Occupied Territories vote important step forward – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams has warmly welcomed the passing of the Occupied Territories Bill in the Seanad.
 
The Bill which has been introduced by Seanadóir Frances Black and was supported by Sinn Féin and others seeks to ban the importation of Israeli goods that are produced on Palestinian land illegally occupied by Israeli settlers. The Bill now moves to the committee stage.
 
Gerry Adams said:
“One of my abiding memories from my visits to the Middle East in recent years and especially to the west Bank, has been the enormous scale of the Israeli settlements. Almost all occupy the high ground like Crusader forts of an earlier conflict.
 
There are over 200 settlements with an estimated 600,000 Israeli citizens. These are all built illegally on Palestinian land. These settlements are serviced by roads which are for the exclusive use of Israeli citizens. Large swathes of the countryside are off limits to the Palestinian people who own the land. The wire fences of the Israeli Army stretch for kilometres across the landscape. And water rights are stolen by the Israeli authorities. In addition permanent Israeli road blocks, similar to those which used to blight the border corridor here, prevent Palestinian citizens from travelling freely between Palestinian towns and villages.
 
The result is that an estimated sixty per cent of the west Bank, which should be the core of a Palestinian state, is off limits to Palestinians.
 
At the same time farm produce and other material produced by the illegal settlements is exported to Europe, the USA and other places.
 
Trading in goods that are the product of stolen property is wrong. The Bill which has been produced by Seanadóir Frances Black seeks to right this dreadful wrong by blocking Israeli product produced in the settlements from being sold in this state.
 
On Tuesday Imelda Munster TD, Councillor Pearse McGeough and I met with Fayez and Muna al-Taneeb who farm 3.2 hectares of land in the northern west Bank. When Israel built its huge separation which runs for hundreds of kilometres it took the opportunity to steal more Palestinian land. In the case of Fayez and Muna they stole 60% of their farm.
 
It is right that the Irish state gives leadership on this issue and bans settlement goods.”

Louth Sinn Féin Condemn Attacks on Belfast Leadership

Louth Sinn Féin has condemned last night’s attack on the homes of Gerry Adams TD and Northern Chairperson and activist, Bobby Storey. Explosive devices were thrown at both houses.

Speaking on behalf of the Party, Councillor Pearse McGeough said “these attacks are reprehensible. I understand that Gerry’s grandchildren were in front of his house a short time before the device was thrown. There is no excuse for these kinds of attacks which are clearly directed at the leadership. Those that carried them out are obviously getting desperate as they become more irrelevant in the community but they will not deter Gerry or Bobby or indeed the wider Sinn Féin party from carrying on their work.

“These criminals, because that’s all they are, have no place in any community and are not wanted in any shape or form. I would appeal for everyone to remain calm and not be baited into retaliating. That’s what these thugs want.”

Earlier in the evening, Party leader Mary-Lou McDonald described the dissidents who are believed to be behind the recent rioting in Derry as “warped, negative, regressive, dangerous people.”

 

Adams calls for referendum on Irish Unity

Micky Brady, Cathal Boylan, Gerry Adams, Ruairí Ó Murchú, Megan Fearon & Conor Murphy

Sinn Féin Louth TD and former Party President Gerry Adams has addressed the annual republican commemoration at the republican Memorial Garden at Tí Chulainn, Mullaghban, on Sunday 1st July.

The commemoration is for those republicans killed during the conflict. A stone was unveiled in honour of Martin McGuinness who officially opened the Memorial Garden in 2010.

On the stone are engraved the words of local 18th century poet Art MacCumhaigh, one of the last of the Ulster poets in the Irish language tradition. They are taken from his poem Úrchill an Chreagáin.

“A  fhialfhir charthannaigh, Ná caitear thusa I néaltaí bróin. Ach éirigh Go tapaidh Is aistrigh liom siar sa ród”. It is an anthem for south east Ulster and was a lamentation for the fall of the O’Neill’s of the Fews. “My kind young man do not sleep in sorrow.  But rise swiftly and come along the road with me.”

Commenting on the current crisis in the institutions, Brexit and Sinn Féin’s goal of a referendum on Irish unity Gerry Adams said:

“The DUP have tied themselves to the English Tories; they embrace Brexit. They continue to deny citizen’s rights enjoyed elsewhere on these islands. But that will all be sorted. Of that there is no doubt.

“We can say with certainty that the DUP position is not sustainable. It is for them to come to terms with that.

“Everyone here knows that the Taoiseach’s position on the North, the border and rights is a direct consequence of the strength of Sinn Féin. So we will persist and we will prevail.

“We also reject Mr. Varadkar’s suggestion that a referendum on Irish unity is not desirable at this time. He has a duty to uphold the Good Friday Agreement. He cannot cherry-pick it. So we will continue to look for a referendum and we will do our utmost to win that convincingly.

“This is not a task for Sinn Féin alone. All political parties and others who support the Good Friday Agreement and an end to partition should also campaign for this modest step forward.

“How a shared Ireland, an agreed Ireland is created is another matter deserving of careful, generous and positive inclusivity. To begin with we need to understand that many unionists hold to their sense of identity as strongly as we do. So new thinking is needed by us all.

“We are a diverse people. That should be proudly proclaimed and not used to divide us. Ireland is an island – a society – in transition. The future is bright despite the dire threats of Brexit.”

Homeless figures expose government housing failure – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the May 2018 homeless figures published last week for Louth as shameful and he accused the Housing Minister Eoin Murphy of “failing to effectively tackle this housing scandal.”

Compared with May 2017 the figures show – despite the Minister’s efforts to re-categorise the numbers of people defined as homeless – that the number of families and children in Louth emergency accommodation has continued to rise.

Gerry Adams said:

“One year ago in May 2017 there were 18 families with 44 children on the homeless figures for the North East, almost all of them in Louth.

12 months later and despite the claims of progress by Minister Murphy, May 2018 saw 25 families homeless in Louth with a total of 55 children.

In addition, in May 2017 there were 7,699 people homeless of whom 2,777 were children. One year later and these figures have jumped to 9,846 homeless of whom 3,826 are children.

Of particular concern is the increase in the number of homeless children which at almost four thousand in a scandal. The number of homeless pensioners is up 38% in one year with the state unable to house 128 pensioners.

At the same time these statistics do not include the hidden homeless. The adults and children in Tusla funded domestic violence shelters, those in direct provision centres or those sleeping on sofa’s with family and friends.

All of this must be set against the Ministers decision to remove almost 300 people from the figures. But even this scam cannot hide the reality that there is a homeless emergency that is not going to get better without urgent action. 

There are solutions to this housing crisis. Sinn Féin and others have presented credible alternatives to the current debacle, including the purchase of turnkey homes, and far more ambitious Housing First targets, Unfortunately, for the adults and children existing in emergency accommodation this government is choosing not to listen.” 

Brexit threat must be challenged – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today joined Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú, Conor Murphy MLA, and Megan Fearon MLA and several other SF Councillors in a protest in Dundalk square against Brexit. In a piece of street theatre Boris Johnson was searched by customs officials.

Speaking afterward Gerry Adams urged the Irish government to take a tougher stance to ensure that the British government honour the backstop agreement on the customs union and the single market.

Gerry Adams said:

Last December the Irish people were told by the Taoiseach that the so-called backstop arrangement was a guarantee that there would be no hard border and that the interests of citizens in the north, the majority of whom voted against Brexit, would be protected.

We were told we had a cast-iron guarantee that there would be no hard border on our island.

We were told that this draft agreement would be converted into a legally binding text. It didn’t happen.

We were also told that the December agreement would be enshrined in a legal text and that the British had to produce firm proposals for today’s EU summit. It didn’t happen.

On May 17 following his meeting with Theresa May, the Taoiseach said that the British would table a new proposal on a future customs relationship within the following two weeks. It didn’t happen.

The Irish government should not allow the talks to proceed without agreement at the EU summit on the border and the backstop arrangement. However, I suspect they will.

Brexit presents a massive threat to our two economies and to the Good Friday Agreement. The Irish people need certainty on no hard border. That certainty can best be found if the north is given a special status that keeps it within the single market and customs union”.