Adams urges Irish America Trade Union support for referendum on Unity

Gerry with Terry O’Sullivan President LiUNA & Thomas Callahan President IUOE

Sinn Féin Louth TD and former Party Leader Gerry Adams has just returned from New York where he spoke at a packed meeting of Trade Union leaders organised by the James Connolly Labor Coalition. On Friday evening he was the main speaker at the eighth annual Irish Echo Labor Awards.

Gerry Adams addressed both events on the issues of Brexit and Irish Unity.

Gerry Adams said:

“Brexit presents the most serious social, economic and political threat to the people of the island of Ireland for a generation. The British Conservative government, supported by the Democratic Unionist Party, is determined to drag the North out of the EU.

The current uncertainty around the negotiations between the London government and the EU is adding to an atmosphere of uncertainty and concern. In particular, there are very real dangers posed the imposition of any border checks. There are tens of thousands of jobs at risk in the two economies on the island of Ireland.

The Irish government has a responsibility to defend the democratic vote of the people of the north to remain within the EU and to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is protected. Whatever the outcome of the current negotiations the rights and entitlements of the people of the North, as envisioned in the Good Friday Agreement, must be protected.”

The Louth TD also urged Irish American trade unionists to add their support to the growing call for a referendum on Irish unity. Mr. Adams said:

“The issue of a unity referendum and the goal of a united Ireland is now a matter of almost daily conversation. Our task as united Irelanders is to achieve these objectives in the shortest possible time with the maximum level of popular support. And we will achieve this sooner with the help and support of Irish America.

The vast majority of people in Ireland and in the Irish diaspora scattered across the globe want a society in Ireland that is based on values of social justice, fairness, equality and decency. This can best be achieved in a new and shared Ireland.”

Finally, Gerry Adams TD commended the initiative by a coalition of Irish American organisations for the McGuinness Principles. Mr. Adams said: “These principles are about implementing the Good Friday Agreement. They are for a Bill of Rights; equality for the Irish language; justice for the victims of conflict and their families; and support for a referendum on Irish unity.

They are modelled on the very successful MacBride Principles campaign against job discrimination. The success of that campaign shows the potential for Irish America achieving the same positive outcome with the McGuinness Principles.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham Calls for Cross-Party Support for Wind Turbine Regulation Bill

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has called on all Parties to support the Sinn Féin Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2016 which will be voted on next Thursday (28th September) in the Dáil.

Cllr Cunningham said “Wind farms have been a bone of contention in communities for some years now and this Bill seeks to address the issue. It seeks to regulate wind farms and to ensure that while this industry develops that it does so with community engagement and also provides legal protection for the rural communities.”

“This has been an area that has been neglected by the last two Governments simply because it is a contentious issue and because of this lack of legislation in terms of planning regulations for wind turbines, many rural communities have suffered greatly.”

“This Bill has various provisions in terms of creating a legal framework for wind farm development, for example, to protect rural dwellers the Bill proposes a setback of 10 times the height of the turbine, along with provisions to protect against noise and shadow flicker.

“Turbines should only be located in areas designated by County Councillors in the county development plan. We also allow for both optional community ownership and greater consultation.”

Sinn Féin is the first Party to put forward legislation giving firm legal protections for rural communities across the State in relation to where the wind farms are sited.

Cllr Cunningham continued “No-one is denying that harnessing wind to generate power could go a long way to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and renewable energy development is urgently needed but it is essential that we create other renewable energy sources; off-shore wind, biomass and biogas are seriously underdeveloped.”

“Clean green forms of indigenous energy can be further harnessed but we must ensure it is done with the involvement of local communities.”

Tom Cunningham called on all Parties to support Sinn Féin’s Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2016 and he urged “the public to contact your local TD and encourage them to support regulation of the Wind Farms and turbines. This Bill is about legal protection for rural communities. It’s your community, make sure you are heard.”