An all-island Healthcare policy for Women – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams has described Sinn Féin’s all-Ireland women’s healthcare policy document – ‘A Vision for Women’s Healthcare’ – as “a vital step forward for women’s health on the island of Ireland.”
Gerry Adams TD said:

“Fundamental inequalities confront women every day in the delivery of health services in both states on this island. Historically women have suffered many injustices and especially in the provision of health care. This year alone we have witnessed the scandal of cervical check and there is the current controversy surrounding the use of the vaginal mesh implant.

In the past women suffered from the use of symphysiotomy and of thalidomide. Symphysiotomy was essentially institutional abuse, involving acts of butchery against women citizens. Women have been the victims of bad government policy and social and economic discrimination, from the Magdalene laundries to the mother and baby homes.

According to Women’s Aid one-in-five women will be victim of male violence. For women, violence also includes, but is not limited to, domestic violence, forced marriage, rape and sexual assault, crimes in the name of honour, murder, trafficking and sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment and stalking. It causes physical damage ranging from death to miscarriages to broken limbs. Sexual offences can also result in sexually transmitted diseases and forced pregnancies, as well as leaving long-term psychological damage.

Mental health problems affect women and men equally but some are more common among women. Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders are found to affect women in higher numbers. The National Women’s Council of Ireland stated: ‘In examining women’s mental health we need to reflect that women are more likely to be poor, to parent alone, to be the main provider of unpaid care work, to be in precarious employment, to earn low wages and to be at risk of domestic or sexual violence.’

Sinn Féin believes that the voices of women must be heard when it comes to healthcare.  In this comprehensive policy document, which makes almost 140 separate recommendations we are proposing a range of measures including:

  • · the creation of a single tier health system where healthcare is provided free on the basis of need and not the ability to pay;
    · a healthcare system that is sensitive to and reflects gender differences;
    · healthcare standards that are consistent, evidence based and applicable to all providers; free proscription drugs;
    · VAT on sanitary products to be removed;
    · the provision of free mammograms for women in risk categories for breast cancer;
    · education and awareness programmes for breast, cervical and ovarian cancer;
    · the provision of contraceptives and emergency contraception free of charge;
    · the provision of a termination in line with the recommendations of the Oireachtas 8th Amendment Committee and the draft legislation on termination of pregnancy which was published in advance of the 8th Amendment Referendum;
    · the adoption of a health strategy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people;
    · the establishment of peri-natal mental health units working together, located north and south.

Sinn Féin does not claim to have identified all the issues in the delivery of health services for women across Ireland. Nor do we claim to have advocated all the solutions. However, our policy document outlines Sinn Féin’s vision for women’s health care in Ireland, a vision that is based on the principles of fairness and equality which we can all work towards together.”  

For further details on the document please visit


Cllr Anne Campbell: Dublin Rd Cycle Lanes to be Completed by Weekend

Irish Water have confirmed to a Sinn Féin councillor that the long-awaited reinstatement of the cycle lanes on the Dublin Road will be completed this weekend.

In an email received this afternoon by Dundalk South representative, Cllr. Anne Campbell, Irish Water confirmed that their contractors, GMC, are to work on the completion of the lanes this Saturday and Sunday.

The water company said: “The Irish Water contractors, GMC , have confirmed that the final reinstatement works, including completion of the cycle lane on the Dublin Road are currently scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday. We expect that full reinstatement works will be completed then.”

Cllr. Campbell, who has consistently raised the state of the cycle lanes following major roadworks carried out by Irish Water and later, Virgin Media, which took place intermittently from September last year to April, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “I was very pleased to receive this confirmation from Irish Water this afternoon. I hope, and expect, that it will finally end the long-running problems for the residents and the users of the Dublin Road. It has taken too long, of course, to reach this point and I recently asked Irish Water to ensure that the much-needed work is completed before schools return in the last week of August. I am pleased to see that they are making moves to do this and I will be happy to see this work completed.

“The cycle lanes on the Dublin Road are actually very well used, particularly by DkIT students and they will be happy that the lanes are to be returned to a proper state after months of them being almost unusable.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne: Pride Flag Flying in Drogheda

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne has said that the Pride Flag will fly over the civic offices on Fair Street from Thursday 9th – Sun 12th August covering the whole period of Drogheda’s third Pride Festival.

Cllr Byrne will, for the second year running, officially open the festivities on Friday 10th August in Millmount at 12pm. This is the official launch of the weekend’s events and the ceremony will include a raising of the Pride Flag there also.

Cllr Byrne said “This is the third year of Pride in Drogheda and each year it gets bigger and better. I am delighted to have been part of it every year as have my party colleagues and I am extremely honoured to have been asked to once again officially open this festival. To watch the LGBTQ group in Drogheda grow as much as they have over the years, in both numbers and confidence, I couldn’t be more proud. As an Irish

Cllr Joanna Byrne Opens Pride Week in 2017

Republican, equality is at the core of all that I represent. I genuinely believe that all citizens must enjoy full equality of rights and opportunities under law and indeed everyday life, regardless of their background, sexual orientation or gender. Nothing less can be tolerated in a modern, progressive and inclusive society. Drogheda leads the way in this regard giving tremendous respect and support to our local LGBTQ community and their events. Pride weekend is a fantastic fun-filled weekend of equality, diversity and tolerance as well as raising awareness of many important issues and I would encourage everyone to attend as many of the events as you can.”

The festival opens on Friday 10th August at 12 noon in Millmount followed by a family fun event in The Barbican at 2.30. Saturday will see a Pride Breakfast event in Stockwell Artisan Foods at 9am, Samba – Pride Style at St.Peter’s Church at 12pm and the main event is that evening in McHugh’s Bar at 8pm. Full details are available on all social media sites of Drogheda LQBTQ.


Cllr Tomás Sharkey: Faughart School Resolution

Councillor Tomás Sharkey has expressed his satisfaction with the divestment of Faughart National School to Louth & Meath Education and Training Board.

“On behalf of all LMETB members, I wish to state how proud we are to become the new patrons of the primary school in Faughart County Louth.
“Faughart National School has had a difficult few years. Families chose to move their children to other areas for a variety of reasons. The causes may not be fully addressed but a way forward has been found. I am now asking that all families seize the news that LMETB will be the new patrons and register their children once again in the local school. The past is over and the future will be a good one.
“By becoming an LMETB school, Faughart is joining a team of 22 schools and one of the biggest employers in the region.
“We are proud of the education that we offer in our many but mostly second level schools across the two counties. Our Chief Executive Martin O’Brien is no stranger to North Louth. He led Bush Post Primary School as principal when I was a teacher there. Director of Schools Fiona Kindlon also put a lot of work into the proposal to become patrons of the school.
“September will see a new Community National School in Faughart and the opening of Colásite Chú Chulainn in Dundalk. Education is our greatest asset in this region. It is a proud time to be chairperson of LMETB.”

Imelda Munster: HSE Personnel Should Decide, Not Computers

Call for local frontline HSE staff to make exceptional circumstances decisions over inhuman computer generated figures

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and Meath East Imelda Munster has criticised the HSE for its uneconomical method of withdrawing medical cards from people who are seriously ill. The HSE uses computer generated figures, without an iota of compassion or common sense.

Deputy Munster said:

‘I have been contacted by many seriously ill constituents recently, who are distraught that their Medical Card has been withdrawn because their income is marginally over the limit allowed. The Primary Care Reimbursement Services (PCRS) system, which operates on computer generated figures, needs to loosen up and bring a bit of human compassion back into its reckoning.”

“They are dealing with people not machines, and all too often the people who contact me about this issue are suffering from serious or life threatening illnesses. The additional anxiety and stress that they have to endure because of this heartless system just compounds their health issues.”

“When they lose their GMS medical card and find that they can’t pay for the prescriptions that they depend on, even within the Drugs Payment Scheme, people have no option other than to endanger their lives by doing without essential medicines and hospital appointments.”

“Amongst others I have been contacted by a man who can’t afford his heart medication and I have seen a number of people with asthma and COPD lung disease who can’t afford to get their inhalers. Another lady who has suffered multiple aneurysms and has high blood pressure has had her card cancelled and is going without important medication.”

“The ridiculous part of this is that it doesn’t even make economic sense. The Department of Health still has to pay for anything in excess of €134 at retail prices under the Drugs Payment Scheme rather than at cost price under the General Medical Services.”

“I have written to the Minister for Health requesting that local frontline HSE staff who are in a position to advise regarding exceptional circumstances be brought back into the decision making process on these cases.”

“By making sick people even sicker this government shows a complete lack of compassion for those who need some breathing space as they navigate acute episodes of care.”