Adams calls for implementation of UN Con. on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams joined with party colleagues on Tuesday evening in the Dáil in demanding that the government do more to deliver on the rights contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He commended Louth Groups and individuals who advocate their services for citizens with disabilities.

He said: “They provide much needed supports for citizens in this constituency with disabilities and have fought a battle a day with successive governments over the lack of funding, planning and resources. It took 11 years for the government to ratify the UN Convention. This is totally contrary to the Convention and is unacceptable.”

In March this year, 11 years after the state signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Government finally ratified the Convention.

On Tuesday, at a briefing with a range of disability groups the difficulties confronting citizens with disabilities, including the lack of planning, resources and funding, were discussed.

Gerry Adams TD said:

“The eventual ratification by the government of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was an important step forward. However, it is meaningless if the Convention is not implemented in full and if the legislation needed to achieve this is not enacted by the Oireachtas.

That means that the Government must ratify the Optional Protocol, as they had previously promised. In addition, the Assisted-Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 remains at a standstill with the essential establishment of a Decision Support Service still awaited. We also need progress on the enactment of the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016.

Today in a briefing organised by Teachta O Caoláin, Shelley Gaynor and James Cawley from Independent Living Movement Ireland; Sarah Lennon, Inclusion Ireland; Kathy Moore, Rehab Ireland; Allen Dunne, Disability Federation of Ireland and Joan Carthy, Irish Wheelchair Association; told us that without adequate services citizens living with disabilities are like prisoners.

In Louth I work with many groups and individuals who advocate for services for people with disabilities; groups like the Parents and Friends of the Intellectually Disabled; Louth Respite Group; WALK Peer, and others. I commend them all”.

Anord workers deserve fair treatment – Adams

Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has met with staff at Dundalk switchgear manufacturing company, Anord, regarding its restructuring proposals which include up to 23 voluntary redundancies.

Staff members, many of whom have been Anord employees for over 25 years, are concerned that the redundancy package proposed does not reflect the commitment they have shown to the company over the period of their employment.

Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has said that the management of Anord in Dundalk must behave honourably in respect of redundancy terms offered to staff.

Gerry Adams said;

“I have met with Anord workers, some of whom have been with the company a lifetime, and the terms that they have been offered by the company are simply not acceptable.

“It’s alarmingly clear from the discussions that I have had with staff and with Union representatives, that they believe that the company intends to get rid of their current electricians and re-employ alternative, cheaper, labour.

“Anord is a global company and I respect the fact that it has been an employer in the Dundalk area for 50 years.

“I have made contact with the company directly and I urge them to maintain the good name of Anord in the area and to treat their staff with respect.

                         Cllr Antóin Watters

“I have also written to the Minister for Employment to urge her to use her influence to assist the workers in whatever way she can.”

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Waters added,

“I have been inconstant contact with Anord staff and I hope that this issue can be brought to a successful resolution for all parties involved.

“These staff have been loyal to Anord for over 25 years and they deserve a fair package.”


Implement Children First Act – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has given a qualified welcome to the commitment by the Taoiseach today to examine the possibility of accelerating the full implementation of the Children’s First Act before the current deadline.

Teachta Adams raised the issue with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD today in the Dáil following the publication on Saturday in the Irish Times of a letter from Barnardo’s; the Children’s Rights Alliance; and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty.

Teachta Adams said:

“In their letter to the Irish Times Barnardo’s; the Children’s Rights Alliance; and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty expressed their concern at the delays by the government in commencing the Children’s First Act.

This Act was enacted this time last November. Among its provisions it provides for mandatory reporting by key professionals; mandated assisting; comprehensive risk assessment and preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements by services for children; and the establishment of a Children First Interdepartmental Implementation Group on a statutory basis.

The children’s rights groups are concerned that only three sections of the Children’s First have commenced. In a recent Dáil response the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone admitted that the full commencement of the Act will not occur until the end of February 2018. Among the provisions still to be commenced are those relating to mandated reporting of child abuse and the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements by organisations providing relevant services to children.

The three groups who are in the front line of protecting children and defending their rights say that as a result of the government’s inaction children do not have sufficient legal protection when it comes to their safety.

They also say that in their work with children they see every day the impact of this legislative gap. The priority of government must be to commit to the safety and security of children. The Children First Act needs to be implemented in full and quickly.”

In his response the Taoiseach said that he would look at the possibility of accelerating the timetable for the full implementation of the Act.

I have now written to Minister Zappone asking for a full breakdown on those outstanding parts of the Act that have yet to be implemented; her existing timeframe for this and whether she believes it is possible to accelerate this process.


Landmark European judgement on violation of Travellers Rights welcomed – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth Gerry Adams TD has welcomed “this week’s landmark judgement by the European Committee of Social Rights into the violation of Travellers rights by the government. The committee found that the government has failed to provide enough accommodation for Travellers, that many of the sites provided are in a poor condition and that legal safeguards for Travellers threatened with eviction are insufficient.

This judgement has implications for the treatment of the Travelling community in Louth and in particular the 23 families who were evicted at the start of the year by Louth County from the Woodland Park site.”

Teachta Adams said:

“In the last four months Traveller families in Dundalk have been subject to forcible eviction on two occasions and threats to evict on others. As a result of the action of Louth County Council Traveller families have been forced to squat on illegal sites in the Dundalk area. They are not alone. According to the ECSR report the number of families living in unsafe, unserviced and unauthorised sites has increased by 50% in the last two years.

“The publication of the ECSR judgement against the State is a damning one and cannot be ignored by the government or by other state bodies, including local authorities.

“I will be meeting the new Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney this week to find a solution to the issues in my own constituency, including the provision of an emergency halting site for Travellers displaced there, in keeping with the State’s obligations, and I intend to put the findings of the ECSR judgement to him so his Department begins to take seriously the consistent breaches of the human rights of the Travelling community by successive Irish governments.”

Sinn Féin Launches YES Campaign in Louth

SF YES Campaign launchSinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today launched Sinn Féin’s Yes campaign for the two referenda taking place on May 22nd.

The Sinn Féin leader and local Louth Councillors and activists took to Dundalk’s Clanbrassil Street handing out Yes leaflets.

Gerry Adams said: “In just five weeks’ time two referendums will be held. One is to reduce the eligibility age for a candidate for the Presidential elections. The second is on marriage equality. Sinn Féin is calling for a Yes vote in both referendums.

“We will be running a vigorous campaign. The Party will be distributing around half a million leaflets; at least five thousand posters and the party in every constituency will be carrying out a thorough canvas.

“In respect of the Marriage Equality Referendum, many of us will have a member of our family or extended family who is gay. All of us, whatever age we are or wherever we live or work, know someone who is gay.

“They want what we want – the right to live their lives as full and contributing citizens and to share in the love of a family of their own.

“A Yes vote for same sex-marriage is about recognising people’s right to equality; respecting their right to express their own sense of identity; and is about affirming their right as citizens to be free, equal and happy.

“There is a possibility that some citizens who are so angry at this government will see this as an opportunity to hurt Fine Gael and Labour. I would appeal to them not to do this. This referendum is not about those parties it is about the rights and entitlements of our family members, our friends, our neighbours and workmates.

“Nor should those who support these referendum be lulled by the opinion polls into believing that these referendum will easily succeed. This is not a time for complacency. Every vote will count.

 “I would also appeal for everyone to join the campaign for a Yes Vote. If you feel you can’t become part of any of the formal campaigns being organised then become part of the informal campaign. Talk to your friends, to your workmates, to your family and neighbours and ask them to vote Yes. Text them. Facebook them. Use Twitter. Let’s get the biggest vote possible and ensure that on May 22nd both referendums are passed.”