Monday, 31 January 2011

"An Ireland of Equals"

Sinn Fein

The Candidates

Carlow / Kilkenny - John CASSIN

John Cassin is a Sinn Féin local councillor for Carlow. He is…

Dublin South Central - Aengus Ó SNODAIGH TD

Aengus Ó Snodaigh was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2007…

Dublin West - Paul DONNELLY

Paul Donnelly is Sinn Féin’s public representative in Dublin 15 and is…

Dublin Central - Mary Lou McDONALD

Mary Lou is Sinn Féin’s Deputy Leader, an elected member of the…

Donegal South West - Pearse DOHERTY TD

Pearse Doherty is the father of three young boys. Married to Róisín,…

Cavan/Monaghan - Caoimhghín Ó CAOLÁIN TD

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is the leader of the Sinn Féin group of…

Dublin North East - Larry O'TOOLE

A sitting Councillor on Dublin City Council, Larry was first elected in…

Kildare South - Jason TURNER

Jason (41) is a married father of four and lives in Newbridge…

Wexford - Anthony KELLY

A native of Wexford town, Anthony Kelly was first elected to Wexford…

Roscommon/South Leitrim - Martin KENNY

Martin is a member of Leitrim County Council since 2003 and was…

Kildare North - Martin KELLY

MARTIN KELLY is a thirty five year old father of two, and…

Galway West - Trevor Ó CLOCHTAIGH

Trevor Ó Clochtaigh is a man of action , who has extensive…

Meath East - Michael GALLAGHER

Michael Gallagher is a living in Drumconrath with wife Sheila, and children…

Tipperary North - Seamus MORRIS

Seamus Morris was first elected as a Nenagh Town Councillor in 2004…

Cork South Central - Cllr Chris O'LEARY

Cllr Chris O’Leary is Sinn Féin’s general election candidate in Cork South…

Louth - Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams has been President of Sinn Fein since 1983. Gerry Adams…

Mayo - Thérèse RUANE

Thérèse, a native of Castlebar, is currently Deputy Mayor of Castlebar and…

Wicklow / East Carlow - John BRADY

John Brady is the Sinn Fein candidate for Wicklow/East Carlow in the…

Sligo / North Leitrim - Michael COLREAVY

Councillor Michael Colreavy lives with his wife Alice at Main Street, Manorhamilton,…


Cllr. Rose Conway-Walsh has served on Mayo County Council since June 2009…

Waterford - David CULLLINANE

David Cullinane is the father of three year old Emmet and is…

Dublin North West - Dessie ELLIS

Dessie Ellis was born and reared in Finglas and still lives and…

Kerry North / West Limerick - Martin FERRIS TD

Martin Ferris was first elected to the Dáil in 2002 when he…

Carlow / Kilkenny - Kathleen FUNCHION

Kathleen Funchion is one of the two Sinn Fein candidates standing in…

Cork South West - Paul HAYES

Paul Hayes is a native of Clonakilty and former Town Councillor. The…

Dublin Mid West – Eoin Ó BROIN

Eoin Ó Broin is a member of Lucan Sinn Fein and lives…

Cork North West – Des O GRADY

Des O Grady is the Sinn Féin candidate in  Cork North West.…

Donegal North East – Pádraig Mac LOCHLAINN

37 year old, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has been a passionate and effective…

Limerick City - Maurice QUINLIVAN

Cllr. Maurice Quilivan was elected to Limerick City Council in 2009. Currently…

Laois / Offaly - Brian STANLEY

As a public representative Brian Stanley is active on many issues including;…

Meath West - Peader TÓIBÍN

Peadar Tóibín Cllr Peadar Tóibín is Deputy Mayor of Navan, his h

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Making a Match Point in Tennis

Sunday Sport

Following his defeat in the Australian Open, will Andy Murray return home as an unlucky Scotsman and not as a victorious British champion?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Drivers for Change

We are the drivers for change across the island of Ireland

Sinn Féin has led the way in offering an alternative
SINN FÉIN Assembly leader John O’Dowd issued a rallying call to republicans across the island when he addressed the Cúige Uladh AGM in Toomebridge on Saturday 22nd January.
The task for republicans, John O’Dowd said, is to go out to work harder than we ever have to take a major step on the road to the Republic and sceuring the goals of the 1916 Proclamation.
SINN FÉIN is the voice of an idea. That idea is firmly based on the principles of the 1916 Proclamation.That idea and that voice is firmly based on the right of the people of Ireland to self-determination.
We here gathered in this room are the voice of that idea.
However, for an idea to become a practical reality you need a strategy joined with determination and commitment.
Sinn Féin, as Irish republicans, has all those elements. But we can never take for granted that because we have succeeded in the past, because our endeavors have proven successful before, they will simply fall into place in the future.
Our opponents are determined to stop us, to crush the idea and silence it.
They cannot handle our agenda of equality and unity. Our agenda exposes their acceptance, indeed in some cases promotion, of inequality and support for the failed economic and social policy of partition.
This year we mark with pride the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike, we remember the struggle within Armagh Jail and the H-Blocks. We will debate and commemorate these events.
In doing so we should not only honour the men and women of that era we should also expose a new generation to the principles of republicanism.
But republicanism is not a spectator sport. We are not an historical society, or a debating society,
We are a revolution in the making – a party whose role is to serve the people rather than making the people subservient to poverty, emigration and hopelessness.
The most appropriate form of commemoration is to continue and complete the task of comrades who have sacrificed everything in pursuit of an idea, a belief that Ireland can be united, independent and free.
We are the drivers for change across the island of Ireland.
The calling of the elections in the 26 Counties can be directly traced to one thing: to an idea, to republicans, to Sinn Féin’s refusal to be diverted away from the task of challenging the failure of Brian Cowen and the Greens to protect the people from the speculators and corruption of greed.
Pearse Doherty’s historic victory set the events in chain. This victory did not come about by chance. It came about because the party in Donegal made it happen.
They worked over many years to build a base, they made themselves relevant to the people, they showed and gave leadership to the people and only then the people of Donegal endorsed them.
The election in the 26 Counties has been called for March 11th; the  elections to the Assembly will be on May 5th; with council elections most likely on the same day.
These elections across Ireland over the next three months could define a generation. Each republican has an individual responsibility in the next few months to reshape the political conditions on this island.
Sinn Féin will be fielding literally hundreds of candidates across Ireland and will be offering the alternative that many citizens seek.
We offer credible alternatives to Tory polices regardless of which side of the border they are delivered.
We have produced  economic polices which offer credible alternatives to the  Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government and the simplistic economic dogma which told us we just had to accept the British  Tory Budget.
Sinn Féin refused to simply play along with the partionist economic philosophy being enthusiastically broadcast by unionist politicians and others such as the SDLP who went to Westminster and swore an oath of allegiance to the English queen because, they told us, if they did all that they would stop the Tories!
We argued and put across our position here in Ireland, refusing to accept the ungraciously named ‘block grant allocation’.
We led the way in producing economic proposals. We led the way in showing there was an alternative to the British Government’s Tory agenda.
The draft Budget in the Six Counties is not ideal. It is not what we as republicans ultimately aspire to achieve. However, it  has the potential to be £1.6billion better than if Sinn Féin had simply taken the advice of the so-called economically literate and laid down.
We demand the return of  fiscal powers across Ireland. The people of Ireland have the right  to be masters of their own economic destiny.
In the Six Counties the economic powers are held by Britain in the 26 Counties they are held by the IMF – we demand them back!
The elections have started but not one vote has been cast, not one seat has been won
The task for republicans is to go out to work harder than we ever have, to be more creative than we ever have and make ourselves relevant to the people of Ireland to make these elections the elections which define a generation of politics.

Friday, 28 January 2011

All Change in Ireland

Irish PM to dissolve parliament on Tuesday 

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said on Friday he would dissolve parliament next Tuesday and announce the date of a general election -- in which the ruling Fianna Fail party is expected to suffer a heavy defeat.Skip related content
Cowen's announcement will mark the end of his tumultuous time as premier, during which he was criticised for mishandling a financial crisis that sent shockwaves across the euro zone and forced the former "Celtic Tiger" economy to seek a bailout.
Cowen had promised to dissolve parliament once the finance bill, the last piece of legislation underpinning the 2011 budget, had passed both houses of parliament, paving the way for an election probably on February 25.
The lower house passed the finance bill on Thursday and it has now moved to the Senate, or upper house, for approval.
"The Dail (lower house) is due to resume on Tuesday next and I have indicated that I believe that that is the appropriate forum for me to advise the Dail that I will seek the dissolution of the house by going to the president on that day," Cowen told national broadcaster RTE.
The bill's passage means Ireland will meet its goal, under the 85 billion euro ($116 billion) EU/IMF deal agreed late last year, of delivering a record austerity budget by the end of March targeting 6 billion euros in spending cuts and tax rises.
This will incense voters, who already have years of austerity under their belts after a property bubble and reckless lending by the banking sector left the country with a massive debt and one of the biggest budget deficits in Europe.
The new government is likely to be a coalition between the centre-right Fine Gael party and centre-left Labour, which will have to abide by fiscal commitments given to the EU and IMF, as well as impose austerity budgets for the next few years.
Opinion polls suggest Fianna Fail, which elected former foreign minister Micheal Martin party leader earlier this week to replace Cowen, could lose at least half its seats in the election.
In an interview with Reuters, Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan said he did not expect a change of administration to affect Ireland's commitment to its targets, given that all the major parties have agreed to the overall commitments.
Enda Kenny, Fine Gael's leader and likely future prime minister, met European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels on Friday to discuss what he has described as the "penal" interest rate on the bailout.
After the meeting, Michael Noonan, who is likely to become finance minister in a new Irish government, said: "It's manageable now but if the interest rate were to come down it would increase our potential for growth."
"European policy on these matters is changing quite rapidly," he said, adding that he would consider writing public borrowing limits into Irish law.
Commenting on possible losses for bondholders in Irish banks, he said it was not his intention to "burn out anybody."
Two euro zone sources said on Friday that EU officials are considering extending euro zone bailout loans to Ireland to 30 years from seven. Maturities for EU bailout funds to Greece might also be extended in the hope of drawing a line under the bloc's debt crisis, they said at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
Investors remain sceptical about Ireland's ability to service its debt because of its low economic growth rate, even when a more stable government is in place after the election and with the tough budget taking effect.
(Additional reporting by John O'Donnell in Brussels and Padraic Halpin, editing by David Stamp)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A Yes for a Welsh Parliament

Following the Electoral Commission's confirmation that there would be no official lead Referendum campaigns, 'Yes For Wales' Chair Roger Lewis announced that 'Yes For Wales' had been endorsed as thede facto lead organisation campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the Referendum on 3rd March.

Roger Lewis said:

"'Yes For Wales' represents a broadcoalition of thousands of people acrossWales, while the 'No' side has no recognised leadership, made up of fragmented opinion from UKIP to the Monster Raving Loony Party.

"All the main political parties and officially-registered 'Yes' campaign organisations have today re-affirmed their collective support for 'Yes For Wales', because they believe that a single organisation providing a clear, positive message will help people better understand the issues.

"As the Electoral Commission makes clear, 'Yes for Wales' meets the criteria for designation and we intend to behave as the representative campaigning all-Wales body between now and the referendum on March 3rd."

Roger Lewis also issued a challenge to broadcasters about the way they now cover both sides of the referendum debate, saying:

"'Yes' campaigners will all continue to work together through 'Yes for Wales' to present a consistent message and to work with the media, but there is no recognised lead for the 'No' campaign, so no single group should be treated with any sort of priority over other fringe parties campaigning for a No vote.  Each group has the right to parity, even if their diverse opinions don't help clarity."

The reaffirmation of 'Yes For Wales' position as leader of the 'Yes' campaign followed the decision earlier today by the Electoral Commission not to designate a lead campaign organisation for either the Yes or No campaigns in the forthcoming referendum on Assembly powers on March 3rd.

Commenting on the joint statement Paul O'Shea, Cymru/Wales Secretary of Unison and one of the Planning Group of 'Yes For Wales', said:

"The unity of the Yes campaign is one of our greatest strengths and sits as a sharp contrast to the shambolic and fragmented nature of our opponents in this referendum.

"'Yes For Wales' wanted to be designated as the official 'Yes' campaign. It matters to us that people are engaged with this debate, regardless of which way they decide to vote. Without a national mailing with literature from both sides, engagement is clearly more difficult. But not impossible - at least not impossible for us.

"'Yes For Wales' will continue to behave as if we had been designated. We will get our literature out by hand. We have thousands of volunteers across Wales and our objective is now to get something through the door of every elector in Walesbetween now and March 3rd. We're doing this because democracy matters to us.

"Yes, this is a big and bold initiative, but we think it is feasible. Because 'Yes For Wales' is a mass movement.  We have the critical mass of people that can take the message out there, and we're doing so. That's what a true grassroots movement can achieve, unlike True Wales, UKIP, or any of the other No groups."