Gerry Adams TD sends best wishes to Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Speaking after the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness withdrew from a planned visit to China to enable doctors to conduct a medical assessment Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said;26634602685_4ebf00b83c_o1

“I’m sure everybody who values his work will send best wishes to Martin, Bernie and their family.  I met with Martin as normal at Stormont on Monday.  I have been in regular contact with him since and he is totally committed to fulfilling his duties.”

Ends

Heating scheme flawed from inception – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA, Raymond McCartney  said today that the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme was flawed from its inception and what happened in terms of the waste of public money was an unacceptable dereliction of responsibility.

He said: raymond-mccartney-450x301

“The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, which will cost the public purse over £400m has been flawed from the outset.

“There are huge implications for the civil service and our block grant. Very senior officials had responsibility over the establishment, the monitoring and the implementation of RHI.

“It beggars belief internal reporting systems were so flawed that key issues were not identified and addressed within the department despite warnings having being raised about the scheme.

“There are also real concerns that there may well have been aggressive exploitation of this scheme for commercial profit and gain.

“The public, the Assembly and the Executive all need to know what happened here.

“A vast amount of taxpayers’ money will be lost, which should be available to the Executive for front line public services at a time of increasing British Tory cuts.

“I do believe that Arlene Foster, who was the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister at the time, should come forward to provide a full account and set the public record straight on this issue.”

Campbell welcomes commencement of £270,000 resurfacing scheme at Southway

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has welcomed the announcement by the Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard that work is starting on a  £270,000 resurfacing scheme on the Southway in the Creggan area of Derry.

Councillor Kevin Campbell

Councillor Kevin Campbell

Colr. Campbell said: “This is great news for the hundreds of motorists and pedestrians that use Southway on a daily basis.

I have raised this issue with Transport NI on a number of occasions and had been told that they had it on their priority list. I called on Transport NI to put this road to the top of the priority list so as when the money became available this much needed and overdue work can be carried out straight away.”

He added: “I had been getting constant complaints from residents living in the area about the state of the road. The Creggan estate has a population of around 12,000 and has only three main arterial routes into the estate and Southway being one of them is in a very bad state.

Ends

Appeal after vandalism attack on city centre Christmas decorations –Kelly

Chair of the Environment and Regeneration committee on Derry City and Strabane District Council Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has appealed for attacks on the Councils  Christmas decorations, trees  and lights in Derry City centre to stop.image

He was speaking after a number of vandalism incidents in recent weeks.

Councillor Kelly said “It’s very sad that I have to make a public appeal for these vandalism attacks to stop.

There have been five attacks on the Christmas trees in the city centre that we know of, two in Waterloo Place, two on the tree in the Guildhall and the most recent was on the one in the grass area beside the Guildhall on Monday night of this week.

A lot time, effort and ratepayers money is spent in making our city centre look its best for the festive season. The last thing we need is for  these mindless  attacks to take place.

Ends

Minister should continue to tackle disadvantage to improve attainment – Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has said the education minister must continue to tackle disadvantage in order to improve educational attainment. CVz6GH9XAAAjCyt

Speaking after the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report was published, the Sinn Féin education spokesperson said;

“I want to commend schools and teachers for their efforts in achieving PISA results for 15 year-olds which are comparable to the OECD average.

“However, the report highlights the continuing link between disadvantage and educational underachievement.

“The report shows the difference between the results of the most disadvantaged and those who are better off is the equivalent of missing two and two thirds years of schooling.

“It is clear that we still have a way to go to achieve a world-class education system.

“As education minister in the previous mandate, John O’Dowd put a focus on tackling disadvantage and there have been improvements in educational attainment.

“The current education minister Peter Weir should continue on that path.

“The education committee will undertake a major inquiry into education under-attainment throughout 2017.”

Jackson encourages public engagement with consultation meetings

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has welcomed the announcement from the Health Minister to hold a series of public meetings in January 2017 on her proposals for radical transformation of the health service.

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

He  said:

“We are embarking on a time of major change in Health and Social Care (HSC) in the north and the public meetings are a sign of Health Minister Michelle O’Neill’s commitment to engaging with the public.

“This will give as many people as possible the opportunity to have their say on the future of our health and social care service.

“Everyone has a part to play in the transformation of the health and social care system and I would encourage people to come along to the meetings and make their views known.”

The local public meetings will be held at:

Derry, Millennium Forum 14 December 2016, 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Omagh, Omagh Enterprise Company 08 December 2016, 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Tickets going fast for Christmas Tales & Trails at Brooke Park – Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has encouraged anyone thinking about attending the Christmas event entitled Tales & Trails being hosted at the new Pavilion in Brooke Park to get in quick for tickets.15193620_1206862422703153_9095153701936469345_n

Councillor Cooper said “Back in November I was pleased to welcome the news that the area in around the new Pavilion in Brooke Park is to be used for a Christmas event entitled Tales & Trails.

I had been working with council officials for some time to identify funding opportunities for programmes in Derry and Strabane to allow these type of events to take place. And was delighted that the council approved a funding package of £15,000 for Christmas programmes across the five Neighbourhood renewal areas in Derry and Strabane.

Such has been the huge interest in the Tales and Trails event that nearly all the tickets are gone .I would encourage anyone looking for tickets to do so fast.

The Tales and Trails with take place on Sunday 18th December 3pm – 6pm and will involve exploring Tales of Christmas from around the world told by a number of special characters. Local talent will also be on show and Santa will be making an appearance as well. I would like to thank the Good relations Department for their additional support.

Notes Admission: FREE Community Event.  Donations welcome in lieu of Jamie’s Journey, Children’s cancer Charity.

Booking essential: Tel: 02871 268748

Brokenshire living in cloud cuckoo land over Brexit – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle  MLA Raymond McCartney has said British Secretary of State James Brokenshire in living in cloud cuckoo land.

Raymond McCartney  was responding to a claim by the British Secretary of State that US investors could be tempted to set up in the North in order to access British markets alone.

he  said:

MLA Raymond McCartney

MLA Raymond McCartney

“James Brokenshire told the media this week  that potential US investors can see the benefits of the North as a launching pad for ‘access to the UK market’.

“That’s all well and good but what about the other 27 nations in the European Single Market that his government is determined to cut us off from. Did he mention that on his flying visit to the States?

“Is that how he is wooing potential investors? Never mind about the 500 million potential customers in the single market, we can get you access to austerity Britain?

“Brexit will be bad for foreign direct investment and James Brokenshire knows it. That’s why he campaigned for Remain in the referendum.

“It will be particularly damaging in our context where a huge part of our success in attracting record levels of US foreign direct investment over recent years has been our access to the European Union.

“It’s one of the main reasons why so many US companies in particular have come here and employ thousands of local people. They recognise that we have the talent and access to one of the biggest markets in the globe.

“James Brokenshire’s government, which has no mandate in the North, is attempting to cut us off from that market and no amount of spin or flying visits to the US will change the impact of such a disastrous decision.”

Brexit will hit border communities like Derry /Donegal hard –Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper speaking from a conference entitled Driving Growth in the North West with the Challenges and Opportunities of Brexit which is being held  at An Grianán Hotel, Burt, and Co Donegal.mickey-science-park

 

 

He said “In the aftermath of the recent EU referendum Sinn Féin held a series of public meetings in Derry and across Ireland and it’s clear there is a great deal of concern about the prospect of being dragged out of the EU. 

 

“In border areas in particular there is huge uncertainty over the impact on agriculture, business, trade, travel, tourism and those who cross the border on a daily basis. 

 

He went on to say

 

We recently brought a motion to the council to support the Border Communities Against Brexit campaign and to make alliances with other council’s in border areas who will be similarly affected by Brexit once implemented:

 

Our motion was designed to show that our council recognised the massive impact that Brexit  will have on border areas. It included the major potential disruption at the border created by border controls, increased costs for cross-border traders through new tariffs. And reduced income for border farmers created by a loss of EU subsidies and reduced freedom of movement for local residents.

 

In particular, this council will lose a massive amount of EU monies which are currently used for job creation, Rural Development and infrastructural programmes. When this money disappears post-Brexit the council will have little choice but to downsize these initiatives or else increase rates to allow these programmes to continue.

 

I am glad we got support for the motion to proceed which will now allow us to begin building alliances with other councils to build a lobby against Brexit.

McCartney welcomes end of water meter installation

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney  has welcomed a move from the Infrastructure Minister to stop the installation of water meters in domestic properties.

He  said;

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Earlier this year my party colleague and Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard asked NI Water to end the installation of water meters in domestic properties.

“I welcome the minister’s announcement to the Assembly  that the installation of water meters has now ended.

“Sinn Féin is opposed to the introduction of water charges north and south.

“This move  reinforces Sinn Féin and the Executive’s commitment not to bring in water charges for households.”

Ends

Brian Lacey author and historian to speak at Derry book launch

A new book will be launched in the Derry on Wednesday night in  Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin Great James Street  at 7.00pm to commemorate the 100 Anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916 and chart the Republican history in Derry up until the present day .The book also contains stories and reflections of people from the city.12970998_1086782864699001_8584702884581330348_o

The guest speaker on  the  night will be  author and well known Republican Danny Morrison

Brian Lacey author and historian will also speak on the night.  He has been the chief contributor to the book .

Speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s launch Brian Lacey  said

This book does not claim to be a comprehensive history of the events it describes. Very little has been written about the 1916 period in Derry and the consequences of those events. This account, therefore, should be seen as a tentative beginning and as an impetus to further research. It is by no means the final word.

Until recently the narrative of what happened among republicans in Derry in 1916 (and later associated events) was dominated by the account of Liam Brady. While his own statement given to the Bureau in 1952 (WS0676) was itself inaccessible like all the others, Liam Brady’s account – effectively, word for word – was published in a series of articles in the Derry Journal in 1953. In the absence of anything else, those articles came to be considered as the ‘received wisdom’ on the subject.”11930742_816912461749708_4069858574056293539_o

Sinn Féin’s newest MLA selected

Martin McGuinness opinion piece on British government’s failure to deal with legacy issues

Dealing with the legacy of the past remains one of the key outstanding challenges of our peace process.26070074964_ea61126a65_o

Unless it is dealt with in a comprehensive and acceptable manner then the essential process of healing and reconciliation cannot gain momentum.  The main obstacle to effectively dealing with the past has been, and remains, the abject failure of the British Government to honour its international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights through NOT facilitating effective, independent and prompt investigations into killings by state agencies and their failure to adequately resource legacy investigations and inquests.

Over eight months ago the Lord Chief Justice outlined a five-year plan to deal with the backlog in legacy inquests. The British government to date has not responded positively. This has triggered great frustration and anger among families, many of whom have been waiting more than 44 years for an Article 2 compliant investigation into the death of their loved ones. I am fully supportive of the Lord Chief Justice’s proposals.

It is incredulous that this request from the foremost legal officer has been ignored. This is an untenable and unsustainable position that is undermining the confidence of bereaved families in the rule of law and the administration of justice.

Instead of working constructively to address the hurt and pain caused by the legacy of our recent conflict, the British Government has, at every turn, blocked and frustrated all efforts to reach a resolution.  In doing so they have compounded the suffering of victims and survivors and added insult to injury.

We have had a number of frustrating and unsuccessful negotiations on legacy followed by a series of critical reports and comments by internationally renowned human rights bodies and individuals.  The latest report from the UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff is a strong indictment of Britain’s handling of the past.

In his report, Pablo de Greiff highlights the punitive nature of Britain’s policy in Ireland, while highlighting the use of ‘national security’ in a ‘blanket’ manner, with the clear aim of stalling and eventually blocking relevant onward disclosure to families of victims.

Neither the British government, or indeed any of the parties to the conflict, can claim the position of ‘neutral arbiters’ of the conflict.  This places a requirement on the British Government to guarantee through the legislative process, both the reality and the perception of genuine independence and impartiality for all legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House, in a human rights compliant manner.

It also places a requirement on Republicans to play their part in addressing the challenges that lie ahead. For our part, Sinn Fein have shown a willingness to recognise our responsibilities around legacy and will continue to do so in the context of the emergence of independent, human rights compliant mechanisms.

A number of families have now been waiting for more than 40 years to find out what happened to their loved ones. Already too many relatives have gone to their graves without answers and the campaigns have passed to another generation. This is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.

The conflict has left deep scars in our society, impacting on all traditions and political persuasions. The hurt and pain must not be transmitted to another generation. The British Government and its armed agencies played an active role in the conflict here, and were not passive peacekeepers as they attempt to portray internationally. It has a duty and a responsibility to play a major role in any resolution. Delay and prevarication must give way to positive action by the British Government through the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement legacy mechanisms in a human rights compliant manner. International obligations must be honoured through the provision of adequate resources, relevant disclosure and the granting, through legislation, of a genuine independent status for all key legacy mechanisms.

McGinley welcomes green light for Springtown Road housing plans

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed planning approval for the construction of social housing on the Springtown Road.

Councillor Eric McGinley

Councillor Eric McGinley

Cllr. McGinley said: “The need for increased social housing provision in this Council area is beyond question and the decision of the Planning Committee to approve this application is to be greatly welcomed.

I am aware of the high demand for social housing in the wider Hazelbank / Ballymagroarty area and the desire of families to remain within this locality and this new development will go some way to addressing the deficit which currently exists.

It is to be hoped that this particular area can be earmarked for further housing development and it will be important to ensure that if this materialises it is accompanied by the necessary infrastructure which will accommodate the provision of public transport.”

Cooper welcomes Lowrys Lane environmental cleanup project

Councillor Cooper said “I have to say well done to everyone involved in this project.

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Councillor Mickey Cooper

Teamworks did a great job  cutting back high trees in a piece of land which was not owned by statutory agencies or by residents.

The removal of the trees will allow natural sunlight to again reach the affected residents homes instead of being in partial darkness

I would like to thank  pupils from St Bridget’s College, C.R.J and Teamworks for their  clean up of  Lowrys Lane area.

They  cleaned up  the verges on both sides of the lane which have been overgrown since the  summer and causing issues for dog walkers.

All the debris will be removed when the works are completed next week.

No place for transphobia in society – Anderson

Sinn Féin Foyle  MEP Martina Anderson has there is no room for transphobia or any form of discrimination in our society.cyr1nvzweaqsq2q

Speaking ahead of a photo exhibition which opens in Derry on Monday, Ms Anderson said;

“In recent years great progress has been made to raise awareness of gender identity issues but unfortunately we still have too many incidents of transphobic hate crime.

“I am proud to be the patron of Focus – The Identity Trust and welcome the fact that their exhibition of photos of people showing their opposition to transphobic hate crime is coming to Derry.

“Derry City and Strabane District Council was the first local authority to back a motion opposing transphobic hate crimes and the city has a proud record of challenging transphobia, homophobia and all forms of discrimination.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to go along and and view the exhibition in the Tower Museum from Monday, December 5 to Wednesday, December 7.”

Easter 1916-From the GPO to Free Derry -Book launch

A new book Easter 1916-From the GPO to Free Derry will be launched in the Derry on Wednesday night to commemorate the 100 Anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916 and chart the Republican history in Derry up until the present day .The book also contains stories and reflections of people from the city.

 Project coordinator Tommy Carlin saiddm-1

We are very pleased to have Danny Morrison as our guest speaker on Wednesday night .Danny as well as being synonymous with Republicanism across the island he is also an accomplished writer.

Brian Lacey, author and historian, who will also speak on the night, has been the chief contributor to the book. Without his efforts this book would not have been this book.

When we began researching the story of Derry’s involvement in the Easter Rising, the Tan War and the Civil War, it was not expected that this book would amount to over 80,000 words. But such was Derry’s contribution that it could be no less.

Another prevailing thought was that the significance of the Rising on the most recent period of conflict, as well as the past 100 years, should also be remembered. Hence, we have the personal reflections of Derry republicans on the Rising and its importance for them.

I would ask everyone to come along this Wednesday night to Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin Great James Street  at 7.00pm for this  special launch.

Family have lucky escape after car fire -McCartney

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney commenting after a car was set on fire outside a home in the Temple Park area of the cityraymond-mccartney-450x301

Said “This is a shocking incident.I visited the house on Sunday  morning.

With the fire spreading to the guttering of the house this could been a lot worse.We could have been talking fatalities here.


The family are now left without a car just a few weeks before Christmas.

I would appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to the police.

Vandals cause trail of destruction at Creggan Country Burn

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper commenting after a trail of destruction at the Creggan Country Burn  walk way on Friday night

Councillor Mickey Cooper said “I was contacted by a local resident who would use the park on a daily basis and its the first time they have seen anything on this scale.dsc_0043

The contents of the bins were strewn across the walkways with broken class and rubbish everywhere .A newly installed dog waste bin was ripped from its fixtures , with its contents all over the place.

I have been in contact with the council to try and get the area cleaned up and repairs carried out as soon as possible due to health concerns particularly with the dog waste bin.

Its disgusting that anyone would do this sort of thing to a public amenity, which the people of the greater Rosemount area have been waiting on for years.

Shinn Féin Slógadh 2016

Huge demand highlights need for Irish Passport Office in North – Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly said that calls for a Passport Office in the North are fully warranted and justified.

Speaking after the Irish Passport Office announced that a record breaking 700,000 Irish passports have been issued so far this year:

He said:

????????????????????????????????????

?

“News that a record breaking 700,000 Irish passports have been issued so far this year shows that my calls for a Passport Office in the North are fully warranted and justified.

“An office in the North would greater enfranchise people across Ireland and help to ease the burden on staff. In June of this year i called on the Irish foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan to open a passport office in Derry.

“The British Government’s intention to drag the North out of the European Union leaves the island of Ireland facing potentially the most destabilising period since partition.

“Following the EU Referendum result the demand for Irish Passports in the North has only increased.

“The increase in the number of Irish Passport applications also reiterates that the Irish government has a duty to represent best interests of all Irish citizens in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.”

Thwart the Festive oil thieves –Councillor Kevin Campbell

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has warned householders across the city to be on their guard against home heating oil thieves in the run up to Christmas.

Councillor Campbell saidNew shot of Kevin

“I feel it’s timely to warn people across the city to be on their guard against home heating oil thieves in the run up to Christmas .With now being into the month of December , temperatures dropping and nights and mornings getting a lot darker we have seen in previous years a marked increase in oil thefts at this time.

“With the cost of home heating, having oil stolen is causing severe hardship to many families who cannot afford to refill their tanks.

“This type of crime takes time and special equipment such as a tanker or large tank in the back of a van and siphoning equipment.

“I would call on people to be observant. If you see suspicious activity in the laneways around a neighbour’s house, particularly if there is no one at home, to call the police.”

 

 

Ends

Jackson praises hard work of ambulance service

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has praised the hard work and dedication of the ambulance service.

The Waterside councillor said;

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

“The staff and emergency medical teams of the Ambulance Service play a vital role in our society while working in very challenging circumstances.

“Every day their hard work, dedication and professionalism literally saves lives.

“My party colleague and Health Minister Michelle O’Neill is currently engaged in the most radical shake up of the health service for decades and is engaging with all health care workers to do that.

“Ambulance Service staff, and all those delivering health and social care, have a vital role to play, in partnership with the Minister in the transformation of our health service.”

McCartney welcomes £73million development at Altnagelvin

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the news today that Health Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA, has announced the award of two significant contracts for further investment at Altnagelvin – a new North Wing Ward Block to replace the ageing tower block wards and major upgrade works to Day Surgery Theatres.Raymond head shot 22

Raymond McCartney MLA said “This is positive news for Derry and the North West region that this work is to progress in the coming months.

This coupled with the new £66million Radiotherapy unit is much need investment in our health estate and it is important that we maximise this benefit to the wider economy.

Ends

Sinn Féin stands by the people of Palestine – Anderson

Sinn Féin Foyle MEP Martina Anderson has said her party will continue to work to build international solidarity in support of the Palestinian people.

Speaking from Palestine today on International Day of Solidarity with Palestine, Ms Anderson said; 15181273_1341282725904256_733055725073993156_n

“Sinn Féin continues to support the people of Palestine and is constantly working to build solidarity at home and internationally.

“Just this week I attended the Fatah congress in Palestine to show solidarity and welcomed the re-election of Mahmoud Abbas.

“The international community has a responsibility to support the Palestinian people and challenge the continuing human rights abuses of Israel.

“For our part, Sinn Féin will continue to support the people of Palestine and efforts to secure a just and lasting peace in the region.”

Completion of Conars Court before Christmas – Cooper

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper welcoming the news that work on the heating system at Conars Court  is nearing completion.dsc_0043

Councillor Cooper said  “Like everyone who has been involved in the process of trying to get these repairs done I am glad to hear that we are finally nearly across the line. The work should be completed before Christmas which will  give residents time to relax over the festive period after what has been a very stressful time over recent months .

Negotiations with Habinteg, councils building control department and consultants have borne fruit and have hopefully permanently resolved the long running issues in this complex.

 

Ends

Logue welcomes pupils’ maths achievement

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed news that the international rankings – Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) published this week  – show the North has the highest-achieving primary school pupils in Europe in major international tests in maths.

????????????????????????????????????

The statistics also show that pupils in the North are the sixth best in the world at maths.

The party’s spokesperson on Education  said:

“I welcome these statistics.

“It is a real success story that numeracy has improved among students in the North.

“As Education Minister Caitríona Ruane initiated the Literacy and Numeracy Signature Projects and it was launched in 2012 by my party colleague, then Education Minister John O’Dowd.

“The Literacy and Numeracy Signature Projects have seen year-on-year improvements in achievement and attainment levels.

“Under Sinn Féin ministers over the past decade we have seen year-on-year improvements in achievement and attainment levels.”

Annual Derry Sinn Féin Christmas Post Launched

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

 

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly  said

DIGITAL CAMERA

“The annual Sinn Féin post has been a feature of the Christmas period in Derry now for over thirty years and I would encourage  people to make use of it.

This year the stamp will commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of Sinn Féin Vice President Marie Drumm, not only to remember a strong women but also to highlight the collusion and failure of the British Government to release files relating to the past.

 

 

The Christmas Post is now operating and cards will be delivered to any part of Derry City for the minimal price of 20p. Cards can be left at the Sinn Féin Office on the Racecourse Road Shantallow, at Ráth Mór office on the New Road and Spencer Road office.

Altnagelvin A&E Crisis highlights need for more Medical places -McCartney

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney MLA commenting on the Assembly motion calling for a Medical School at Magee and the reports of inadequate resources at Altnagelvin A&E said that it highlights the recognition by all parties for the need for an increase in the number of medical graduates.

Mr McCartney said:

MLA Raymond McCartney

MLA Raymond McCartney

“This crisis is not limited to the current issue around A&E services at Altnagelvin and other Hospitals in the North, it is an all-Ireland problem. Whether in Belfast, Monaghan, Donegal or Derry the common denominator seems to be the shortage of Junior Doctors and Consultants.

“Sinn Féin has long advocated an increase in the number of Medical graduate places available at our Universities and particularly for locating a Medical School at Magee University Campus in Derry.

“As far back as December 2004 my colleague and former Foyle MLA, Mitchel McLaughlin met with then Provost of Magee, Professor Tom Fraser to discuss the issue. Among a range of topics discussed was the need for additional Medical training facilities and the case for such a faculty at Magee that would attract entrants from across the island.

“Maeve McLaughlin as a former Chair of the Assembly Health Committee also championed the establishment of a Medical Faculty at Magee as part of the much needed expansion of the campus.

“At present the limited number of places available at existing Medical faculties on the island cannot cope with the increased need for Doctors in our Hospitals. Although those Doctors recruited from other
countries do an excellent job it should not be a substitute for training our own Medical staff.

“In my opinion the case for a Medical faculty at Magee would be greatly enhanced by utilising the local Hospitals on either side of the border – Altnagelvin and Letterkenny. As a recognition that health care is best served through integrated planning on an all-Ireland basis   recruiting could be on a 50/50 basis in each jurisdiction. Logistically and economically this approach makes sense.

“It is an accepted fact that Medical Students generally enter practice or take up positions in hospitals in close proximity to where they study following graduation The Health Service is already struggling to cope with the demands placed on it. Many hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit sufficient junior doctors and consultants to fill vacancies caused by a shortage of local medical graduates.


“I believe that now with cross-party support in the Assembly, Minister O’Neill, in conjunction with the Irish government should give serious consideration to establishing a Medical  Faculty at Magee to help address a situation across the island that can only get worse if we don’t produce the required number of Medical graduates.”

World AIDS Day today Thursday -Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly lighting a candle to remember World Aids Day, which takes place today  Thursday   December 1st

Councillor Colly Kelly said

????????????????????????????????????





“World AIDS Day, is a day in which the world comes out in solidarity and support for those who are living with HIV and AIDS.

“The Red Ribbon is the international symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness and is used to promote awareness and support of a worthy cause and to remind others of the need for their continued support and commitment.

“We must constantly be proactive in supporting prevention awareness programmes for HIV in Derry and across Ireland, these programmes must be sustained and given the proper funding to help reduce the levels of new infections and put in place the support services that are needed for caring for those suffering with HIV.”

Jackson welcomes £160,000 for Waterside Greenways project

Welcoming the announcement from the Communities Minister, Paul Givan, on funding of £160,223 to support phase four of the Waterside Greenway project.

Waterside Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson said

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor  Christopher Jackson

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson

“Sinn Féin have campaigned for the development of greenways for a number of years. We believe they have huge potential in attracting activity tourist markets as well as being an invaluable health and wellbeing resource for local communities.

This comes following the recent exciting news that a new £15Million pound Greenways project is to take place on two of the main arterial routes between Derry and Donegal.

Ends

Notes

The project will open up public access into the Gransha Estate and will connect directly with the end of the Phase three works close to the Foyle Bridge.  The works include the creation of a 0.5km pedestrian and cycle path and the provision of street lighting and litter bins.

Construction works are expected to commence in January 2017 and complete by June 2017.

Martina Anderson MEP addresses Fatah congress in Palestine

Sinn Féin Foyle MEP Martina Anderson is in Palestine today to attend the annual congress of Fatah.

Speaking from Congress, Ms Anderson said; Martina news

“Today is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and I would like to extend the solidarity of my party, Sinn Féin, and of the people of Ireland.

“In any national liberation struggle, division and disunity slices and dices the struggle, damages and weakens it and the people suffer the most.

“We in Sinn Féin know how vitally important unity and internal cohesion is – without them we Republicans in Ireland would never have had our peace process.

“When Palestinians speak with one voice you advance international solidarity with your struggle and your message is heard clearly around the world.

“A cohesive struggle would present a greater challenge to the Israeli occupation and it would be more difficult for opponents of the Palestinians to foster divisions.

“Sinn Féin will continue to work to build international solidarity and continue to support the Palestinian people.”

H2 site at Buncrana Road now open for business

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Cllr Tony Hassan has welcomed the proposed development of 3,000 new private and social homes in the H2 site at Buncrana road area of the city.

Cllr Hassan said,

????????????????????????????????????

After 13 years of campaigning to have this site developed we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and the long saga of the H2 site has ended.

I have to commend the new owners/developers for buying the land at Buncrana road. The development of this site and the building of 3,000 private and socials homes will provide hundreds of jobs and bring work to the construction industry in the city which will take many construction workers off the dole.

I would also welcome the decision by Fold Housing Association to build 300 social homes on the site. And with the waiting lists for social homes standing at 2,300 I would call on the Housing Executive and other housing associations to look at this site for the building of social homes.

This development will help the regeneration of the Buncrana Road area; I have said time and time again that the H2 site could be the place to help bring the housing waiting lists down in the city to allow the many homeless families a home of their own.

It’s also very important as we move forward to look at the entire infrastructure which includes roads, community facilities, and park lands.

Glenowen could be waiting 15 years for traffic calming scheme –Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has said it is totally unacceptable that Glenowen could be waiting anyhting up to 15 years to get traffic calming measures.

He was speaking after he received correspondence from Transport NI on the issue.

????????????????????????????????????

Councillor Kelly said

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

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

We carried out a petition in the development calling for the installation of traffic calming measures in consultation with residents and we engaged with residents got a very positive response.

The areas was last assessed for traffic calming features in 2012 .At the time it had a score that placed it at number 42 on the traffic calming priority list we are now being told that it sits at 45 on Derry City & Strabane Council Area priority list.

More worrying is the fact that Transport NI have told me that they only have the funding to carry out two traffic calming programmes this year .So in real terms if the same level of funding was available each year it could mean even with bit of good luck along the way that Glenowen could be waiting anything up to 15 years or more for a scheme to take place. That’s just a shocking timescale.

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

Campbell welcomes Christmas Translink fare reductions in Derry

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has welcomed the news that Translink is working with Derry City and Strabane District Council to encourage more people onto public transport in the run up to Christmas.

Translink is putting on a wide range of fare offers over the next month.kevin

 

Councillor Kevin Campbell said

I welcome the news that Translink is to put on reduced fares and is working with the Council to get more people to use public transport in the run up to Christmas.

I would encourage everyone to check out the various deals on offer which cover the train services, 212 Goldliner between Derry and Belfast, and local bus services.

We must be doing all we can to get people to use the various services Translink offer, it takes more cars off our roads, helps reduce traffic congestion in around the city centre  which at this time of year can be hectic. It will also encourage more people to come into Derry to do a day’s Christmas shopping and in turn help the local bars, cafes and restaurants.

So it’s a win -win for everyone.

Ends

Support for Medical School at Magee -McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said Sinn Féin will continue to support the campaign to locate a medical centre in the north west.

Speaking in the Assembly, the Foyle MLA said; raymond-mccartney-450x301

“The need for the expansion of Magee for the development of the economy is clear.

“Sinn Féin has been behind the campaign to have a medical centre in the north west for a number of years.

“We have met with the University of Ulster to discuss the proposed post-graduate medical centre at Magee.

“It is ideally placed, together with Altnagelvin hospital and C-TRIC, for the location of a medical centre. Also, the cross-border nature of the new cancer

“It would also help with the recruitment and retention of staff, particularly specialists. Research has shown that medical staff who train in a location tend to stay there.

“We will continue to support the campaign to have a medical centre established in the north west.”

Adams extends solidarity to Cuban people

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD arrived in Havana late last night to participate in some of the events to mark the death of Fidel Castro.cylusqkwiaah-1k

Speaking from Cuba, Gerry Adams said:

“Fidel was an internationalist. He was keenly interested in the experiences of others. During our conversations, we discussed matters of mutual interest and concern including the issues of human rights, civil and religious liberties, democratic values, social justice, climate change, and equality. We also discussed the attacks on the USA on September 11th. He remarked that, following those attacks, no progressive struggle would be won by armed actions. They could only be won by the power of ideas and the mobilisation of people.

“Under Fidel Castro Cuba’s internationalist commitments, thousands of Cuban health workers travelled across the world providing health care to millions.

“More recently, the Cuban government has helped broker peace in Colombia and put an end to one of the longest running wars in modern history. On my last visit to Cuba in October 2015, I met with senior negotiators from FARC. The Cuban government facilitated that meeting. Other senior Sinn Féin representatives have also visited the region to discuss the Irish peace process with the negotiating teams of the Colombian government and FARC.

“The loss of Fidel Castro is a huge blow to the people of Cuba and to the world. People in Havana are genuinely moved by his death. Tens of thousands are filing through Revolution Square to pay their respects.  I am here to extend my condolences and solidarity on behalf of Sinn Féin.”

National Women’s Conference

Fidel Castro remembered at Free Derry Wall

The Cuban national flag was raised at Free Derry Wall on Saturday afternoon as a mark of respect following the death of Fidel Castro; similar events took place in Belfast and Dublin.15220238_10154773332718914_8081437807441032440_n

Commenting Councillor Colly Kelly said “It was important that following the death of Fidel Castro this mark of respect was carried out at Free Derry Wall. The people of Derry have always had a great affinity for the people of Cuba and places like Palestine, the Basque country and South Africa.

Ends

Attacks on Madams Bank Road will lead to loss of life – Hassan

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan has said lives will be lost if attacking cars on the Madams Bank Road doesn’t stop.lg_tony_hassan_copy2

He was commenting after a number of cars were attacked with stones and large grass sods late on Friday night,

He said “I was contacted by a very upset member of the public who had his car attacked on the Madams Bank Road just after 11pm on Friday night.

He was returning home from visiting his seriously ill mother in hospital when a large object hit the  windscreen of his car  which left him very shocked .When he stopped  the car a few yards away he found a large sod of grass and clay on the bonnet of the car. When looking for other damage he seen a number of these sods and stones strewn across the roadway. The perpetrators who were behind the fence along the road made good their escape.

With these attacks it’s only a matter of time before someone loses control of a car on this road and we have fatalities .We all know the how dangerous it is driving late at night in icy conditions the last thing any driver wants to experience  is their car being attacked.

If anyone knows who is behind these attacks I would appeal for them to contact the police .Lives are being put at risk here and those responsible need to be before the courts.

Ends

Sinn Féin delegation meet Palestinian representatives in Istanbul

A Sinn Féin delegation has travelled to Istanbul this weekend to meet with senior Palestinian representatives of the Hamas movement, including Dr Musa Abu Marzouk.

Following these meetings, Sinn Féin National Party Chairperson and head of the Sinn Féin delegation Declan Kearney, said:cyswrndweaajpu3-jpg-large

“Sinn Féin supports the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. We have consistently advocated the need for a viable peace process as the framework within which to achieve that, and bring about peace in the region.

‘In line with our Party’s policy of expressing solidarity, emphasising national unity and engaging with all Palestinian representatives we met with senior Hamas representatives on the 26 and 27 November in Istanbul.

“The Sinn Féin delegation outlined our experience of the Irish peace process and gave an analysis of the current political situation in Ireland. We shared our view that Palestinian national political and civic unity should be central to future political progress and that inclusive negotiations are essential to securing a peaceful, democratic, political agreement.

“‘The unremitting blanket repression by the Israeli state against Palestinian citizens in both Gaza and the West Bank is an international scandal. The deteriorating situation in Jerusalem is a particular cause for alarm.

“The 29 November is a significant day for the Palestinian people. It is the UN recognised ‘International Day of Solidarity for Palestine’. Sinn Féin has a long history of solidarity and support for the Palestinian people. Our meetings with Hamas in Istanbul, coupled with the visit later this week to Ramallah by Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson to the Fatah Seventh Congress, and attendance by two members of Sinn Féin Republican Youth (SFRY), Bronagh Bradley and Caolán Mc Ginley, at the ‘First International Youth Camp’ in Palestine, are important initiatives in our Party’s sustained support for the Palestinian cause’.cys_einxuaqip1l

Car hits wall of house in Grangemore

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly commenting  after a car hit a perimeter wall of a house in Grangemore Park on Fruday night.

????????????????????????????????????

Councillor Kelly said “This must have been a very frightening experience for anyone caught up in this incident.

Anyone living in Grangemore would tell you that this is a very busy road with traffic and pedestrians going to and from the local shops.

It was a very foggy night and there was a lot of ice about  so this could have been much worse.

Ends

McCartney sends his condolences after the death of Fidel Castro

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has sent his condolences to the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro.

He  said:cuba-pic-1

“I was deeply saddened to  hear of the death of Fidel Castro.

“Fidel was a leader of one of the most important revolutions of the 20th Century.  His vision and lifetime of experience will be greatly missed as we continue to face the challenges of climate change, poverty, and globalisation.

“The ground breaking successes in healthcare and education that Fidel oversaw in Cuba which i seen on a visit in 2009, as well as Cuba’s internationalism, remains an inspiration to all of us who share a vision of an inclusive and fair world. The successes of that revolution are clearly evident today in the confidence and abilities of the Cuban people.

“Cuba is still placed under an illegal, inhuman and crippling blockade by the USA.  One can only imagine the advances the Cuban economy and society could have made had these barriers had been removed.

“Fidel was a leader and a visionary. He was an internationalist and spoke for the poor and dispossessed. He took on the status quo the comfortable elites, the bigots, the racists, and the apartheid apologists.

“I wish to extend my condolences, and the collective condolences of  the membership of Derry Sinn Féin , to the Cuba Ambassador to Ireland at this sad time.

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

ENDS

Logue welcomes Brandywell Stadium development

Sinn Féin Brandywell Councillor, Patricia Logue has welcomed the start to the Stadium redevelopment.

The Sinn Féin Councillor said:Patricia Logue new pic 22

“Sinn Féin has consistently sought to play a positive role in achieving redevelopment of the greater Brandywell area in a manner that improves the quality of life of all stakeholders but particularly the residents. I believe that this contributes to that vision.

“We in Sinn Féin have always stated that the scope and scale of the project would present challenges but with good will and everyone involved acting collectively all challenges could be successfully surmounted.

“The responsibility of Derry City and Strabane District Council, its elected members and Government departments is that rate payers and citizens get the maximum collective benefit and impact.

“I believe that the project as announced this week meets this criteria and look forward to further feasible development as circumstances dictate.

“I wish all concerned with Derry City Football Club and other stakeholders all the best in their future endeavours in what will be an excellent community facility.”

CRÍOCH/END

Campbell welcomes road safety materials ‘as Gaeilge’ for Irish schools

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has welcomed a commitment from the Infrastructure Minister to provide road safety materials in Irish.

He  said:

“I welcome the commitment from the Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard to increase the level of road safety education resources available in the Irish language.

“These resources will provide Irish medium schools with road safety teaching materials.

“School children and young people are among the most vulnerable groups who use our roads and any steps to promote road safety should be welcomed.

“It is important children and young people are taught road safety both at home and at school and I am pleased the growing Irish Medium sector has the learning resources require.

“I welcome the fact that Minister Hazzard will investigate the possibility of An tÁisaonad (funded by Foras na Gaeilge) at St Mary’s University College, translating suitable further road safety teaching resources into Irish.”

Irish government has a duty to represent best interests of all Irish citizens – McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the Irish government has a legal, moral and diplomatic duty to represent the best interests of all Irish citizens in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Speaking at Deloitte’s non-executive directors dinner in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel to a group of more than 80 directors from across the island, Mr McGuinness said; cx50tqfw8aahez0

“The British Government’s intention to drag the North out of the European Union leaves the island of Ireland facing potentially the most destabilising period since partition.

“Our circumstances in the North are unique and there needs to be a recognition of that. The implications for our politics, social interaction and economic prosperity are too grave to do otherwise.

“Political will is required to achieve designated special status for the North, particularly on the part of the Dublin Government who will have a unique and powerful role in the negotiations due to take place once Article 50 is triggered.

“The Irish Government effectively have a seat on both sides of the table in the negotiations. They must use that influence to safeguard the national interest of all our people, of our interdependent and interlinked economies North and South, and the safeguards and advances of the Good Friday and other Agreements.

“As a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, they have a legal responsibility to do so. They also have a moral duty to those people from all communities north of the border who democratically voted to remain in the EU and they have a political and diplomatic duty to the rapidly growing numbers of Irish passport holders living in the north.”

British government must honour legacy commitments -McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney  has said commitments made by the British government in the Fresh Start Agreement must be upheld.

He  said: raymond-mccartney-450x301

“It is now one year since the Fresh Start Agreement and yet the issue of legacy remains unaddressed.

“It is the British government who are causing the delay, they must honour and implement the commitments made in the Stormont House Agreement.

“The British Secretary of State James Brokenshire should uphold his obligations by addressing the requirements of the Lord Chief Justice’s five-year plan to clear the backlog in legacy inquests.

“All relatives and victims are entitled to maximum disclosure of truth in relation to the death of their loved ones.

“Their search for truth should not be blocked by a ‘national security’ veto on disclosure.

“The continued failure and refusal to deal with the legacy of the conflict only adds to the hurt and pain suffered by many in our society.”

Reconciliation can’t be a one-way process – McGuinness

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martin McGuinness has said a genuine process of reconciliation requires more involvement from political unionism.

Speaking at the launch of a Sinn Féin reconciliation document in Belfast’s Clifton House today Martin McGuinness said:26070074964_ea61126a65_o

“Republicans have rightly embraced the challenge of reconciliation.

“Sinn Féin has demonstrated our commitment to this process through a number of public initiatives which at times have also presented challenges for Republicans.

“But in order for that process to be successful, for our people to be truly reconciled, there needs to be a reciprocation of our efforts; this cannot be a one-way process.

“There needs to be respect for all the traditions on this island, for all narratives. The Irish language, Irish identity, culture and aspiration is as valid as any other and needs to be respected as such.

“That will require mature leadership from political unionism because we alone cannot deliver reconciliation.

“A genuine reconciliation process must seek to create common ground where the collective focus is to build for the future.

“Sinn Féin will continue to offer positive leadership and we will continue to pursue the national reconciliation of our people.” ENDS/CRÍOCH

Logue welcomes review of Blue Badge renewal process

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed news that the renewal process for Blue Badge holders with life-long mobility issues is to be reviewed.

She said:Patricia Logue new pic 22

“I welcome the announcement by my colleague and Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard that he will review the renewal process for Blue Badge holders with life-long mobility issues.

“There is no doubt the renewal process should be adjusted for badge holders who have conditions which are unlikely to change.

“Hopefully the review will produce a simpler, more accessible application process for those applicants with life-long mobility issues.

“I would encourage all those in Derry with an interest to take part in the consultation process that will begin early in 2017.”

Ends

Praise for quick response to fix crossing traffic lights on busy road –Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly “I received a number of phone calls from residents in Grangemore and Cashelmore  Park and a number of motorists about a damaged set of crossing traffic lights beside Centra on upper Creggan Road.

Councillor Colly Kelly

Councillor Colly Kelly

The light was turned so that it could not be seen coming from the Rosemount direction on the left hand side.

This was potentially dangerous for children using the road especially in these dark nights on what is one of the busiest roads in the city.

I reported this to Transport NI just after teatime on Thursday night and stressed the urgency of the situation.  They sent a team to fix the lights straight away. This came at a time of atrocious weather and heavy traffic with the Christmas lights switch on in the city centre.

I would like to commend Transport NI for their quick response to fix the damaged crossing which i know was also very much appreciated by local residents.

“Never ending nightmare” Derry housing provision – Hassan

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Councillor Tony Hassan has said the housing issue in Derry has now become  a “never ending nightmare”

 

 

Councillor Hassan saidlg_tony_hassan_copy2

 

At this time of the year we remember the plight of the homeless in our city, people who haven’t a home of their own, people in temporary accommodation, overcrowded conditions, staying with family and friends and also in hostels.

 

We have more social homes being constructed at the moment than ever before but its is still  not enough to meet the demand.

 

There are families in Derry in temporary accommodation who face their third and fourth Christmas without a home of their own.

 

As the allocation of homes in our city is still at 200 points ,more social homes are needed to lower the points system and end the long waiting list for 2,500 families.

 

The lands at H2 site Buncrana road could now be open for the building of social homes and I would appeal to housing associations in the city to acquire some of the land there for social homes for the thousands who are homeless in our city.

 

 

This housing situation cannot be solved by any one person or minister but by a collective coming together of all ministers in the Assembly.

 

 

The Housing Executive must also be given the role of being the main providers of social housing if we are ever to get out of this  never ending housing nightmare.

All sections of society should be involved in Colombian peace process – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said it is important all sections of society are involved in the historic Colombian peace process.

Speaking at a major policing conference in Colombia attended by an international panel of speakers, Ms Anderson said;

“It is important that Colombia seizes this historic chance of peace.cxewtdqxcaabmcy

“The ceasefire agreement between the FARC and the Colombian Government, which was been extended until 31 December is positive step, as was the intensification of efforts to reach a solution.  I hope the new arrangement will be supported by the Colombian people.

“If the negotiated arrangement is to be supported, the people must not be left behind. They must be consulted and engaged with throughout the process.

“It is vital that all conflict actors make a positive contribution to reconciliation and healing that assists all families, and to build a society that cherishes and harnesses all to ensure that conflict will never return.

“Sinn Féin continues to support the Colombian people in building and sustaining peace by sharing our experiences of the Irish peace process.”

Defibrillator installed at Sean Dolans GAC Creggan

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly welcoming the news that Sean Dolans GAC have received the help of NI Sport to install a defibrillator at their new Creggan grounds.

Councillor Kelly said

Councillor Colly Kelly with Sean Dolans GAC member Eamonn McGinley with the new defibrillator

Councillor Colly Kelly with Sean Dolans GAC member Eamonn McGinley with the new defibrillator

“I am a keen sports fan and the sudden death of Tyrone footballer Cormac McAnallen in 2004 brought home to everyone the need to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

In 2011 I got unanimous backing for a motion in the then Derry City Council calling for the introduction of defibrillators  at council facilities and for staff to be trained in their use.

I feel it’s very important to widen that out across all the similar facilities across the city.

There are many sporting organisations such as the GAA who have taken the lead on this issue and are proactively fundraising to provide this vital piece of emergency equipment at their sports grounds.

In the case of Sean Dolans GAC they have received the help of NI Sport to have this life saving equipment at their newly opened  Creggan sports ground.

In emergency situations time is of the essence and the quicker paramedics can get access to a defibrillator the more lives can be saved

Deputy First Minister,Health Minister visit new cancer centre Altnagelvin

Commenting on the news that the cancer centre will open shortly Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said cxxq9q4weaaernv-jpg-large

“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.

He went on to say

We need to build upon and develop the current all-Ireland health structures as we plan for the future.

It has already been shown that cross-border co-operation works, as has been seen with the children’s cardiac services and now the new cancer centre here in Derry.

McCartney welcomes admission that Manus Deery was innocent

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed an admission from the British Ministry of Defence that 15-year-old Manus Deery who was shot dead in 1972 was innocent. 

The Foyle MLA said; raymond-mccartney-450x301

“I welcome the admission from the British Ministry of Defence and the PSNI that Manus Deery was innocent, was not carrying a weapon and that his killing breached guidelines.

“This is a 15-year-old boy who was shot dead by British soldiers as he chatted with friends.

“What came out in court today is what the people of Derry have known for 44 years.

“The Deery family are entitled to the truth about the killing of Manus and hopefully today’s admission will help them in their continuing campaign for justice.” Ends/Críoch

Breath new life into Meenan Square -Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has said that new life needs to be breathed into the former shops complex at Meenan Square beside the Lecky Road Flyover.Councillor  Patricia Logue

 

Councillor Logue said “We all know about the demise of the shops complex there over recent years. The building is in a sorry looking state and has been a magnet for all sorts of anti-community activity. It’s the first sight that greets motorists coming off the Lecky Road Flyover and is right on the doorstep of local residents.

There has been some good work done to clean up the old shop fronts but you can only do that for so long. I meet people on a daily basis who ask me as an elected representative for the area what can be done to turn this around and put it back to good use.

I believe we need to work collectively to address this and breathe new life into the area. This site was once the vibrant heartbeat of the Bogside with many local businesses and services.

It has the potential to become the catalyst for change in this community and bring employment opportunities.

It  would also come at a time when the new building at the Museum of Free Derry is at an advanced stage and just across the road  from Meenan Square we have the recently opened Áras Cholmcille The St Columba Heritage centre.

 

It is vitally important that this complex is brought into public or community ownership for the greater good of the community and the residents that live close by.

 

The area has recently been designated as an Urban Village by OFMDFM and the measure of the success of this initiative will be the regeneration of Meenan Park.

Campbell calls for grit provision at one Derry’s biggest new developments

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has been in touch with Transport NI in regards to the provision of grit and salt boxes in  Ballymagowan.

Ballymagowan is one of Derry’s largest new developments and has a very steep road going into it which brings its own problems during the winter months.

Councillor Campbell said kevin

“Winter is now on us and we all know the problems encountered in communities once snow and ice appears.

I was contacted by a number of residents in Ballymagowan at the weekend concerned about gritting of the entrance into the development.

There is a very steep road going up into the estate and they wanted me to ensure that there was provision of stocked grit boxes there over the next few months. It would help reduce the likelihood of accidents, slips and falls and keep the roads clear for the emergency services.

I have been in touch with Transport NI and asked them to look at grit/salt provision in Ballymagowan to avert such situations.

Small businesses in Derry should increase security in the run up Christmas –Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has urged all small businesses in Derry  to increase security in the run up to Christmas to thwart robberies on their premises.

????????????????????????????????????

Councillor Kelly said “Sadly with the dark mornings and early dark nights in the run up to Christmas we always see small businesses in Derry being targeted by opportunist thieves and organised criminals gangs.  It could be someone looking to get their hands on £30- 40 quickly or a gang after the day’s takings or stealing high value stock to sell through their criminal networks. The effects of this could set a small business back months.

I would urge all businesses in the city not to keep any large amounts of money on their premises and put a few extra security measures in place over the next few weeks.

It must be very upsetting for the members of staff or customers caught up in such ordeals.

I would appeal to anyone who sees anything suspicious around a business in Derry over the coming weeks to contact the police.

Ends

Progress on the Brandywell Stadium

Anderson to host screening of ’66 Days’ in European Parliament

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will host a screening of the award-winning film, ’66 Days’ in the European Parliament in Brussels later this month.

Ms Anderson said;cxjs4vexaaapkig

“This documentary film charts the course of one of the most significant moments in recent Irish history, the 1981 Hunger Strike and tells the story of its leader, IRA Volunteer Bobby Sands.

“The documentary is a powerful piece of film and includes a range of interviews from contemporaries of Bobby, journalists, historians and those involved, from all sides, in the recent conflict in Ireland.

“It is a detailed production that includes a wide range of views and provides an insight into one of the most recognisable freedom fighters in the world.

“Bobby Sands led the 1981 Irish Republican Hunger Strike in response to barbaric conditions imposed upon political prisoners in Long Kesh and Armagh Gaol.

“Support for his struggle against the British Thatcher government was so immense that it saw Bobby be elected as Member of Parliament for Fermanagh South Tyrone. Bobby Sands remains an inspiration to all republicans and all those fighting oppression, occupation and discrimination across the world.

“We will be particularly delighted to welcome the film’s director, Brendan J Byrne to Brussels to take part in a panel discussion about the film and its subject matter. Joining him will be former political prisoners Councillor Seanna Walsh and Jennifer McCann MLA who will speak on their own experiences as political prisoners during the recent conflict.

“All are welcome to attend the viewing on Tuesday 29th November at 1900 in the European Parliament. To register just email martina.anderson@europarl.europa.eu

British government has no idea what it’s doing – McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has the British government has no idea what it is doing over Brexit.

Speaking after the North South Ministerial Council in Armagh, Mr McGuinness said; Martin-McGuinness1

“We are dealing with a British government which says Brexit means Brexit but it is quite clear that they haven’t got a clue what that means.

“They have no plan, no solution and no idea what will happen next.

“What is clear, however is that there is no good outcome for Ireland.

“The vote of the people of the North to remain in the EU and must be recognised and respected.

“As far as I am concerned everything is on the table and we need to explore options which would allow the north a designated special status within the EU.”

Fleming calls for changes to Farm Business Improvement Scheme

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming has called for changes to the Farm Business Improvement Scheme to support farmers. Paul-Fleming

He said; “I have concerns about the items that are eligible for grants under the Farm Business Improvement Scheme.

“I was very surprised that no provision was made for farm safety equipment or IT equipment.

“Given the push towards online applications for grants and payments and the fact that farmers are actually given additional points for applying online then it stands to reason that help should be available to allow farmers to do that.

” We will be contacting the agriculture minister asking for this to be reconsidered so that the eligibility for grants under the Farm Business Improvement Scheme is widened.”

Bring forward programmes for exterior house painting in Hazelbank -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has called on the Housing Executive to bring forward programmes for exterior house painting in Hazelbank as quickly as possible.

Councillor Eric McGinley

Councillor Eric McGinley

Cllr. McGinley said: “I have received a number of complaints in recent weeks from Hazelbank residents over the exterior condition of their Housing Executive properties.

These houses are shabby in appearance as a result of long exposure to the elements and residents are entitled to expect that the properties are kept adequately maintained by the Housing Executive.

I have written to the H.E. requesting information on previous and planned programmes and I have asked that priority is given to ECM schemes being brought to the estates in Hazelbank as quickly as possible.”

Brokenshire’s arrogant claim to Lough Foyle must be challenged by the Irish Government – Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan to challenge the latest pronouncement from the British Government on the ownership of Lough Foyle.raymond-pearse-padraig2-450x339

In response to a parliamentary question, the British Secretary of State for the North, James Brokenshire asserted that his Government’s position remains that “the whole of Lough Foyle is within the UK”.

Senator Mac Lochlainn said:

“This is an arrogant and provocative pronouncement from James Brokenshire but unfortunately it is a repeat of previous pronouncements and again and again, previous Irish Governments have failed to sort it out.

“I am calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan to immediately challenge this assertion on behalf of the Irish people.

“I am also calling on Minister Flanagan to clarify what is the status of the negotiations between the two governments on the ownership of the Lough.

“The Loughs Agency tasked with responsibility for managing Lough Foyle by both governments have been repeatedly calling for a resolution so that the real tourism and fisheries potential of the Lough can be fully realised.

“Minister Flanagan also needs to clearly outline why agreement has not been reached to date.”

ENDS

Duffy encourages take-up of Community Halls Grant Scheme

Sinn Féin Shantallow Councillor, Sandra Duffy has called on Management Boards of Community organisation to investigate their eligibility under the Community Halls Pilot Grant Scheme.

Cllr. Duffy explained:

Martin McGuinness and Sandra Duffy

Martin McGuinness and Sandra Duffy

“With awards of up to £25,000 this Grant Scheme is available through the Department of Communities and is designed to assist in minor repairs or replacement of faulty equipment such as boilers, toilets, kitchens and car park facilities at Community halls.

“I would therefore encourage any Community, Sport or Church group that maintains a hall for use by the community to investigate their eligibility under this scheme.

“The application period ends at 12.00pm on November 23rd therefore if you believe that your organisation could benefit then I urge you to submit an application as a matter of urgency.

“Application details and full eligibility criteria can be accessed at https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/dfc/fa1dc104” CRÍOCH/END

McCallion disappointed on unsuccessful European Youth Capital bid

Sinn Féin Councillor and former Mayor Elisha McCallion has expressed disappointment that the bid for European Youth Capital status by Derry & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) has been unsuccessful.


Councillor McCallion said:
“I am obviously disappointed that DCSDC have on this occasion been unsuccessful in its bid for European Youth Capital (EYC) status in 2019.
“Nonetheless all the excellent work carried out by Oonagh McGillion, Council’s Director of Legacy and her highly competent team should not be underestimated. Nor should the contributions of over 10,000 young people who participated in the consultation process.
“It gave me great satisfaction as one of my priority initiatives in my Mayoral year to launch the bid for this prestigious accolade for our youth and City & District.
“To this end I worked with the business sector, met with investors and drove the bid to secure EYC status for 2019.
“All of this foundation work should not be lost to our City & District. We need to resolve to build on it to ensure that regardless of titles the city and district, and wider region,reap the economic and social benefits that a City & District Youth Capital can bring,  securing the EYC for Derry and Strabane would have been a major psychological coup for the entire region but it is not to be and we do not need a title to commit to making 2019 a year for youth. I believe that council should determine to capitalise on the excellent preparatory work already carried out and I am committed to trying to bring about a year for youth in this region in 2019.
“It would still enhance our cultural, social, political and economic life and lift our profile in terms of showcasing our tourism offering and our unique history.
“It will enable us to showcase the vibrancy of our young people and their creativity and help us deliver youth based activities and job opportunities. It will encourage young people’s involvement in developing and shaping policies that will affect their futures.
“During preparation for the bid, a lot of effort was invested in direct engagement with young people and the wider population across the community, voluntary, statutory and youth sectors in an effort to identify the real issues affecting young people. Now that they have been identified then let’s address and act on them.
“We now have an opportunity to harness the vitality and creativity that is available in our young people to ensure that their full potential is delivered on.

“I congratulate and commiserate with Oonagh McGillion and all of the Council staff who were part of preparing the bid and assure them of my full support and that of my Party in seeking the best manner in which to utilise the information they have gathered so that their hard work and efforts can be rewarded.”

A5- A6 remain key projects – McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said commentary around traffic disruption on a number of roads in Belfast should not be used as an excuse for any talk of diverting funds from the A5 and A6 road project.raymond-mccartney-450x301

Raymond McCartney said

“Firstly I would like to sympathise with anyone caught up in the traffic disruption in Belfast on Tuesday night, it’s not a nice experience at any time getting stuck in traffic.

But I have been contacted by a number of angry constituents who whilst also sympathise with everyone caught up in the disruption are angry about some of the commentary around talk about of diverting funds from the A5 and A6 projects to the plans for the York Street junction.

I would like to state clearly the A5 and A6 road are key projects. These are two landmark infrastructure projects which will transform the economic and physical landscapes of the North West, help create jobs and grow the economy. They will help redress the regional disparity which existed in the North West for decades.

Ends

Executive supports Ireland’s entry to Candidate Phase to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup

The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness has delivered a commitment by the Executive to support the bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.cxts8nwxcaapatf1

Martin McGuinness represented the Executive as Ireland’s entry into the ‘Candidate’ phase of the selection process to determine the host for the 2023 Rugby World Cup was formally announced at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said:

“The 2023 Rugby World Cup bid is a bid for all the people of Ireland and the Executive will make every effort to make it a winning bid.

“We have a proven track record of hosting major global events including the G8, Giro d’Italia, MTV Music Awards, the World Police and Fire Games, the Clipper round the World Yacht Race and the Irish Open Golf Championship.

“This is a collective effort and I commend the GAA for placing its grounds at the disposal of the tournament, a key factor in Ireland’s ability to bid for the tournament.

“It is estimated some 445,000 are predicted to travel to Ireland for the tournament so it would be of immense benefit to the economy.

“Worldwide TV audiences for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England reached some four billion people which offers global exposure money simply can’t buy.

“We have both the experience and expertise to deliver and given the massive economic, tourism and sporting significance we won’t be found wanting in our preparations.”

The selection process will run from now until November 2017, when World Rugby will decide on the successful candidate to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. During that period a detailed technical evaluation of the candidates will take place, with final proposals being submitted in June and a presentation to World Rugby scheduled for October.

British government Brexit approach like an episode of ‘Yes Minister’ – McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney  has said it is clear the British government hasn’t a clue in its approach to Brexit. xhxaaqjhwdpjiie0ujun

Raymond McCartney  said;

“The revelations that it will be six months before the British government comes up with a strategy for the Brexit negotiations is far from surprising.

“Sinn Féin has been saying repeatedly that the British government it absolutely clueless on its strategy and is just making it up as it goes along.

“Their approach is becoming increasingly more like an episode of ‘Yes Minister’, only not as funny.

“If they are looking for a strategy they should recognise and respect the remain vote of the north.

“We need to explore alternatives to Brexit which would allow the north to have designated special status within the EU.”

Ends

Stitt should reconsider his position – McGuinness

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has called for Charter NI Chief Executive Dee Stitt to reconsider his position in light of the reputational damage being done to worthwhile Social Investment projects.1142524474

Mr McGuinness commented:

“It is clear that the controversy surrounding Mr Stitt is presenting real difficulties to the reputation and efforts of Charter NI.

“That is unfortunate given the good work which Charter NI and indeed the wider Social Investment Fund is involved in.

“In the interests of both, I believe Mr Stitt should now consider stepping aside.”

McCartney welcomes Assembly support for health service transformation

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed unanimous Assembly support for the transformation of the health service proposed by Health Minister Michelle O’Neill.

MLA Raymond McCartney

MLA Raymond McCartney

He  said;

“I welcome the unanimous support shown in the Assembly today for the plan brought forward by my party colleague and health minister Michelle O’Neill for the transformation of the health service.

“The health minister’s plans set out proposals for the most radical transformation of our health service in decades and this level of support is encouraging.

“These proposals will have a hugely positive impact on health provision and delivery in our society and it is important that as many people as possible play a role in that process.”

Anderson to take part in major Colombian peace conference

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will travel to Colombia this week to take part in a conference on the country’s ongoing peace process. Martina news

Speaking ahead of the visit, Ms Anderson said;

“I will be visiting Colombia this week to take part in a major international conference which will discuss the continuing peace process.

“The conference will hear from senior representatives of the Colombian government, as well as former members of FARC and also from a range of international experts in peace and conflict resolution.

“Sinn Féin have long been supporters of the Colombian peace process and several Sinn Féin representatives travelled to Colombia and Cuba in recent years to support the peacemaking efforts.

“We will continue to support the ongoing process to secure a just and sustainable peace in Colombia.”

Ends

Southway to be resurfaced within weeks -Campbell

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has welcomed the  news that the road at Southway and footpaths are to be resurfaced  within weeks.

Councillor Kevin Campbell

Councillor Kevin Campbell

The confirmation comes after Sinn Féin representatives met with Transport NI officials in the city.

Councillor Campbell said:

This is a good news story. I have raised this issue with Transport NI on a number of occasions and had been told that they had it on their priority list.

I called on Transport NI to put this particular road to the top of the priority list so as when the money became available this much needed and overdue work can be carried out straight away.

Sinn Féin representatives have met with Transport NI officials in the city and they have told us that work on Southway is to begin within weeks.So hopefully it will be sorted by the end of January.

He went on to say

“I have been getting constant complaints from residents living in the area about the state of the road. The Creggan estate has a population of around 12,000 and has only three main arterial routes into the estate and Southway being one of them is in a very bad state.

“A number of years ago there was a constant stream of heavy vehicles travelling that route during the building of Magowan Park however, that housing project has been completed over a year ago and Transport NI has only patched the problem up.  Hundreds of vehicles travel along this route on a daily basis.

Christmas comes to the newly opened Pavilion at Brooke Park

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the news that the area in around the new Pavilion in Brooke Park is to be used for a Christmas event entitled Tales & Trails christmas-scene-003

Councillor Cooper “It’s great that this event is taking place in the newly opened Brooke Park.

I have been working with council officials for some time now to identify funding opportunities for programmes in Derry and Strabane to allow these type of events to take place. And was  delighted that back in October the council approved a funding package of £15,000 for Christmas programmes across the five Neighbourhood renewal areas in Derry and Strabane.

The Tales and Trails with take place on Sunday 18th December 3pm – 6pm and will involve exploring Tales of Christmas from around the world told by a number of special characters. Local talent will also be on show and Santa will be making an appearance as well. I would like to thank the Good relations Department for their additional support.

Notes Admission: FREE Community Event.  Donations welcome in lieu of Jamie’s Journey, Children’s cancer Charity.

Booking essential: Tel: 02871 268748

Make sure you’re registered to vote

Moves to address Killea street lighting problems -Logue

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has held talks with Transport NI in regards to a number of issues around street lighting , the lack of street lighting in the greater Killea, Nixon’s corner  area and lobbied for the provision of street lighting along a section of  the main Letterkenny Road.Patricia Logue new pic 22

Councillor Logue said “There have ongoing problems with street lighting in Killea, Burnside Manor and Ballynacross Meadows for some time now. I have been in discussions with Transport NI to see if there could be a resolution to the problems there, there have been ongoing issues about some of the developments being unadopted.

Transports NI have told me they will deal with the light outages in Burnside Manor and hope do so as speedily as possible.They will also continue to try and resolve issues around the adoption of these sites.

I am very disappointed that the request for the provision of street lighting along the Letterkenny Road between from the turnoff to Burnside Manor and Killea Village has also been assessed and turned down. They said this section of carriageway comes under our Rural policy for the provision of street lighting which states that lighting shall not be provided unless there is a reasonable development with direct frontage access i.e. 10 houses within 200 metres of carriageway or where its provision would contribute to the reduction in after dark accidents when there is no alternative solution.

I will continue to lobby to them on this issue as both I and residents believe that there should be lighting along this section of very busy roadway.

Ends

Alert over online app after 10 year old girl contacted – Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly said “I have been contacted by a concerned parent in Derry asking me to raise awareness around an app on iPads and iPhones called “live me”

Councillor Colly Kelly

Councillor Colly Kelly

She has told me a man on this app asked her daughter who is just 10 years old to take down her pants. It’s a very shocking experience for any parent to discover plus the trauma this has caused for the child.

It’s very brave for this mother to come forward and ask me to alert parents about this and raise awareness about what has gone on here.

I have also been in touch with the PSNI and reported the matter.

He went on to say

The world has become a very small place indeed, and, every day, global connections are made, just at the push of a button. This, combined with the rise of smartphones, means that almost any information can be discovered online at any time.

All  that has great advantages, but with those technological advances come inherent dangers, particularly to young children and vulnerable people.

It is vital that children are informed about internet safety, and they must be equipped with the contact details of sources of help.

Ends

Vandals target community garden project – Campbell

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has slammed vandals who targeted a polytunnel and allotments at a community project based at Tar Abhaile at Westend Park.

Councillor Campbell said kevin

The polytunnel  and allotments at Tar Abhaile at Westend Park were badly damaged on Friday night.

This is not the first attack on this particular project, it was badly damaged twice before earlier this year.

This is a community project enjoyed by people living in the locality providing them the space to come together to grow fruit and vegetables and also build relationships.

Yet a very small group of disengaged young people in our community think it is fine to destroy it. Shame on them.

Ends

External Maintenance Cycle Scheme for Creggan homes –Campbell

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has welcomed news from the Housing Executive today that an External Maintenance Cycle Scheme will take place in a number of areas of Creggan.

Councillor Campbell said New shot of Kevin

I welcome the news that work will begin shortly in the following areas of  Creggan including  Iniscarn Road, Circular Road , Creggan Heights, Carrickreagh Gardens, Rathlin Drive and Rathkeele Way.

This scheme will entail all external maintenance work to the properties. I will keep residents informed of any further developments.

Ends

Business programme potential to create 400 jobs over 5 years -Fleming

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming has welcomed the news that DCSDC has given the go ahead for council officers to sign  a letter of offer from Invest NI for the Council’s flagship Business Support and Growth programme – Business Boost.

Counsellor Paul Fleming

Counsellor Paul Fleming

It targets enterprises employing fewer than 50 persons and with an annual turnover less than €10million.DCSDC will be required to provide 20% of the total eligible costs of £100,650 over the programme period.

Councillor Fleming said “This is good news for job creation in the council area. The proposed programme will help target mentoring support for both Basic Entry and Business Start type companies and entrepreneurs. It will also complement and add value to participants on Council’s Business Start Up Programmes.

It’s hoped the programme can create 400 much needed jobs in the city and district over the next five years.

Ends

Welcome for £120,000 facelift for Templemore – Cllr. Elisha McCallion

Sinn Féin Shantallow Councillor, Elisha McCallion has welcomed confirmation from Derry City & Strabane District Council of the allocation of £120,000 to carry out essential works at Templemore Sports Complex.img_6021

Elisha McCallion said:

“I have been lobbying Council for a number of years now to have an extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the Templemore Sports Complex.

“A number of months ago I again requested that Council make available sufficient funding to carry out necessary short-term works in anticipation of the major permanent redevelopment of the entire complex.

“I am delighted to confirm that DCSDC has now allocated £120,000 to carry out the more immediate works that are required.

“Over the next few years I believe that we will see one of the most extensive developments at the Complex that has been witnessed in this City.

“In the meantime I welcome DCSDC’s decision to carry out a much required makeover of these very popular facilities.”

Logue welcomes £650,000 public realms scheme for Nailors Row

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed the news that the Communities Minister Paul Givan has announced funding of £650,000 to create a high quality public realm scheme for Nailors’ Row in Derry.CVz6GH9XAAAjCyt

 

Councillor Patricia Logue said

 

I welcome the announcement of this public realm scheme which will include a new lighting system, traffic measures, footpaths and new greenery.

 

This will help enhance safety for residents living in the House in the Wells , Alexander House and because of its proximity to the Derry Walls also help our tourism product.

 

Anyone who is in this area on a daily basis will tell you that the road beside Alexander House is always very busy, there are a lot of cars parked in this area and at times it can be very congested. This leads to concerns about access for the  emergency services.

 

I look forward to the commencement of this work in January.

 

Ends

Car torched vandalism attacks -McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has condemned the anti-community behaviour which took place in Hazelbank at the weekend.m__fad7

Cllr. McGinley said: “On Sunday night a car was burned in close proximity to Marianus Park whilst a property in Rosskeen Park was also the subject of vandalism.

It appears that a crowd of around 30 people from different localities across the city have been causing some disturbance in the Hazelbank area for a period of time and Sunday night’s incidents marked a significant increase in this behaviour.

The residents of Hazelbank do not need this type of behaviour on their doorstep and I have been in contact with the PSNI to ensure that adequate resources are deployed in the area.

I have also asked the Housing Executive to bring the property in Rosskeen Park back into use as quickly as possible.”

Thalidomide victims should be entitled to compensation – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said victims of Thalidomide should be entitled to compensation.

Ms Anderson said;

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

“Many Thalidomide survivors right across Europe have suffered for more than 50 years.

“These people are getting older and their health conditions are deteriorating and require financial assistance.

“I have met victims and survivors of Thalidomide and have been moved by their courage and determination to seek redress for what happened to them.

“The German government set up a Special Needs Fund to help victims with their medical care.

“All member states across Europe should support the European Parliament’s call for the German government to compensate victims of Thalidomide.”

Ends

Kelly welcomes £400,000 investment on Translink Wi-Fi services

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has welcomed Translinks news of investment of £400,000 on its Wi-Fi services.

Train carriages are also currently being fitted with additional SIM cards and bandwidth is being improved.

Councillor Kelly said Councillor Colly Kelly

I welcome the news that Translink are making a significant investment in its wi -fi service on the Goldline buses, the Dublin-Belfast Enterprise and the entire North’s Railways fleet.

The 212 Goldliner between Derry and Belfast is a key transport service with thousands of people using it on a weekly basis. This upgrade will help the speed of access and reliability of the wi-fi service and allow passengers to be able to download more data and connections are lasting longer.

It’s important that investment like this takes place as we are always trying to encourage more people to use public transport and knowing that they can carry out their work, study or just having internet access during their journey is a big bonus.

Safety barriers installed outside Gaelscoil na Daróige – McGinley

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has welcomed the installation of pedestrian safety barriers outside Gaelscoil na Daróige in Ballymagroarty.

Councillor Eric McGinley

Councillor Eric McGinley

 

Cllr. McGinley said: “In response to concerns raised by representatives of the Gaelscoil na Daróige I held a site meeting with Transport NI at which myself and the school were given a commitment that pedestrian safety barriers would be installed.

 

The parents and teachers had expressed their fears that the absence of barriers were endangering children who were running on to the busy road when leaving the school.

 

In conjunction with the placement of new flashing signs the installation of these barriers will provide increased protection to the children and I would take this opportunity to thank Transport NI for responding positively to this safety issue.”

 

Ends

DERRY SF FACEBOOK