Sinn Féin Louth TDs Gerry Adams and Imelda Munster have welcomed today’s decision by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann to hold the 2018 Fheadh Cheoil in Drogheda.
Teachta Adams said:
“I want to commend the efforts of the Drogheda Fleadh Bid Committee, Drogheda Comhaltas, County Council representatives, Members of the Emergency Services, and local volunteers who all worked hard to successfully win the bid to hold Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in Drogheda”
Teachta Munster said:
“The Fleadh Cheoil is one of the most important events in the cultural life of this island. Holding it in Drogheda will be an enormous boost to the local economy, especially tourism. It will also enhance the local traditional Irish music, dance, and language sectors.
“Drogheda is perfectly placed to hold the Fleadh and I am very confident that the people of the town will embrace this opportunity to showcase Drogheda.”
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams TD and party colleague Imelda Munster briefed a special meeting of the Louth constituency organisation on Thursday evening in Dundalk.
The previous day he and Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald met the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to discuss “the deepening crisis in the political institutions in the North and the role of the Irish and British governments in helping to achieve a sustainable resolution.”
Speaking after the Dundalk meeting the Louth TD said:
“The Good Friday Agreement and the peace process have helped bring about significant political and economic progress on the island of Ireland. This has brought benefits for all the people of this island but especially the border communities and towns like Dundalk. The removal of the militarised border has helped transform this region.
“No one has worked harder to achieve this than Sinn Féin, and in particular Martin McGuinness. The current crisis surrounding the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI)scheme is a direct result of the DUP’s arrogant handling of this financial scandal and of allegations from within the DUP of corruption, fraud and incompetence involving half a billion pounds. Resolving this crisis will require transparency, accountability and zero tolerance of corruption.
“There are also major issues surrounding the functioning of the institutions, and of the failure to abide by the principles of parity of esteem, equality, and respect which are part of the Good Friday Agreement.
“As co-equal guarantors of the Agreement the Irish and British governments have a responsibility to defend and implement the Good Friday Agreement. The British government will not do this unless the Irish government holds them to account. The British refusal to fulfil its their obligations has to be tackled. The government now needs to engage positively in an ongoing and consistently strategic way with the British government to ensure the full implementation of the Agreement.
“There can be no return to the status quo and no short-term sticking plaster approach. Our party position is clear. Following the resignation of the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness there must be an election. Sinn Féin does not yet see any basis for a credible negotiation this side of that. It is time for the people to have their say.”
Speaking in the Dáil yesterday Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD challenged the Taoiseach to “stand up now and formally recognise the state of Palestine. It does not need legislation it only needs for the Taoiseach to take that decision. I invite him to keep to his Government’s commitment to act in the letter and the spirit of the Oireachtas motion of two years ago and to formally recognise the state of Palestine.”
Teachta Adams said:
“The Taoiseach’s reply was vague and unacceptable. We were told that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is concluding work on this issue. But no timeframe for that was given.
The programme for Government states that the Government will “honour our commitment to recognise the State of Palestine”. Two years ago next month the Dáil and Seanad voted to do this. The government has failed to act on this.
Since the beginning of this year 252 Palestinian homes in the West Bank have been demolished. As a result, 1,062 people, including 553 minors, are homeless. In the last 15 years’ Israeli authorities have destroyed approximately 150 internationally funded development projects. This has cost the EU an estimated €58 million.
Among the demolitions were a farming project in the Jordan Valley, a playground near Nablus and a primary school serving a Bedouin community east of Jerusalem. At the same time Israel continues to build illegal settlements in the occupied west Bank.
In recent months there has also been a marked increase in the number of UN and NGO officials being denied entry into Gaza or the west Bank to work on internationally supported projects.
The Taoiseach has been in Gaza and I have been there. It is not a pleasant experience. Imagine living there.
On September 26th I raised this issue of recognition of the state of Palestine with the Taoiseach. Nothing happened.
Previously on June 8th I raised this same issue with the Taoiseach. At that time I was told that the Taoiseach would ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to brief me and the Taoiseach agreed that it “might be no harm if we had a debate on the Palestinian situation in due course”.
Neither the Taoiseach or the Minister for Foreign Affairs have come back to me on this issue nor has the government allotted any time for a debate on the issue of Palestine. It is long past time that this state formally recognised the state of Palestine. The rights of the Palestinian people to statehood should not be dictated by Israeli opposition.”
Responding to reports that eBay is set to close its Dundalk base in 2017, Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams said;
“This is dreadful news for the staff of eBay and their families. I have spoken to the Minister for Jobs, Mary Mitchell O’Connor today and I encouraged her and her Department to engage with the workers to ensure that they are fairly treated.
“The fact that eBay has decided to cease its Dundalk operations completely is very worrying. The loss of these jobs will reverberate throughout the local economy. I understand that Paypal may be expanding their operations in Dundalk and I will be making representations to them to consider employing workers from eBay.”
Speaking in Dundalk today at the Water Rally Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today said: “Sinn Féin stopped the imposition of Water Charges in the North and in government in this state we will scrap them here also.”
Gerry Adams today addressed the Right2Water march and rally in Dundalk. The Sinn Féin leader said:
“Fine Gael and Labour continue to underestimate the level of public anger over this issue. They have failed to heed the clear and unmistakable message of the people.
Sinn Féin stopped the imposition of Water Charges in the North and in government in this state we will scrap them here also. Sinn Féin will dismantle Irish Water and replace it with a new model of governance, funding and delivery that is accountable to the Oireachtas.
We will end the metering project and redirect the remaining monies to direct investment in water infrastructure.
We will establish an independent Commission on Water Services to examine the most appropriate public ownership model to report back to Government within nine months.
Sinn Féin will also oppose any attempt to privatise water services. In Government, we will hold a referendum to enshrine public ownership of Ireland’s water services in the Constitution.
We will also roll out a major water conservation programme in conjunction with local authorities.
A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for scrapping domestic Water Charges.”
The Louth TD added: “Today’s demonstration is an expression, not just of opposition to domestic water charges but to the government’s whole austerity agenda. Decision after decision taken by this Government has caused chaos in the lives of working families.
As we approach the centenary of 1916, we again must decide what kind of future we want for our country and for our children.
Sinn Féin wants a society based on equality and fairness. We want to deliver a fair recovery for all. That means a new, fairer taxation system and an end to unfair taxes that penalise working families and vulnerable citizens.
For the first time in the history of this State, there is a clear and present alternative to the stale politics of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
The Right2Change platform is bringing progressive parties and individuals together in a way not previously seen.”