- McCallion demands British government compensate contaminated blood victims
Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has called on the British government to compensate those impacted by the NHS contaminated blood scandal.
Speaking after meeting with local families who have been affected in Derry, the Foyle MP said:
“The contaminated blood scandal has to count alongside the worst medical injustices of all time.
“The stories of what these people went through under the care of medical professionals are harrowing.
“I welcome the Public Inquiry which is now underway and I hope it will uncover the truth of what happened during the scandal and the subsequent cover up.
“However the British government has a responsibility in the interim to ensure that those both infected and affected by the scandal receive the care and support they deserve.
“I have written to Theresa May and called on her to ensure that victims of the scandal are supported.
“Theresa May has said there will be an uplift in compensation for victims in England but Karen Bradley has said she is not able to announce the same for the North.
“Once again Karen Bradley, instead of doing right by victims, has attempted to use them as political pawns.
“This scandal was carried out under the watch of the British Government.
“They should do what is right and ensure the victims are looked after in the interim and that parity of financial support is implemented. They cannot wait until the conclusion of the inquiry.
“I will continue to work with those affected by the contaminated blood scandal to ensure they receive the truth, justice and support they deserve.” Ends/Críoch
- Mesh survivors should not face PIP barriers’ -Duffy
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Councillor Sandra Duffy has urged benefits officials to remove barriers faced by women injured by mesh when applying for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Speaking after the party held a ‘constructive meeting’ with PIP, Department of Work and Pensions and Department of Health officials along a with survivor Mary McLaughlin from Mesh Ireland,
“Our party met with officials to express concern at the difficulties many women injured by mesh are encountering when applying for PIP.
“Their injuries and symptoms are complex and easily misunderstood by an assessor with no prior knowledge.
“Many patients may not have a comprehensive medical paper trail and although referred for a medical re-assessment, are still waiting up to two years for an appointment.
“These and other barriers to fair assessments, puts women injured by mesh at risk of not getting the support to which they are entitled.
“The officials were all visibly moved to hear Mary’s personal journey of injury and ill health caused by mesh and have agreed to work together to increase awareness among PIP assessors and decision makers.
“All have agreed to meet again and share any insights that may help assessors deal fairly with PIP applications by women injured by mesh to ensure they receive their full entitlement.”
- Logue welcomes new report on refugee human rights
Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed the launch of a new report which promotes the human rights and the right to housing of refugees and asylum seekers.
Commenting after Participation & Practice Of Rights (PPR) and Housing 4 All launched a report on Refugee Week, the party’s local Housing Spokesperson said:
“This week marks Refugee Week and an opportunity to raise the plight of refugees – but also to highlight the vital contribution they make to our communities.
“Thousands of people are displaced daily by the horrors of war, persecution and poverty.
“It’s absolutely vital that people fleeing war and persecution have a welcoming, safe and secure environment in which to live. We all have a part to play in achieving this.
“The launch of a new report by PPR and Housing 4 All is welcome in highlighting many of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers including poverty, poor housing conditions and health issues.
“In a housing survey, 31% of respondents stated that their home was not safe, liveable or secure. These are damning figures.
“Everyone has a right to proper living conditions. We will continue to raise these issues at future meetings with the Housing Executive and the Department for Communities.”
- ‘Tory survey is boost for Irish unity poll’ –McCartney
Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed a new YouGov survey of the Tory Party which revealed that 59% of its members would be willing to see Ireland reunited providing it meant Brexit goes ahead.
The Foyle MLA was commenting following publication of the poll which also showed that 61% would be prepared to accept an independent Scotland in the context of Brexit.
Raymond McCartney said: “We have always said that the people of Britain are perfectly entitled to pursue Brexit if that is what they wish to do and we wish them the best.
“What they are not entitled to do is drag the rest of us out with them, against our best interests and democratically expressed wishes.
“Clearly, it is now dawning on many Tory Party members that, if they are to have the kind of hard Brexit they wish to have, then the obvious solution to the impact of that on Ireland is Irish reunification.
“It is a conclusion that more and more people are coming to every day which is why poll after poll is showing greater support for Irish reunification, particularly in the context of Brexit.
“Theresa May herself said last year that she would expect an Irish unity poll to be passed. And with such overwhelming support for reunification within the self-declared conservative and unionist party, it is obviously time to begin preparing for an Irish unity referendum.”
- Cooper welcomes new road safety measures in Foyle Springs
Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed confirmation from Transport NI (Roads Service) that additional safety bollards will be installed on a road barrier between Killary Road and Strangford Park in the Foyle Springs area.
Councillor Cooper said “I was contacted by residents’ concerned that vehicles could be driven across a central reservation at the junction of Killary Road and Strangford Park. They were concerned for the safety of children playing in the street and pedestrians.
“I took those concerns to Transport NI (Roads Service) and appealed for additional safety bollards to be installed on the road barrier between both streets.
“I am pleased they have now confirmed to me that additional measures will be put in place on the barrier as soon as possible.
- Fleming welcomes speed reduction on Maydown Road
Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming has welcomed the news that a new speed limit of 40 miles per hour is to be introduced on the Maydown Road.
Councillor Paul Fleming said
“I have raised the issue of speed and other safety issues on this road with the Roads Service for a number of years, as have local residents.
“This is a very busy road with hundreds of vehicles using it on a daily basis so clearly something needed to be done there.
“I hope the reduction of the speed limit to 40mph will greatly reduce accidents on the road and make it easier for residents exiting out onto Maydown Road.
- ‘Brexit cannot stand in way of working carer protections’ – Duffy
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Councillor Sandra Duffy has said Brexit cannot be allowed to impact on the implementation of EU support measures for working carers.
New measures include carers leave arrangements to enable working carers to avail of five days annual leave per year and extends the right to request flexible working arrangements.
“I welcome the adoption of new EU measures which will provide much needed relief for working carers.
“If implemented fully these rights will have an enormous impact given that there are 125,000 working carers currently in the north.
“It is clear that the lack of work-life balance for carers is a major issue and in many cases has led to carers giving up their employment in order to fulfil their caring responsibilities.
“These new measures which include five days annual leave per year and the right to request flexible working arrangements which will help to address imbalance for working carers.
“EU member states have three years to implement this new directive. Brexit cannot be allowed to stand in the way of better protections for our carers. These new measures must be implemented as soon as possible.”
- Sinn Féin remain determined to deliver on Tone’s vision – Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West Matt Carthy has said that Sinn Féin remain determined to deliver the vision of Wolfe Tone, of a new Republic that can achieve so much more – an Ireland that is United, democratic and based on equality – including, crucially, economic equality.
Carthy delivered the keynote address at the annual Sinn Féin Wolfe Tone commemoration in Sallins Co. Kildare today.
“We are proud of the tradition of Irish Republicanism from which we hail.
“We are proud of those who came before us, who fought for us, who died for our freedom, who refused to bow down in the face of impossible odds.
“We will never be ashamed or shy about celebrating those patriots that kept the flame of the Irish Republic alive.
“I want to pay tribute today to all of Sinn Féin’s candidates who represented the party in the recent local and European elections North and South. Many hard-working, valuable elected representatives failed to retain their positions, while many new candidates failed to make the breakthrough they deserved.
“We will face this latest challenge in the same way that Republicans have faced much greater challenges in the past. We will analyse all of the factors which led to the result and we will take appropriate action, we will regroup and move forward once again.
“Sinn Féin has a political vision and regardless of the ups and downs of elections, we will continue to work to deliver a United Ireland and a real republic with social justice and equality at its core.
“Political, social and economic events here in Ireland and abroad are leading inexorably to an upcoming referendum on the re-unification of Ireland.
“Sinn Féin, like Tone, seeks a United Ireland that is truly inclusive of all our people, whatever their background, tradition, creed or colour.
“A genuinely united and agreed Ireland requires an essential discussion of the possible shape and nature of new constitutional arrangements.
“We want to work constructively with unionists to build agreement and to make common cause on the issues that affect all our people.
“Sinn Féin negotiators are currently seeking to move quickly to meaningful and intensive engagement to secure an Executive and Assembly that delivers for everyone in the North.
“What this party will not do however, is allow any welching on previous political agreements. We will not tolerate the diminution of the rights of any citizen.
“Everything we do is driven by the belief that Ireland can do much better. We look around today and see a partitioned country where our public services are sold off to multinational corporations, many face eviction, where our elderly are denied home help care, where they languish on hospital beds.
“We’re determined to tackle these crises head on. We are determined to put the interests of the Irish people ahead of the profits of ruthless corporations.
“We will deliver the republic envisaged by Tone. Proud of our country, proud of our people, proud of our cause. We will finish the job.”
- Logue seeks clarity on future of district housing offices
Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has expressed concern at reports that the Housing Executive are set to close a number of district offices.
She said: “We have been made aware that the Housing Executive are intending to a close a number of district housing offices across the north.
“The Housing Executive must provide clarity on these reports and make staff, tenants and service users fully aware of their next steps.
“My party colleague Carál Ní Chuilín has written to the Chief Executive to express concern and requesting an urgent update on the future of district offices.”
- ‘Radical action needed to tackle climate change’ -Burke
Sinn Féin Councillor Tina Burke has welcomed commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but said radical and immediate action is needed to tackle climate change.
She was commenting after the British government pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 0% by 2050.
Tina Burke said:
“Today’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is welcome, but immediate action is needed to tackle the climate crisis.
“The island of Ireland is already experiencing significant climate change with the warmest years we have experienced occurring within the last three decades.
“In the north we must address emissions as we aim to hit the targets under the Paris Accord and this needs to be reflected in any new Programme for Government.
“We also need to see climate legislation introduced in the north which includes binding sectoral targets alongside the strengthening of existing legislation in the south.
“Sinn Féin are committed to radically tackling climate change. But this must happen sooner rather than later. It cannot wait until 2050. Now is the time for climate action.”