Adams welcomes High Court decision to back GSOC in Omeath case

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the decision by the High Court to instruct the Special Criminal Court to hand over transcripts of proceedings before the Special Criminal Court relating to Adrian Crevan Mackin who shot dead Garda Tony Golden in October 2015.

Teachta Gerry Adams said:

“Crevan Mackin shot dead Garda Tony Golden in October 2015. He also shot and grievously wounded Siobhan Philips, before killing himself.

Crevan Mackin was previously arrested in January 2015 in possession of explosives and firearms, which he admitted. He was not charged with these offences but instead with an offence he had denied. He was granted bail in the Special Criminal Court.

I have raised my concerns about the manner in which Adrian Crevan Mackin was dealt with by the Garda, the many offences which he admitted to but he was not charged with, the low bail that was set, and his access to other weapons, with the Minister for Justice and An Taoiseach.  

In April the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) agreed to initiate a public interest investigation into these matters after I wrote to it and presented it with papers that I had received relating to the case.

At the time I gave these papers to the investigating officer in the Garda, to GSOC, to the former and current Taoiseach and to the former and current Minister of Justice.

The decision by the Special Criminal Court to refuse to hand over to GSOC the transcripts of proceedings involving Crevan Mackin was incomprehensible. That one part of the justice system would refuse to cooperate with another is a matter of grave concern.

Public accountability and public confidence in the rule of law and the institutions of policing and justice are essential. GSOC should never have been forced to go to the High Court”.

Adams calls on Government to support Dundalk workers

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams speaking in the Dáil has expressed his grave concern at the impact of the closure of the Authentic Food Company on the almost 200 workers employed there. The workers have received “no notice pay, no P45, no reference, and no redundancy payment. They will receive no wages during the 30 day consultation period or the two week notice period. This means that families with mortgages and other financial bills will have no money for six weeks.”

Gerry Adams TD called on the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to “take urgent action to ensure that workers from the Authentic Food Company have access to social welfare”.

Teachta Adams also urged the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphrey’s “to investigate whether the closure of this business was a tactical insolvency by the British based company, and what steps she is taking to ensure that either a new buyer is found for the plant or the workforce is reemployed as quickly as possible.”

On Wednesday Gerry Adams TD met with the Liquidator, spoke to Enterprise Ireland and met with representatives of the UNITE union.

Speaking in the Dáil Gerry Adams said:

“I first wrote to the company on 21 September having been contacted by workers and their representatives about rumours that Authentic Food was closing. The company did not respond to my initial correspondence or to representations from Sinn Féin Councillors Ruairí Ó Murchú and Anne Campbell.

Instead on 19 October the company went to the High Court. Staff at Authentic Foods then received notice that the company was allegedly insolvent and unable to pay wages,

The Managing Director of Authentic Foods, Nik Basran, claims that the management carried out a comprehensive review of the business to try and find a way to make it profitable over the long term but he said this was not possible.

The Minister has a responsibility to ask what type of review is it that excludes the workers’ representatives, that refuses to engage directly with UNITE. What kind of review is it that can be manipulated by employers so that these workers have no notice pay, no P45, no reference, and no redundancy payment. This is very calculated. It is sharp practice.

Will the Minister give the Dáil a commitment that she will investigate whether this is a tactical insolvency? We need to establish if the British based Authentic Food Company deliberately wound down the Dundalk plant.

The work force has been treated shamefully. They can’t access social welfare. I would urge the Minister for Social Protection to use her discretion to ensure that workers get their social welfare payments as soon as possible.

I would ask the Minister for Enterprise to do everything possible to have this workforce reemployed as quickly as possible. The government needs to make it very clear that it does not countenance companies refusing to talk to trade unions in situations involving a restructuring or a closure.

There is also an urgent need to prevent liquidations being used in a tactical manner to the advantage of the companies and the disadvantage of workers, their families and community.

Let me remind the Dáil that Sinn Féin has already introduced a Bill that would give trade unions “the right to be heard” in matters of industrial relations – the 2018 Trade Union Representation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2018

We have also had a bill passed at second stage that would address the issue of tactical insolvencies – the 2016 Protection of Employees (Collective Redundancies) Bill.

Despite the fact that it was passed unanimously by the Dáil at second stage the government decided to block it from going to third stage committee via a money message. I ask the government to ensure government support for this Bill.”

Dundalk workers treated shamefully – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams this morning met with the Liquidators appointed on Friday in relation to the closure of the Authentic Food Company in Dundalk.

Mr. Adams also spoke to Enterprise Ireland and held a meeting with UNITE this afternoon.

The Louth TD, along with party colleague Imelda Munster, will be raising this issue later this afternoon in the Dáil with the Minister responsible under Topical Issues.

Gerry Adams said:

“I first wrote to the company on 21 September having been contacted by workers and their representatives about rumours that Authentic Food was closing. The company did not respond to my initial correspondence or to representations from Sinn Féin Councillors Ruairí Ó Murchú and Anne Campbell.

Instead last Friday the company went to the High Court, a Liquidator was appointed and staff were told that the company was insolvent and unable to pay wages”.

The Louth TD has accused the Company of treating the workforce shamefully. As a result, and on the cusp of Christmas they are “caught in a limbo. Technically they are still in the employment of the company though they will not be paid a wage. They can’t get their P45 to secure alternative employment, and they can’t access social welfare.

The Minister for Social Protection must use her discretion to ensure that workers get their social welfare payments as soon as possible.”

Concluding Teachta Adams said:

“The Minister must do everything possible to have this workforce reemployed as quickly as possible. She also has to take steps to prevent liquidations being used in a tactical manner for the benefit of a company and to the disadvantage of workers, their families and community”.

Adams concerned at Authentic Food Company

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has said that he is deeply concerned at confirmation this afternoon that The Authentic Food Company has decided to close its Dundalk facility with immediate effect.

Deputy Adams said;

“It is extremely bad news for the 180 staff at The Authentic Food Company that operations are to cease at the Dundalk facility.

“It is also worrying that the company has stated that the Dundalk branch of the company is being placed in administration.

“I first wrote to the company on 21st September, asking them to clarify their future intentions following representations to my office from concerned staff.

“The company did not respond to my email nor to correspondence from local Sinn Féin councillors Ruairí Ó Murchú and Anne Campbell who have spoken with workers numerous times.

“These staff have been treated deplorably.  They have been in limbo for the past month with no communication from the company.

“I have contacted Nik Basran, Managing Director, again today and asked that he meet with staff and offer them terms which reflect their commitment over many years.

“I understand that The Authentic Food Company is a profitable business.  It should now offer optimum redundancy terms to its workforce in Dundalk.

“I have also contacted the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation to request her immediate intervention in this matter”

Louth Sinn Féin supports Raise the Roof Protest

Louth TD Gerry Adams was joined by Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú and Cllr Anne Campbell on Wednesday outside the gates of Leinster House for the Raise the Roof rally to protest at government failure to delivery social and affordable housing.

In his remarks in the Dáil the former Sinn Féin leader criticised earlier comments from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar describing them as “dishonest”.

Speaking in the Dáil on the all-party motion Gerry Adams said:

“I want to commend all of those who took part in the Raise the Roof protest. It was a great demonstration. Those who assembled outside Leinster House were showing their anger at the government’s shameful attitude to almost 4,000 children in emergency accommodation. They were expressing their outrage against rents that people can’t afford. They were protesting against evictions and they were protesting against this government’s failed housing policy”.

Teachta Adams said:

“According to Daft.ie Louth has witnessed the greatest annual increase in rental costs. The July figures from the Department of Housing revealed that the number of adults homeless in the North-East region, including Louth, has remained unchanged since July of last year. Clearly the government’s housing strategy is not working.

This year, fewer social homes owned by local authorities and approved housing bodies will be delivered by the Government than last year.

The Minister for Housing and his colleagues constantly parrot the claim that their plan is the only plan – that there is no alternative. Yes. There is.

Sinn Féin’s housing plan in our Alternative Budget 2019 proposes the introduction of a temporary tax relief for renters in tandem with a three-year emergency rent freeze.

Sinn Féin would also increase investment in social and affordable housing and tackling homelessness.

This is one of the many difference between Sinn Féin and this government. We believe that citizens have the right to a home. This government doesn’t believe this”.

Finally, Gerry Adams criticised an earlier attack on Sinn Féin by the Taoiseach. Teachta Adams said:

“The Taoiseach responded to a reasonable question from Teachta MacDonald on the government’s failed housing policy by attacking Sinn Féin’s refusal to stay in government in the North with a party which is denying citizens their rights.

The Taoiseach has a duty to uphold the rights of people in the North not to attack them. He also knows the efforts Sinn Féin have made and the reprehensible way the British government and the DUP have responded by refusing rights which he knows are being denied at this time.

He knows the disrespectful way they treat him and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. This has nothing to do with the housing crisis, with the housing emergency in this state, but it is proof how this government responds in a dishonest way and this brings the Taoiseach’s office into disrepute and adds to the sense – and we saw this in the streets earlier on – that this government doesn’t really care about the homelessness crisis.

He also knows the disrespectful way they have treated the Irish government. So for him to respond in this dishonest way brings the office of Taoiseach into disrepute and adds to the sense that this government does not really care about the homeless crisis”.

Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú said: “There are thousands of households on the housing waiting list in Louth. Without the construction of significant numbers of quality, and affordable public housing many will languish on that list for years. We are in the midst of an unprecedented housing emergency. It is a crisis that has this Government has refused to confront.

The current housing crisis is entirely government made. Since the government published its ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ strategy homelessness has increased by 60%, child homelessness has increased by 77% and pensioner homelessness has increased by an unimaginable 80%. All of this has occurred despite the Ministers efforts to fiddle the homeless statistics, including an instruction to Louth County Council in May to exclude 100 homeless households”.