Support the People of Palestine – Ó Murchú

Dundalk Sinn Féin held a protest on Friday at the Market square in solidarity with the people of Palestine. Speaking at the event Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú repeated calls to expel the Israeli Ambassador out of Ireland and formally recognise the State of Palestine.

“There have been mass killings of Palestinians this week by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and the world is standing by. Turkey have recalled their ambassador and sent the Israeli Ambassador home. We need to do the same.”

Earlier this week Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claimed that to expel the Israeli Ambassador was against the principle and imperative of dialogue. Cllr Ó Murchú refuted that claim and said “the Irish government only recently expelled a Russian diplomat on no evidence whatsoever, just at the behest of the British Government, who let’s face, are not exactly a reliable source. So when they are faced with all this evidence of brutal slaughter of innocent Palestinians, suddenly they have a problem expelling the Israeli ambassador?”

“We need to stand with the people of Palestine and the onus is on our government to formally recognise the state of Palestine as agreed by the Dáil and the Seanad. Israeli settlers are stealing and living on Palestinian land and it seems that the world is standing idly by.

“Palestinians are living under constant siege. Remember, Gaza is about the same size as County Louth.

  • 95% of their water is undrinkable
  • They are ‘allowed’ 4 hours per day of electricity
  • 45% unemployment
  • 46% of children suffer acute anemia
  • 2 million people are denied freedom of movement

And the worst point of all, and the most shocking, is that 50% of children have expressed no will to live.

Councillor Ó Murchú has a motion before Louth County Council this month calling for Louth to be free from goods and services produced in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

Young Activist at a previous protest

He said “I am asking everyone who supports Palestine and opposes the slaughter that is happening, to boycott Israeli goods. We opposed apartheid in South Africa through boycott and now we can oppose apartheid in Palestine through the same method.

“Check your produce when you are shopping. Fruit and vegetables origins are stated on packaging and Israeli bar codes start with 729. Show your support, do your bit, stand against apartheid and slaughter, stand with Palestine.”

Transport discrimination for disabled, form of apartheid – Munster

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has urged the government to commit to improving public transport for people with disabilities, in order to put an end to the ongoing discrimination experienced by disabled passengers.

She was speaking during a Sinn Féin Private Members bill which called on the government to  to undertake the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities so that no longer will people with disabilities be denied access to the key mechanism for address and redress of the denial of their rights under the Convention.

Deputy Munster said:

“The government previously gave a commitment to ratify both the Convention and the Optional Protocol. They have now reneged on ratifying the Optional Protocol, which gives people with disabilities access to the mechanism for the redress of the denial of their rights under the Convention”.

“There are over 650,000 people in this state living with a disability. Most of this number rely on public transport to access work, healthcare and social and community activities”.

“Currently disabled people travelling on coaches or trains have to plan journeys days in advance. They have to deal with unmanned train stations, bus stops that are unsuitable for ramps and lifts and coaches which are inaccessible due to stairs.”

“It is unacceptable that prior notice for travel is still required.”

“These problems are easily remedied, but that requires political will and funding from government”.

“At my constituency clinics in Louth and East Meath I regularly deal with cases where people are left at the side of the road, or on platforms, because transport providers let them down. It’s humiliating for the people involved, but it’s the state and the NTA who should be ashamed of themselves”.

“This has been described by disability activists as a form of apartheid. There is a separation of rights, and disabled people have been left out in the cold”.

“The government claims it is in favour of people with disabilities having equal access to work and participation. If they are serious about this they need to prove that by addressing the ongoing issues that are currently having a detrimental effect on the day to day lives of people with disabilities”.