaberry.

 

“It has disturbing implications for the achievement of comprehensive prison reform.

 

“The Ombudsman’s report also raises cross-departmental issues for the welfare of prison inmates.

 

“I have already discussed this case with the new Minister for Health, Michelle O’Neill, who requested a report from the SEHSCT.

 

“I also understand that Minister O’Neill has had discussions with the Minister for Justice about the prevalence of mental illness in the prison population and I welcome their commitment to working together to tackle this problem.

“Sinn Féin is seeking a meeting with the Prison Ombudsman to discuss his recommendations and wider prison reform issues.

 

“We also intend to request a meeting with the Director General of the Prison Service to demand urgent action and ensure that such a scandal never happens again.

 

“Sinn Féin has already indicated to the Maghaberry Prison management that we will be returning to the prison shortly to engage further with inmates in relation to conditions on the integrated wings.”

Ends/Críoch

Local businesses will benefit from Christmas voucher scheme – Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed an initiative from DCSDC who are working with local businesses to offer a discount voucher booklet for shoppers and those using hotels and restaurants over the Christmas period.Christmas-shopping-001

Councillor Patricia Logue said “Any initiative that helps local businesses and consumers has to be welcomed.

It’s often said that the income in the final quarter of the year is vital in keeping the doors open of many businesses in our city open.

I hope this voucher scheme will encourage more people to shop local and support the hospitality industry over the Christmas period.

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£370,000 for Disabilty Sport funding – McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed the awarding of Disabilty Sport funding to Derry City & Strabane District Council.Eric new head shot 20144

Cllr. McGinley said: “Our Council and Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council will be able to avail of 370k of funding in partnership with Disability Sport to introduce programmes that empower people to become more active and consequently increase their sense of wellbeing.

Whilst the initiative is delivered in conjunction with Disability Sport the participants in the programmes will reach across all Sections 75 groupings.

Derry City & Strabane District Council is already one of the most proactive Local Authorities in encouraging citizens to become more active and this funding award will see an Active Recreation Officer based locally in the Foyle Arena.

The delivery of the project will be overseen by a Get Out Get Active Forum and I would encourage citizens to participate in the forthcoming programmes.”

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Campbell condemns attack on Derry Peace Flame

Former Mayor of Derry Sinn Féin Councillor  Kevin Campbell commenting on news that the  Peace Flame in Foyle Street has been vandalised in the past week.DSC_0423

Councillor Kevin Campbell said

“I am extremely disappointed to learn that the Peace Flame launched back in 2013 by school children at the park in Foyle Street has been vandalised.

The Bright Brand New Day initiative led by Rev David Latimer was one of the highlights of the my year as Mayor. Listening to the speech by Martin Luther King III and the launch of the flame I thought was a very proud day for our city.

I hope that this incident will not be repeated and would appeal for anyone with information to bring it forward.

McGuinness secures Concentrix meeting on Tax Credits

Foyle MLA and deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness’s office has secured a meeting with Revenue contracted company Concentrix to discuss widespread concerns at how it is applying Tax Credit qualification criteria.

Raymond McCartney MLA, who will represent the Party at the meeting said:tax credits

“This meeting secured by Martin McGuinness MLA will provide an opportunity to put the case for the hundreds of people who have been treated in an overly bureaucratic manner by this private contractor on behalf of the Revenue authorities. We have also been in contact with the DHSS to find the direct impact all of this is having locally on claimants and requested a meeting.

“The number of individuals who have indicated to us that they never received the original request for additional information would suggest that there is something profoundly wrong with the procedures being applied by Concentrix.

“The arbitrary approach adopted by this private company is resulting in unacceptable hardship for many vulnerable families and individuals.

“When the Sinn Féin delegation meets with Concentrix representatives we will demonstrate through specific cases the need for verification of qualification criteria to be radically reviewed and adjusted to ensure that claimants receive all benefits due and not to punish the majority in order to identify perceived abuse of the system.”

Concluding he said raymond mccartney

We have also been in contact with those working at the coalface in the community and voluntary sector. They have told us there is a concern that it seems to be primarily single  mothers who have been caught up in all this and as a result have lost out on the likes of school meals for their children and uniform grants.

Hassan calls for change to housing scheme

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan has welcomed confirmation from the communities minister to send the Housing Selection Scheme out to public consultation.

The party’s housing spokesperson said:lg_tony_hassan_copy2

“I welcome the fact the minister is sending the proposal out to public consultation.

“Sinn Féin have met with him on a number of occasions and stressed the need for the system to be reviewed.

“The current scheme is failing many people and intimidation points are being abused in order to secure housing.

“The present scheme is not fit for purpose; it does not recognise people suffering from domestic violence or anti-social behaviour.

“I would ask people from the broad housing sector, the Housing Executive and the voluntary housing sector to take part in the consultation to develop a housing selection scheme that is robust and fair.”

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Conar Court resolution in sight – Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed confirmation from Habinteg that residents of Conar Court in Crawford Square have finally received a proposed schedule of works to resolve issues related to gas supply and other structural matters in their homes.

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

 

Councillor Cooper said,

 

“The issuing of the work plan follows an inconclusive meeting between residents and Habinteg which was followed up by meetings involving Councillor Cooper and party colleague Raymond McCartney MLA with Habinteg and other stakeholders:

 

“Im pleased that as a result of our engagement with Habinteg, Building Control in Derry Strabane Council and the Health and Safety Executive, residents are now in possession of a detailed work plan for their homes.

 

“We have urged Habinteg to take feedback from each resident to ensure they are happy with the plan before work begins. On that basis we would hope that work will begin imminently to resolve issues which have caused residents untold problems over the last couple of years”

Campbell sends solidarity message to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell said it is important that people in Derry and across Ireland send solidarity messages to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who are protesting against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.photo usa

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have led vibrant protests against the Dakota Access 1,200 mile pipeline linking North Dakota to Illinois, which will threaten their water supply and cultural heritage

He said:

“The Standing Rock Sioux have very legitimate concerns over the environmental risks that the Dakota Access oil pipeline will create. It will disturb their sacred areas, ancient burial sites, and there is a very high risk that it will pollute their drinking water source.

“It appears that this pipeline project was approved without enough consultation with the tribe. The Standing Rock Sioux have been bravely demonstrating against the building of this pipeline and they have been joined by Native Americans from across North America.New shot of Kevin

“I have spoken to a number of people in Derry in recent days concerned to see videos of peaceful protesters being attacked by private security companies with dogs and pepper spray.

“I welcome that the Obama administration has halted some work on the pipeline, but from listening to representatives of the Standing Rock Sioux, the battle is far from won. They are preparing their protest camp for the winter months to ensure this pipeline is not built.

“I would like to send a message of solidarity from Derry to those protesting this pipeline and legally challenging its construction in court.”

 

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McCallion urges Greater Galliagh residents have your say on Linear Park

Sinn Féin Councillor for the area has urged all residents of Greater Galliagh to have their say on the future development of Moss Park/Linear Park.DSC_0615

Councillor Eisha McCallion said:

“As part of the consultation on the way forward for the Moss Park/Linear Park development an open day will be held this Thursday 15 September at St Joseph’s Parish Centre, from 10am to 9pm.

“I would encourage maximum input from all concerned including Community Groups but particularly residents. There is no preconceived outcome and development will be heavily influenced by the input to the consultation.

“I strongly recommend that every resident possible take the time to participate in the open day and have their views included in the consultation process. Personnel will be available to answer any queries you may have and I look forward to seeing you there.”

CRÍOCH/END

Anderson to meet campaigners for Mumia Abu Jamal

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will meet with campaigners for imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal.

Ms Anderson is supporting the campaign for him to get access to medical treatment while in prison.

The Sinn Féin MEP said; mumiapanthers1970

“Former Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal has become a well-known journalist through his prison broadcasts and books written since his imprisonment for murder in 1981.

“He has always protested his innocence and Amnesty International has raised concerns that he did not receive a fair trial.

“I will be meeting his lawyer and other campaigners to give my support to the campaign for Mumia Abu Jamal to receive medical treatment for Hepatitis C while in prison.

“Along with 70 other MEPs I have signed a letter calling for him to receive medical treatment now.

“All prisoners are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Anderson calls for EU to support Freedom Flotilla

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on the European Union to back the latest Freedom Flotilla bringing essential supplies to Gaza.

The Sinn Féin MEP said; Martina new pic 201

“The latest Freedom Flotilla is due to set sail from Barcelona tomorrow to bring essential supplies to the people of Gaza.

“These include meat, fruit, vegetables, hygiene supplies, wheat, sugar, clothing and shoes which the people of Gaza are unable to get because of the ongoing Israeli blockade.

“This Freedom Flotilla includes the Women’s Boat to Gaza with 20 influential politicians, activists and artists including Mairead Maguire and American playwright Naomi Wallace to highlight the role played by Palestinian women.

“I, along with dozens of other MEPs have written to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, to ask that it bring pressure to bear on Israel to allow the Freedom Flotilla free passage to Gaza.”

Effective legislation needed to combat stalking – Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue  has said effective legislation is needed to combat stalking.

She  said; Patricia Logue new pic 22

“Stalking is a deeply insidious, invasive, psychological form of criminal abuse, with shocking side effects and consequences for victims.

“Despite that we still do not have a legal definition of stalking or effective legislation.

“Stalking is a breach of human rights and therefore undermines article 8 of the Human Rights Act. Yet here in the North it is not a specific criminal offence.

“Scottish law since 2010 has made stalking a specific criminal offence, and a priority crime. We should follow Scotland’s lead.

“Stalking is a crime which has existed for too long beyond the reach of the law in Ireland, north and south.

“This gap in our law should be closed by the Department of Justice and prioritised as an item of all island cooperation.”

Ends

British government must end veto on information for victims and families – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle  MLA Raymond McCartney  has called on the British government to remove its veto on disclosing information to families who lost loved ones in the conflict as the way to progress.

His call follows the Secretary of States comments on legacy at the 2016 British Irish Association Conference at Oxford University.

Raymond McCartney said:raymond mccartney

“Victims of the conflict and their families have a right to the truth about the past.

“In his speech the British Secretary of State said families were frustrated that the current structures are not working.

“However, it is the British government who are causing the delay by insisting on the continued cover-up of British state murder and collusion through the use of a bogus ‘national security’ veto on disclosure.

“The British government must honour the commitments from the Stormont House Agreement and offer maximum disclosure to victims and families.

“If the British government was serious about meeting its commitments on legacy then as a first step it should immediately release the funding requested by the Lord Chief Justice for scores of inquests into conflict related killings.”

McCallion welcomes launch of suicide prevention consultation

Sinn Féin Councillor, Elisha McCallion has welcomed the launch by Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill of a consultation strategy on suicide prevention.DSC_0615

Cllr McCallion said:

“I welcome this announcement by my party colleague Health Minister Michelle O’Neill in launching Protect Life 2 a consultation process on suicide prevention.

.

“The strategy aims to improve the identification and response to suicidal behaviour in order to assist in preventing incidents of suicide.

“In particular it will focus on repeat self-harm as well as supporting those bereaved by suicide.

“An average of 274 people die by suicide each year across the North. 

“This is unacceptable as behind these statistics is the tragedy of loss of life and the grief of real people, families who are hurting and lives shattered.

 

“I would encourage people to realise that it’s OK not to be OK and to speak to someone, and seek advice from their GP if they have concerns about their mental wellbeing. 

“There are a number of local Counselling Services in Derry but if you are in immediate distress or despair you can contact the Lifeline Helpline on 0808 808 8000 at any time.

“Sinn Féin will continue to engage with the Minister for Health, mental health and suicide prevention groups and statutory stakeholders on these issues to develop a comprehensive and inclusive all-Ireland strategy on mental health and suicide prevention.” ENDS/CRÍOCH

McCartney welcomes £15Million Greenway project for Derry-Donegal routes

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the news that a new million multi pound Greenways project is to take place on two of the main arterial routes between Derry and Donegal.Raymond head shot 22

 

Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said

 

“Its welcome news that this multi million pound investment will see a greenways project on two key routes from our city into Donegal. The greenways will link Derry with Buncrana and the village of Muff.

 

Greenways have the potential to strengthen activity tourism, as well as being an invaluable health and wellbeing resource for local communities. It will protect and enhance the countryside and open spaces around it to a whole new generation.

 

I look forward to seeing work begin on these projects as soon as possible.

 

McGuinness congratulates Paralympic hero Jason Smyth


Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has congratulated sprinter Jason Smyth on winning his third consecutive Paralympic 100 metre gold following his victory in Rio .
Mr McGuinness said; js
“Jason Smyth’s achievement in winning gold in the 100 metres at the Paralympic Games in Rio is fantastic.
“It is all the more exceptional given the fact that this is the third consecutive Paralympic games that Jason has won gold in the 100 metres.
“He is a truly inspirational athlete and is a great role model to young people in his home village of Eglinton, across the north west and further afield.
“Jason is a great ambassador for team Ireland and for Paralympic athletes and I wish him and all those taking part in the games continuing success.” Ends/Críoch

Sinn Féin calls for immediate release of Tony Taylor

Speaking afterwards Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA said;220432101-40839c31-7a50-40e9-af20-255ab016421a

“Our fact-finding delegation to Maghaberry prison set out to get an insight in relation to the current prison environment.

“During our visit we had an opportunity to meet with prisoners both from the integrated wings and also political prisoners in Roe House. In addition we met with prison management and those involved in delivering education, training and employability skills.

“Today’s visit was extremely informative in relation to the pace of prison reform.

“While much progress has been made in improving the quality of the prison environment for both prisoners and staff, it is clear there is some distance to go to deliver on the completion of comprehensive prison reform. Both political and ordinary prisoners, as well as members of staff, are all entitled to be treated with the highest standards of equality, respect and dignity.

“Our delegation also met with Tony Taylor, who is currently being wrongfully detained. He should be released from detention with immediate effect.

“We also met Brendan McConville who provided us with an update on the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign. We discussed the serious concerns, which exist in relation to the convictions of Brendan and his co-accused John Paul Wooton.

“We will use today’s visit as the basis for further engagement with prison management and the Justice Department in relation to how prison reform should be maximised in the coming period.

Anderson calls on FIFA to ban teams in illegal Israeli settlements

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, to suspend the Israeli clubs based in illegal settlements over Israel’s human rights abuses.

Ms Anderson said; 

“There are currently at least six Israeli football clubs playing in the Israeli league who are based out of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

“FIFA should act immediately to ensure that Israeli football clubs based in these settlements are excluded from playing in FIFA-sanctioned leagues.

“These Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace in the region and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.

“Allowing these clubs to play in Israeli leagues is a violation of FIFA’s own rules, which state that national football clubs have to be on the territory of FIFA member-states.

“It is also a breach of FIFA’s renewed commitment to respect and promote human rights.

“I call upon FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino to act in accordance with its own statutes and human rights commitments, and to ensure that clubs based in the illegal settlements are excluded from FIFA’s structures.”

Ballyarnett play park planning approval welcomed -Hassan

Sinn Féin Councillor for the greater Shantallow area Tony Hassan has welcomed the news that a new play park as part  an overall masterplan for Ballyarnett Country Park has been approved by Derry City and Strabane District Council

Councillor Tony Hassan said lg_tony_hassan_copy2

“This is  welcome news for the  thousands of people who live right across the district. The Ballyarnett Country Park can provide a wide range of opportunities and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the area. It has been underutilised for many years .And I believe it has nowhere reached its full potential yet, in providing parklands and facilities for residents in the local area and for the city as a whole.

This  announcement that a new play park as part  an overall masterplan for Ballyarnett Country Park has been approved by the council is a major step forward. The plans include additional play facilities, biodiversity projects, walking and cycling routes and act as a venue for the Arts and Sporting sectors. It offers a real opportunity to build the foundation’s for the next 5-10 years and put in place something the entire community can be proud of.

SF Youth to Leaflet Derry MTV concert on Suicide Awareness Day

Sinn Féin Shantallow Councillor, Elisha McCallion has welcomed the initiative taken by Sinn Féin Republican Youth to distribute helpline information to young people attending the MTV concert in Ebrington this weekend.

Councillor Mc Callion said:MTV

“The devastating rate of recorded deaths by suicide is shocking and underscores the concerns related to me on a regular basis by those working at the coalface of mental health counselling and intervention services.

“Behind all these statistics are real people, and families who are hurting and lives left shattered.  It is abundantly clear that we face a crisis in self-harm and death by suicide across the north and we cannot address the causes without listening to people – especially young people.

“That is why I applaud this initiative by Sinn Féin Republican Youth. We need to listen to our youth to know what’s going on and while providing them with this type of information it is also essential that we listen to them.SuicideBillboardDerry copy

“As part of my ongoing interest in this issue I will continue to engage with our Minister for Health, Michelle O’Neill, mental health and suicide prevention groups and statutory stakeholders on these issues to develop a comprehensive and inclusive strategy on mental health and suicide prevention.”

 

McGinley welcomes new Derry /Palma summer flights

Member of the Airport Committee Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed the introduction of a new summer route for 2017 from the City of Derry Airport .2659901158_9665b266a8_b-753x320

 

Cllr. McGinley said: “This new route to Palma will commence next June and run for eight weeks.   Palma is a very popular holiday destination and the introduction of this flight will be warmly welcomed.

 

The new route will also assist City of Derry Airport in its ongoing efforts to provide travellers with a wider choice of destination.”

Eric new head shot 20144

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Logue calls for Academic Selection to be scrapped

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Councillor Patricia Logue has stated that the Education Minister is out of step with international best practice with his move to allow schools to to coach pupils towards unregulated testing in terms of academic selection. Patricia Logue new pic 22

Clr Patricia Logue  said:

“This is a disappointing and regressive move by the education minster which is clearly out of step with best educational practice.

“This move will split classes and deprive the majority of children of valuable time which should be spent learning the curriculum, devised by experts.

“There is a wealth of international and local evidence, which highlights the damage academic selection has on pupils, the education system and wider society.

“Sinn Féin is not alone in our opposition to academic selection. Many parents, trade unions, churches and children’s and human rights organisations also oppose it.

“Only at the end of last year the OFMdFM commissioned report ‘Links in Achievement and Deprivation recommended an end to academic selection and stated that it reinforced ‘privilege and disadvantage’.

“The huge improvements in educational attainment under successive Sinn Féin education ministers shows how unnecessary academic selection actually is.”cleardot.gif

McCartney welcomes reduction of speed limit outside Groarty Primary school

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney  has welcomed the news that after representations to the Transport Minister Chris Hazzard and lobbying Road Service the speed limit on the Coshquin Road out the to Whitehouse Road has been reduced from 60mph to 30 mph.Raymond head shot 22

Its comes after concerns were raised about the speed of traffic on this section of the Coshquin Road and the  dangers it presented for children attending Groarty Primary school and pedestrians using the road on a daily basis.

Raymond McCartney  said

In recent months we met with the Principal and parents and listened to their concerns about the speed limit outside the school being far too fast for that area and the dangers this presents for pupils, parents and other users of the road.

The Coshquin Road is always very busy at the best of times; a lot of motorists use this road as a shortcut.

We spoke directly with the Minister Chris Hazzard just prior to the summer holidays and raised all those concerns with him. At the time he told us he was hopeful of finding a resolution to this problem.

So we are very pleased at the news today that the speed limit on this section of road outside the school will be  reduced from 60mph to 30mph.It’s a decision that will be warmly welcomed in the local community. It’s important to commend everyone who has campaigned for safety measures on this  road over recent years.

Anderson calls on FIFA to ban teams in illegal Israeli settlements

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, to suspend the Israeli clubs based in illegal settlements over Israel’s human rights abuses.

Ms Anderson said;

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

“There are currently at least six Israeli football clubs playing in the Israeli league who are based out of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

“FIFA should act immediately to ensure that Israeli football clubs based in these settlements are excluded from playing in FIFA-sanctioned leagues.

“These Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace in the region and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.

“Allowing these clubs to play in Israeli leagues is a violation of FIFA’s own rules, which state that national football clubs have to be on the territory of FIFA member-states.

“It is also a breach of FIFA’s renewed commitment to respect and promote human rights.

“I call upon FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino to act in accordance with its own statutes and human rights commitments, and to ensure that clubs based in the illegal settlements are excluded from FIFA’s structures.”

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Sinn Féin call for clarification from Revenue on information requests

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Welfare rights, Councillor Sandra Duffy has called on the Revenue authorities to clarify the situation concerning information requests that people are receiving from a company called Concentrix.tax credits

Councillor Duffy said:

“Sinn Féin and Community advice centres have received numerous calls from individuals in danger of having benefits such as tax credits stopped until updated status information is received.

“The problem arises through the information requests being issued through a company called Concentrix demanding personal information including bank details and referencing a contact number.

“But when attempting to contact the company people are met with an automated service so clogged that they can’t get through – one women claims to have spent £40 pounds on calls and still couldn’t get through.

“Those effected are then receiving notification from Revenue that their tax credits cannot be processed until the requested information is furnished.Sandra Duffy Head shot 1

“Even those who have been successful in returning the information as far back as April have yet to have their situation ratified, leaving them unable to access other connected benefits such as uniform grants and free school meal provision.

“This is an intolerable situation and needs to be rectified immediately. I intend to contact Revenue to get this situation resolved.” CRÍOCH/END

Sinn Féin comments on Boundary Commission report

Sinn Féin,Foyle  MLA Raymond McCartney  has stated that decisions regarding Assembly and local government elections should be transferred from Westminster to locally accountable politicians following the publishing of the initial report on proposed boundary changes by the Boundary Commission.

Speaking today Raymond McCartney  said:_91036094_ni_parliamentary_proposed_boundary_map

“Clearly this is a substantial piece of work proposing significant changes and will require a detailed response.

“Sinn Féin do have concerns regarding the use of data from the December 2015 electoral register as their basis for drawing the new constituencies rather than census data which is standard international practice.

“There are further concerns regarding what impact a Westminster led Boundary Commission will have on Assembly representation with a possibility of a reduction of constituencies to sixteen or less.

“It is my view that we need to transfer powers on elections to the Assembly and Local Government into the hands of locally elected and accountable representatives and establish a boundary commission to deal exclusively with the Assembly constituencies – as Scotland has already done.”

McCartney expresses sympathy following railway line death

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has expressed his condolences after a death of a person on the Derry railway line. 

The Foyle MLA said; raymond mccartney

“News that a person has died following an incident on the railway line in Derry close to Caw Park has shocked the local community.

“The line is expected to remain closed while the scene is investigated.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased at this sad time.” Ends/Críoch

British government must fund legacy inquests McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney  has the British government must provide funding for legacy inquests into conflict related deaths.

Raymond McCartney  said; raymond mccartney

“I share the Lord Chief Justice’s frustrations on the lack of progress on his plans to clear legacy inquests.

“There is also deep frustration and anger among relatives, some of whom have waited more than four decades to find out exactly what happened to their loved ones.

“The Lord Chief Justice came up with a five year plan to clear the backlog in legacy inquests and Sinn Féin fully supported that plan.

“It is the British government who is holding it up by withholding funding and in doing so they are adding to the pain and distress felt by relatives.

“The British government have a responsibility to properly resource and co-operate with these legacy inquests under its obligations around Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“It now needs to step up to the plate and provide adequate funding so that these grieving families can get access to the truth of what happened to their loved ones.”

High visibility police operation on Strand Road‏ – Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed an initiative by the PSNI to tackle the issue of “boy racers” located at a car park on the Strand Road which has been of huge concern to local residents.

Councillor Cooper said Mickey Cooper

The general public and residents living in the lower Strand Road have been well aware for some time of the issues with so called “boy racers” gathering at a car park in the area .There has also been huge concerns about cars racing along Strand Road during the 11pm-3am period. I have organised meetings between residents and the PSNI over the issue which left the police in no doubt about residents’ concerns.

As a result of this engagement and continued contact between myself and officers I can now confirm that the PSNI met with the DVA enforcement senior management team at Strand Road.

I welcome the confirmation that they have agreed a draft schedule of high visibility operations in the area planned to run to the end of the year to tackle this issue.

If any resident has any queries feel free to contact me on 07743175709

Community shocked by Clooney Road death – Fleming

Commenting Sinn Féin Councillor for the area  Paul Fleming said condolences
“The local community is in shock following the news of the death of a man on the Clooney Road.

“Any death on our roads is one too many and a tragedy for all those involved.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who has died at this difficult and sad time and those injured in this accident”

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Cooper welcomes Autumn opening of Brooke Park

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the news that Brooke Park will open to the public as planned in early Autumn, with a special celebratory event marking the reopening  planned for early next year.

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper said

“This is not only good news for the people of the greater Rosemount and surrounding area but indeed the entire city.The multi million pound investment at Brooke Park has seen the transformation of the it over the last few years and I believe has been worth the wait to ensure the site is safe and ready for use.

The wide open green spaces it offers is an asset we must use at every opportunity to promote healthy living, sports and there is also the whole potential of the   historical aspect of the park.

It is a wonderful resource we have here in the heart of our city .It must be seen in the overall context of the development of recreational and sporting facilities in our city and the regeneration of the area.”

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Concern over Grangemore /Ardgrange work -Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly said Councillor Colly Kelly

“Virgin media are carrying out upgrade work in the Grangemore /Ardrange area

There were some concerns raised by residents when a letter delivered this week  discussed possible disruption and restricted access to homes.

Residents had attempted to call the number but were unable to get speaking to anyone who could help.  We have spoken to representatives from Virgin and they have given us assurances that disruption will be kept to a minimum and that they will be happy to assist anyone whose access is blocked to gain access.

If any resident has any problems with this work I can be contacted on 07845277117.

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The new build of social homes brings new hope –Hassan

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Councillor Tony Hassan has welcomed the news that housing associations in the city have and are making more planning applications  for new social homes across the city next year.lg_tony_hassan_copy2

He also called for a review of the points allocation system for those on the social housing waiting list.

 

The Housing spokesperson said

 

“This is a good news story for social housing provision in Derry and for the hundreds of people on the homeless waiting list. I have been campaigning for years for more social homes to be built across this city so it’s great to see things are moving in the right direction with the amount of homes being built at the moment.

 

The new build of social homes brings new hope.

He went on to say

 

With over 2,000 family’s on the waiting list for social homes the points system for a new home are in the region of 190/200 points .And  still many family’s on the homeless waiting list with less points in the region of between 130/150 points  will not see a new home in the next 4/5 years .Even with the  numbers of homes that are promised  these family’s must be helped by the Housing Executive by having an overhaul of  the points system to give them a chance of being allocated a new social home.

 

I will continue that lobby at every opportunity to ensure that the need for new social housing schemes is kept firmly on the agenda in Derry.

 

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Irish powerlifting championships come to Derry for the first time – Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has wished the  organisers of the Irish Power Lifting championships well as the organisation brings it to Derry for the first time. COLLY

The championship takes places on Saturday in The Maldron Hotel, Butcher Street, Derry ,this event is open to both male and female and starts at 10am.

Councillor Kelly said

“I would like to wish the Irish Power Lifting Organisation and competitors all the best as they bring this competition to Derry for the first time.

It’s good to see such competitions coming to Derry and will hopefully encourage more sporting organisations to come and use our city for hosting events. We have seen that events large and small can have a positive impact on the local hospitality sector

Previous messageNext messageBack to messages Anderson welcomes UN concerns over plans to scrap Human Rights Act‏

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the United Nations is right to be concerned about implications for the North of the British government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Speaking after the publication of a report by a United Nations Committee, Ms Anderson said;

“The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed its concern and opposition to the planned scrapping of the Human Rights Act by the British Government.

“The Human Rights Act gives effect to the European Convention on Human Rights, gives people direct access to the European Court of Human Rights and underpins the Good Friday Agreement.

“The Tories are on an ideological crusade to remove it.

“Another important conclusion of the committee was their declared support for a Bill of Rights specifically for the north.

“This Bill of Rights was to supplement the Human Rights Act and enhance human rights provision in the north of Ireland.

“Its introduction was agreed in the Good Friday Agreement yet the British Government has not made any progress on this matter at all.

“Given that we now face a British Government with human rights safeguards firmly in their crosshairs, it is now essential we both protect the Human Rights Act and move towards the introduction of a Bill of Rights for people in the north of Ireland.”

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Meeting to resolve Conars Court issues –Cooper

A meeting will take place next Friday 2nd September at 11am to try and resolve problems being encountered by residents of  Conars Court at Crawford Square.

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor for the area  Mickey Cooper said “I have been in ongoing talks with residents from Conars Court and Habinteg Housing Association for a number of months now.

This has been a complicated process to try and get the problems around gas supply to their homes and other issues resolved.

I hope next Friday’s meeting will help  come up with new arrangements that will meet the satisfaction of residents.

I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this process thus far.

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British government must recognise North’s remain vote – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said Theresa May and her Tory government need to recognise that the people of the North voted to remain in the EU.

He  said; raymond mccartney

“It simply doesn’t make sense for Theresa May to claim that leaving the EU is good for the people of the North when the reality tells a different story.

“The economic uncertainty brought about by Brexit will do long-term damage to trade and exports and the impact of that will be most keenly felt in border areas.

“It would have a hugely detrimental effect on our agriculture and agri-food industries both in terms of EU funding and access to markets.

“Our universities would suffer, including those currently engaged in cutting edged research into cancer, and it could also limit opportunities for our students and young people.

“Instead of peddling the narrative of the Brexiteers Theresa May and the British government need to recognise that the majority of people in the North voted to remain in the EU and respect that vote.”

Kelly welcomes removal of dangerous wall in Creggan

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has welcomed the removal of a large wall in Creggan Heights following concerns it could collapse after an incident there.

 

He saidCOLLY

 

There was an incident last week when a car hit the wall and left it in an unstable condition and there was clear health and safety concerns.

 

Residents contacted me worried that young children were climbing on the wall.

 

I contacted building control from the council on Tuesday morning and raised all those concerns. I want to praise the owner of the property who ensured that the wall was taken down as speedily as possible.

 

There will be consultation with the families of the young lads on a mural which was on the wall so we can remember them when a new wall goes up.

 

As a matter of urgency there will also be a temporary fence put in place .

 

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Scrapping of Human Rights Act by PM May happening under our noses – Funchion

Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion, Chair of the Good Friday Agreement Committee has said she is shocked that the Irish Government has failed to respond to the British Government’s proposal to unilaterally end the Human Rights act that gives effect to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Convention and subsequent Act are central elements of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

light and word of Human Rights for background

Kathleen Funchion TD said,

“The Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, is on record as stating that she fully intends to deliver the Conservative manifesto pledge to end the European Human Rights Act.  As applied to the North of Ireland, the Human Rights Act provides essential safeguards and is a central element of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Any move to end the Act would be a unilateral contravention of the Good Friday Agreement. The Irish Government must, as a matter of urgency, make clear to the British Government that it will not countenance the British government’s attempts to walk away from their commitments under the Agreement.

“The Irish Government cannot be silent on this issue. As co-equal guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement they must act to safeguard the agreements.”

Ballymagroarty set for new clean up -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed the commitment from the Housing Executive to provide an ongoing laneway cleaning programme for Ballymagroarty.Eric new head shot 20144

Cllr. McGinley said: “In recent weeks the Housing Executive has identified a responsibility for ensuring that the laneways in the upper area of Ballymagroarty are regularly maintained and cleaned.   This is a welcome development and is part of a programme which will see the H.E. attempt to identify further areas of responsibility within the estate.

In conjunction with this positive news I have been working with the Council to ensure the front facing streets and footpaths in the whole estate are given proper attention and I would also welcome the improvements which have taken place recently.

The residents of Ballymagroarty are entitled to live in a clean environment and this initiative from the Housing Executive is particularly welcome.”

Adams welcomes end of conflict in Colombia

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has “warmly welcomed” the commencement today of a ‘definitive ceasefire’ by FARC and the ending of military actions against it by the Colombian government.gerry-adams

Teachta Adams said:

“This is an historic moment in the efforts to secure a lasting peace in Colombia. I want to commend the leaderships of FARC and of the Colombian government for their perseverance and courage.

“Sinn Féin has sought to play a supportive role in the peace process. Last year, I met with the FARC negotiators while on a visit to Cuba and Sinn Féin representatives have met with both sides as part of our international commitment to promoting peaceful solutions to conflicts.

“Two years ago, Martin McGuinness travelled to Colombia and met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Conor Murphy MLA, Alex Maskey MLA, Jennifer McCann MLA and others have been involved in discussions with both sides.

“Finally, I want to thank Cuban President Raul Castro and the Cuban and Norwegian governments for their positive role in facilitating the Colombian peace process. Their patient engagement over many years has contributed significantly to this progress.”

Concluding, Gerry Adams said:

“Agreements are only part of any resolution of conflict. As we know from the Irish peace process, the implementation and honouring of agreements is crucial to their success. There is an onus on all of the participants to the Colombian peace process, but especially the government, to ensure that the agreement reached is implemented in full.”

Coordinated approach to solve Ballymagroarty on street incidents –McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor  Eric Mc Ginley has called on parents to ensure they know the whereabouts of their children at night time following a number of incidents in the Ballymagroarty area over the past few weeks.Eric new head shot 20144

 

Councillor McGinley said

 

“Residents I have spoken to have said that young people from various parts of the city have congregated in the area over the past few weeks. It must be pointed out that although the vast majority of these kids are not causing any problems there are however a small minority causing problems for local residents.

 

I have discussed the matter with youth workers over the past number of weeks.And I have also spoken to the youth workers this morning and they have made me aware that some young people from the area have been in contact with them to discuss the possibility of engaging in activities which the local youth providers have on offer.

 

This approach has to be welcomed and i would appeal  to other young people to take the same approach by taking the opportunity to engage in positive activities that the local community have on offer.

 

Community Restorative Justice have also spoken to residents affected and have agreed to put a number of home safety measures in place for some of those affected to try and ensure there is no repeat in the future.

 

The youth workers will  be on the streets at night time over the next few weeks should any of the young people wish to talk to them.

 

I have also been in contact with the PSNI and the Community Safety Wardens who have assured me that they will be focusing their resources in the area.

 

Frankie and Benny’s closure blow to local hospitality sector – Jackson

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has described the news that Frankie & Benny’s is to close its Waterside  outlet as a  blow to the local hospitality sector

He said:

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

“News that Frankie & Benny’s is to close its outlet on Crescent Link is a blow to the  local hospitality sector.

“Those employed by the restaurants in Derry and elsewhere will rightly be concerned about the closure.

“The loss of these jobs would be a  blow to the Waterside area and the local economy.

“Management should ensure that staff are kept informed of developments and opportunities for relocation or

redeployment should be offered if possible.” 

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Duffy welcomes establishment of Health Partnership Forum

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed the announcement by Health Minister Michelle O’Neill that she is establishing a strategic Health Partnership Forum with Trade Union colleagues.

She said:Sandra Duffy Head shot 1

“I welcome the establishment of a Health Partnership Forum.

“Since my party colleague Michelle O’Neill took over as Health Minister she has shown that she is interested in hearing ideas from the grass roots and make changes where possible based on those ideas.

“We need all relevant partners to provide strategic influence in both policy development and service delivery in the face of pressures as a result of Tory austerity.

“An agreed approach on the way forward will ensure that everyone is behind the reshaping and refocusing of our services.

“It will also ensure a better health and social care experience for the public.”

Ends/Críoch

Follow your heart, follow your passion –Logue advice to GCSE students

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Councillor Patricia Logue has urged young people in the city receiving GCSE to “follow your heart and passion” when it comes to fulfilling their educational or career path.Patricia Logue new pic 22

Speaking as GCSE results are released today she said

“I want to wish everyone in Derry getting their  results every success.

“There is a lot of pressure on young people now a-days and I would tell them follow your heart, follow your passion.

“I anticipate once again this year there will be further improvements in literacy and numeracy, given the success of the Signature Project, which was introduced by my colleague, the then Education Minister John O’Dowd and the wider Executive.

“There is a strong argument to be made to reintroduce this scheme in the future.

“I would also like to take this opportunity congratulate the role the parents and teachers in Derry play in educating our young people.”

McCartney welcomes Colombia peace deal

Sinn Féin Foyle  MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed a historic peace accord between FARC and the Colombian government. raymond mccartney

He said;

“The peace accord between FARC and the Colombian government is a welcome step forward in the Colombian peace process.

“It is a further historic step in the process to end the most long-running conflict in the world.

“This follows two years of peace talks in Havana, which Sinn Féin supported and participated in. Sinn Féin representatives have travelled to Colombia and Cuba to meet with both sides and share our experiences of building peace.

“It is encouraging that both sides have agreed to work together to tackle the major political and economic issues facing the Colombian people and to deliver justice for all victims of the conflict.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the Colombian peace process as it moves forward.”

Ballymagroarty set for new clean up -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed the commitment from the Housing Executive to provide an ongoing laneway cleaning programme for Ballymagroarty.Eric new head shot 20144

Cllr. McGinley said: “In recent weeks the Housing Executive has identified a responsibility for ensuring that the laneways in the upper area of Ballymagroarty are regularly maintained and cleaned.   This is a welcome development and is part of a programme which will see the H.E. attempt to identify further areas of responsibility within the estate.

In conjunction with this positive news I have been working with the Council to ensure the front facing streets and footpaths in the whole estate are given proper attention and I would also welcome the improvements which have taken place recently.

The residents of Ballymagroarty are entitled to live in a clean environment and this initiative from the Housing Executive is particularly welcome.”

Campbell condemns attempt to block Arnaldo Otegi from elections

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has condemned attempts by Spanish courts to prevent Basque political leader Arnaldo Otegi from standing in upcoming elections.

Cllr Kevin Campbell  said; kevin

“Arnaldo Otegi is an internationally respected leader of the Basque people and has been instrumental in developing the Basque peace strategy and process.

“Attempts to obstruct and prevent the Basque people from having the opportunity to elect Arnaldo in the Basque Autonomous Parliament Election on September 25 are undemocratic and unjust.

“In order to promote and build on the courageous steps taken by the Basque independence movement, and in particular by Arnaldo Otegi, this decision must be condemned by the International community and should be immediately overturned.

“Spanish Government policies of censorship, marginalisation and isolation are wrong. They are counter productive and will not work

“Instead of trying to deny Arnaldo Otegi the right to seek a mandate from the Basque people the Spanish Government needs should instead promote and support a process of dialogue to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Basque Country.

The Rock Post Office set for major revamp – Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper  has welcomed the news that the Rock Post Office in Derry  has been chosen to be one of the Post Offices new main style branches.

 

Councillor Cooper  said

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

 

“It is welcome news for residents of the lower Strand Road area, that the long established Rock Post Office  will now get a revamp to make it one of the new main style branches.

 

The change is part of a major investment and support programme, the largest undertaken in the history of the Post Office, which will see 8,000 branches converting to new style branches. And an additional investment in over 3,000 community and outreach branches.

 

Consumers can expect a newly refurbished branch providing a modern environment for customers, the same products and services and longer opening hours.

 

The new look Post Office on the Strand Road   is expected to open on Friday 23rd September  2016 at 13:00.

 

Customers should be aware that the office will close  on the 13th September so the refurbishment can take place.

 

 

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Máirtín Ó Muilleoir will not be stepping aside as Finance Minister – McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said Máirtín Ó Muilleoir will not be standing aside as Finance Minister.

Mr McGuinness said; Martin-McGuinness1

“Máirtín Ó Muilleoir enjoys my full support as Finance Minister and he will not be stepping aside on the basis of calls from opposition parties, much less calls from the DUP.”

Huge concern among farmers over Brexit – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said farmers and agricultural producers are becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of being dragged out the EU.

Ms Anderson said;

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

“I met today with representatives of the North’s Agricultural Producers’ Association in Cookstown to discuss the huge concern that exists in the farming community over the impact of the EU referendum.

“I have met farmers and agricultural producers across the North and it is clear that there is huge levels of uncertainty about what impact that being dragged out of the EU would have on the sector.

“Much of our excellent agricultural produce is exported to other EU states and, as such would be particularly vulnerable to any additional trade barriers.

“The reality is that the majority of people in the North voted to remain in the EU and that democratically expressed view must be acknowledged and respected.”

Cooper welcomes Rosemount improvement schemes

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the news that a number of improvement schemes are to take place in the Rosemount area in the  weeks and months ahead.

 

Councillor Cooper said

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

 

“I have been dealing with a number of issues in the Rosemount area over recent weeks. The lane at the rear of Baldrick Crescent is in a bad state so I have asked the Housing Executive to send in the Ground Maintenance team to look at the lanes and get them cleaned as required. There is also a problem with weeds growing from Housing Executive properties but this is a  tenant’s responsibility, and I am looking at various option to see something can be done in this regard . A number of damaged walls in the area which were very unsightly will also be restored by the Housing Executive  in the coming weeks’

 

I welcome the news that subject to funding there is an External Cyclical Maintenance Scheme planned for Rosemount area (Academy Rd, Daly Cres, Forest Park, Meadowview Crescent, Rosemount Gardens) for April 2017.  This scheme will include the cleaning of roofs/ gutters and other  painting, fencing, replacement of external doors etc.  This scheme will be surveyed a couple of months before it goes on site by the consultant’s office and work will be carried out dependent on the condition of the properties’

Brokenshire needs to look no further than Remain vote – McCartney‏

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney  has said if British Secretary of State James Brokenshire wants to canvas public opinion in the North on Brexit then he should look at the results of the referendum.Raymond McCartney  said:raymond mccartney

“The people of the North have spoken and they have clearly stated at the ballot box that they want to stay in the European Union.

“Before embarking on his grand tour Mr Brokenshire needs to acknowledge and respect that vote.

“We have heard much about the British Government’s wish to consult and listen to the devolved administration.

“However, if you want proof of what value they actually put on consultation you only have to look at the announcement by the Chancellor at the weekend, there was zero consultation and no attempt to ensure the needs of the people of the North were being met.

“James Brokenshire needs to understand the damage his party’s ego trip has already caused to the local economy. This exercise will not undo that damage.

“He needs to respect the democratic wish of the people expressed through the ballot box and start organising how the North stays in the European Union.”

Tonight @7.30pm Derry Emergency Demo

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Loss of EU funding could have negative impact on cancer research – Anderson‏

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the loss of EU funding could have a disastrous impact on cancer research. CWrWZ7UWUAEjEpO

Ms Anderson said;

“I visited Queen’s University this week to meet staff to discuss the potential impact of Brexit and it is clear that there is great deal of concern.

“The global research initiatives at Queens have benefitted from EU funds which have supported excellent research projects.

“During the visit I was shown a piece of medical equipment, developed at Queens, which is assisting in reducing rates of secondary surgery following breast cancer.

“Such vital research could be jeopardised by any loss of key EU research funding.

“It is not only the people of the North who would lose out if funding for cancer research projects is lost but cancer patients all across the world.

“The people of the North voted to the remain in the EU and the British government should respect and recognise that.”

Duffy encourages people in Derry to donate blood‏

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has encouraged more people to become blood donors.

she said; DSC_0934

“In the summer months the demand for blood products traditionally rises.

“Now the Blood Transfusion has said it needs 8,000 new donors to meet the demand.

“It has now launched a campaign to get one new donor to sign up every hour in the North.

“Giving blood is easy, quick and, most importantly, can literally save lives.

“I would encourage as many people as possible in Derry  to sign up to become blood donors and donate blood often to help save even more lives each year.” 

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Logue congratulates students who received results

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue  has congratulated all those who received A-Level and AS-Level exam results today.

The Sinn Féin education spokesperson said; Patricia Logue new pic 22

“I want to congratulate everyone who received A-Level and AS-level results today on their efforts and successes. And also all of the students who received Leaving Cert results in recent days.

“I would also like to reassure those who may have been disappointed by their results that support and guidance is available as they look at their options and plan their next move.

“There are many options and paths open to students such as vocational training, further education, and apprenticeships.

“Sitting exams and receiving results can be a daunting experience at any stage but for students and young people today there are added complications.

“The uncertainty caused by the recent EU referendum has the potential to limit the opportunities for today’s students in terms of European studies projects such as Erasmus.

“The people of the North voted to remain in the EU with its opportunities for students and young people and that should be respected.”

Official homeless figures must present a true reflection of the current realities-Hassan‏

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Councillor Tony Hassan  has said that housing statistics released by the Department of Communities is not accurately reflecting the levels of homelessness in the north.

Tony Hassan  said:lg_tony_hassan_copy2

“The statistics point out that 18,628 people have presented as homeless, which is 1,000 down on the same period as last year.

“On the face of it this would be welcome news.

“My concern is this is more to do with people being directed away from going through with their homeless application by the new Housing Solutions team set up by the Housing Executive.

“This I believe has more to do with statistics than providing a long-term solution in dealing with homelessness.

“Many of those coming forward are being encouraged to move into unregulated private rented housing,

convinced that they will wait years to be housed and therefore they withdraw their application. The new system also takes away contact and decisions from local Housing Executive offices.

“I believe an urgent review of how this new system is working is required. The full scale roll out should be stalled until we establish if this new system is working or is just another move to hide the true figures of people declaring themselves as homeless.

“I have in the past also raised concerns about those who are not accepted as being homeless, the 7,426 who are left to their own devices.

“The vast majority of these are young people who are being told that the Housing Executive has no responsibility to house them.

“Many of these are vulnerable young people who are sleeping on sofas, floors or end up in shared rented accommodation totally unsuitable for their needs.”

Petrol bomb attack on Dove House

 

 

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has condemned a petrol bomb attack on Dove House tonight the second attack in 48 hours.

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Councillor Logue said “ It’s very sad that I am once again having to comment on an  attack on Dove House,the second  in less than 48 hours.

As well as attacking this vital community building those responsible have also put the lives of people living in the vicinity in danger.

I am making it clear to those responsible that the community does not want this, and those behind it need to stop.

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McCartney welcomes announcement on A6 dualling scheme

Sinn Féin MLA and Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced his decision to proceed with the A6 Randalstown to Castledawson Dualling Scheme, which represents an investment of £160million. raymond mccartney

The scheme will provide approximately 14.7km of new dual carriageway: 7.3km between Randalstown and Toome and 7.4km between Toome and Castledawson.

 

Commenting Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said

“I welcome this announcement by the Minister. Anyone who travels on this section of road on a daily basis knows it is one of the biggest traffic bottle necks on the A6 causing tailbacks for miles at peak times of the day. This work will go a long way in addressing that.

He went on to say

 “The dualling of the main Derry to Belfast road will also be a major factor in improving the economic fortunes of the region and the bypass of Dungiven will have a major environmental impact on the town.

Minister Chris Hazzard said: “One of my key priorities over the next five years is redressing the North’s infrastructure deficit, particularly west of the Bann.

“I am determined to contribute towards economy growth in a regionally balanced way and I believe it is vital that infrastructure projects such as this are prioritized.

“My commitment to this area in delivering this £160million flagship investment will strengthen the links between Belfast and Derry and positively develop the A6 as a key transport route into the wider North West area.

“Road users and the local community will directly benefit from this new all-purpose dual carriageway as it will reduce journey times and improve road safety.

“I am confident that my decision to proceed with the scheme will come as welcome news for the construction industry and I look forward to continuing work to deliver the project with the Joint Venture contractor for the project Grahams/Farrans.”

Anderson meets women’s groups to discuss Brexit

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said being dragged out of the European Union will have a particularly negative impact on women. CWrWZ7UWUAEjEpO

Ms Anderson said;

“I met this morning with a group of women involved in the women’s sector in Derry to discuss the impact of Brexit.

“There are serious concerns among many sectors, including women’s groups about what will happen if the British government succeeds in its plans to drag us out of the EU.

“That would allow the British government to roll back on rights and equality legislation and that would have a particularly negative impact on women.

“The reality is that the majority of people in the North voted to remain in the EU and that democratically expressed view must be recognised and respected.”

McCartney condemns bonfire disturbances and security alert

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has condemned the disturbances and security alert, which arose from a bonfire in the Bogside area of Derry last night. 

The Foyle MLA said;

“The damage, disturbances and disruption, which arose from last night’s bonfire in the Bogside must be condemned.

“Several families, including elderly people, had to be evacuated from their homes due to a security alert on Charlotte Street.

“This situation was dictated by a tiny group of young people who are being exploited by more sinister elements who are clearly determined to act against the wishes of the local community.

“The scenes around the bonfire were in stark contrast with the excellent finale to this year’s Féile which showed the positive community spirit of the people in this area who want nothing to do with the bonfire.

“There was an opportunity to avoid all of these problems through dialogue. Unfortunately that failed because people absented themselves from that process or effectively scuppered it by acting as cheerleaders for anti-community behaviour.

“That process was an opportunity lost and we need to see renewed efforts to avoid a repeat of this situation in the future so the local residents can live in peace.”

Duffy welcomes HPV vaccination investment

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed news that men in the north will be eligible to receive the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine.Sandra Duffy Head shot 1

She said:

“I welcome the news that my colleague Michelle O’Neill has announced an investment of over £100k into the HPV vaccination programme.

“It is great news that men in the north of Ireland will be eligible to receive the HPV vaccine.

“Investment in this programme will help to provide protection for men under the age of 45 against HPV which can cause a range of cancers.”

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McCartney welcomes the HMIC report on vulnerable people

Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle and Member of the Policing Board, Raymond McCartney  has welcomed recommendations made in the HMIC report on the need for the PSNI to improve its protection and support for vulnerable victims.DSC_6528

He  said:

“This report stated the PSNI were not dealing with vulnerable people.

“This incudes areas such as cases of domestic violence, young people who have gone missing or those who have experienced sexual exploitation.

“I welcome the report and its recommendations. It points out the inadequacies of the approach by the PSNI but it also clearly highlights a way forward to rectify these failings.

“The Chief Constable has accepted the report’s recommendations in full and Sinn Féin will be closely monitoring the implementation of this report.”

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Anger after Parachute Regiment flags erected in Waterside –Jackson

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has said that Unionist leaders need to address erection of Parachute flags in the Waterside area erected to coincide with the funeral of Bishop Daly.

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

 

Councillor Jackson said.

 

 

“I have received a number of complaints in the last 24 hours about a Parachute Regiment flag being erected at Dales Corner; this comes on top of other flags being erected in the area over the past month.

 

“We had a similar number of incidents in Derry last year as well. Given the history of the Parachute Regiment in this city and coming in the week of the passing of Bishop Edward Daly the erection of these flags is being seen as provocation in an effort to raise tensions in the Waterside.

 

 “We now need to see leadership from within Unionism to ensure that these flags are taken down as those who have erected them obviously did so to create a reaction from within the Nationalist community.

 

 “The people who erected these flags are only serving the interests of those opposed to the peace process and heightening community tensions in the city.

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Brexit would be hugely detrimental to the north of Ireland- McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA and deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness has stated that Brexit would be hugely detrimental to the north of Ireland.Martin-McGuinness1

Speaking today Mr McGuinness said:

“The referendum result posed huge and unprecedented challenges. In the up-coming negotiations we need to ensure that we defend and protect, to the best of our ability, the interests of the people we represent.

“Brexit is bad for business, bad for our agricultural and argi-food industries, bad for our young people, our universities, our community and voluntary sector and all Ireland development to name a few examples.

“The Sinn Féin position is clear – the democratic decision of the people of the north should be respected.”

Fire at Good Shepherd School tonight – Jackson

Speaking after a fire at the Good Shepherd Primary School and Nursery School on Dungiven Road tonight Waterside Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson said

“It’s very worrying that this fire has taken place just a few weeks before the new school term starts.

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

“I visited the scene tonight and I would like to commend the work of the Fire Service who dealt with this fire .And would appeal to anyone in the community who has any information on how this fire started  to bring it forward to the investigations team”

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Campbell condemns Creggan shooting‏

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell commenting following the news that a man has been injured in a shooting incident in the Rinmore Drive  area of Creggan last night .kevin

 

Speaking after visting the scene he said

 

“The people of this city do not want these actions taking place on our streets and those behind them need to stop.

 

I would urge anyone with any information to bring it forward to the PSNI straight away.

 

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