Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Press Release- Jobless 'Recovery ' a Bitter Irony to the Unemployed

Jobless “Recovery” a Bitter Irony to the Unemployed
Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan O’Brien said figures showing Ireland is technically out of recession will come as a bitter irony to the 444,900 people on the dole.

Cllr O’Brien stated:

“The government and the financial pundits claim the recession is over. This will come as a bitter irony to the 444,900 people on the dole – including 5,800 who have lost their jobs in the past month.”

“The government’s policies of austerity and cutbacks have only succeeded in depressing the economy further. While the political focus remains on the public finances and saving the banks, nothing is being done to create jobs. As a result, we now face a jobless “recovery” that will do nothing to ease the financial pressure felt by families across the country.”

“In the past two months over 12,000 people have signed on, while thousands more have emigrated. Fianna Fáil’s obsession with keeping a zombie bank afloat at Anglo Irish is squeezing the lifeblood out of the economy.”

“Ireland may have technically emerged from recession, with a growth of 2.7% in GDP but this is insignificant to the hundreds of thousands of Irish people on the Live Register today. There is no economic recovery when there is still an absence of jobs.

“It is about time that the Government realised that deflationary policies will cripple growth, retard job creation and leave us with out-dated infrastructure. Sinn Féin has put forward detailed policies on job creation with more than eighty individual recommendations. It is time to take real measures to stimulate the economy and reverse course on its failed policies.”

For further information contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085-2133907

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Press release

Stag Hunting Furore Says a Lot About Fianna Fáil

The furore over tonight’s vote to ban stag hunting says a lot about the priorities of government backbenchers, according to Cork Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan O’Brien.

“This government has shovelled billions at the banks, while targeting cutbacks at the most vulnerable in society. Social welfare payments have been cut, services for children with special needs reduced, and health and education budgets slashed. Now ministers are hinting that the old age pension may be next for the chop.”

“Fianna Fail backbenchers and independents Jackie Healy Rae and Michael Lowry trailed obediently through the lobbies to vote for government policies which have rewarded the very people who wrecked the economy while penalising ordinary workers. Where was the backbench revolt when the government was pumping more than €20 billion into Anglo-Irish bank? Government TDs have shown little concern over the cutbacks to social welfare payments or the government’s failure to do anything for the 440,000 unemployed. But proposals to ban stag-hunting and regulate dog-breeding have them scurrying to the nearest microphone to shout defiance.”

“Last week seven Fianna Fail TDs went on the record to oppose the legislation. Now Independents Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae have stated they will vote against it.”

“That dogs and deer, rather than this government’s appalling economic policies, should trigger a back-bench rebellion says a lot about the priorities of government TDs. The economic pain of ordinary people is less important to them than the right of the Ward Union Hunt to chase stags over the plains of Meath. Once more government politicians have shown themselves totally detached from the concerns of ordinary people.”

For further information contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085/2133907

Volunteer Commemoration

A commemoration took place last Sunday 27th June to mark the 37th anniversary of the death on active service of Volunteer Dermot Crowley. Dermot along with two Tyrone comrades, Pat Carty & Sean Loughran were killed near Omagh Co Tyrone on the 25th June 1973 and every year Cork Republicans gather at Dermot's graveside to remember his sacrifice and pay tribute to his memory.

The commemoration was chaired by Pat Coughlan of the Vols Ahern/Crowley Cumann and the oration was given by Arnie O'Connell, those assembled on the day were led to the cemetery by the Youghal Vols RFB.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sinn Féin to Oppose Royal Visit

Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan O’Brien has described as “totally unacceptable” the Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s welcome for a visit to Ireland by the Queen of England, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, and said the party will oppose any royal visit. The Taoiseach’s welcome came on the day he refused in the Dáil to give a commitment to raise the issue of collusion with the British Prime Minister.

Cllr O’Brien stated: “It is totally unacceptable that the Taoiseach is, on the one hand, welcoming and preparing for a visit to Ireland by the Queen of England, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, while on the other hand he refuses to pursue the British Prime Minister and the British government on the issue of collusion.”

“While the Saville Report was a welcome development in vindicating the dead of Bloody Sunday it was only the tip of the iceberg of British state killings in Ireland.”

“For example Sinn Féin has repeatedly called on the British government to give to an international judicial figure all files in its possession relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of May 1974, in which 33 people died, and other acts of collusion in the 26 Counties during the conflict. The Taoiseach has admitted that he had failed to raise this with Gordon Browne during his premiership.”

“Sinn Féin opposes the proposed state visit of the Queen of England, Commander-in-Chief of the British armed forces. Until there is complete withdrawal of the British military and the British administration from Ireland, and until there is justice and truth for victims of collusion, no official welcome should be accorded to any officer of the British armed forces of any rank.”

For further information contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085-2133907

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Volunteer Commemoration

Volunteer Dermot Crowley Commemoration (37th anniversary), Sunday 27th June 1pm assemble at Rathcooney Fruit Farm for march to Rathcooney cemetery, speaker Arnie O'Connell, Youghal RFB in attendance, organised by the Vols Ahern/Crowley Cumann.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Press release

O’Brien Welcomes Saville Findings

Cork Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan O’Brien has welcomed the findings of the Saville enquiry into Bloody Sunday, saying that its vindication of the victims was long overdue.

Cllr O’Brien said:

“The Saville Report vindicates the fourteen dead and the injured of Bloody Sunday. It vindicates also the brave relatives of the dead and the people of Derry who have campaigned for truth and justice for over thirty-eight years."

“The people of Derry and of Ireland and people across the world have long known that the killings by the Parachute Regiment of the British Army were, in the words of the Saville Report ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’. It is highly significant that the British Government has now had to acknowledge that truth as a result of this Report.”

“The lies of the Widgery Tribunal have now been fully exposed. For three decades the British government used that lying report to justify the murders committed by its Army on Bloody Sunday.”

“This Report should now spur the Irish Government on to press the British government to comply with the unanimous all-party motion adopted by the Dáil nearly two years ago which called on the British government to release to an international investigation all facts it possesses on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974.”

“The final act of justice will be when every remaining soldier of the British Army is at last withdrawn from the Six Counties.”

For further information contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085-2133907

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Press Release

O’Brien welcomes extension of funding for Dial to Stop Drug Dealing

Sinn Féin’s Councillor Jonathan O’Brien has welcomed today’s announcement that funding for the highly successful Dial to Stop Drug Dealing initiative has been extended till the end of the year and repeated his call for the scheme to be put on a permanent footing.

Cllr O’Brien also called on members of the public to continue using the free phone number and to help to raise awareness of the scheme.

Speaking today Cllr O’Brien said:
“The Dial to Stop Drug Dealing free phone number has been a highly successful initiative which Sinn Féin has long campaigned for. I welcome today’s announcement that funding for the scheme is to be extended to the end of the year but reiterate my call for it to be put on a permanent footing.
“I am also calling on members of the public to continue using the free phone number and to raise awareness of the scheme by advertising the number on social networking sites and any other means available.”

The Dial to Stop Drug Dealing number is 1800220220

For further information contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085-2133907

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ógra responds to Unemployment crisis

Ógra Shinn Féin has criticised the government repsonse to the unemployment crisis affecting young people.With the live register figures released for May showing yet another increase in the unemployed, they have claimed that the suggestion that the crisis was coming under control was premature.
The national unemployed figure now stands at 439,100. There are 19,810 unemployed in Cork City alone, with 3,827 of these under 25.
Ógra erected a banner at the constituency office of Micheal Martin TD, to highlight the failure of the government parties to tackle the crisis.

An Ógra spokesperson had this to say - 'The government remains unconcerned with the jobs crisis, and their failure to tackle the ever increasing amoung of young people either signing on or emigrating is scandalous. Indeed, many contributions at Saturday's conference suggested to us that, far from coming to grips with our economic difficulties, their failure to create employment, is in fact exacerbating the economic crisis, and that we are unlikely to see a real recovery for quite some time to come.'

He added 'Ógra will be taking this campaign to the streets over the coming time, highlighting the abject failure of the Government to tackle the jobs crisis, and indeed their complete lack of interest in the welfare of young people, and we encourage all young people to get active and to fightback against this government'.

Cork Ógra shows solidarity with Palestine

The macCurtain/Doherty cumann of Ógra Shinn Fein took to the streets of Cork on a number of occasions during the last week to show their opposition to the callous murder of 9 humanitarian activists by Israeli forces on board the Aid flotilla due for Gaza.

On the monday a number of Ógra and SF activists attended a well attended rally in Daunt Square, which was attended by a broad cross section of the left in Cork. Despite only a few hours notice, a sizeable crowd assembled and was addressed by, among others, Sinn Féin Cllr Jonathan O'Brien.

The following day saw Ógra activists attending a similar protest in Daunt Square, which was similarly well attended. Following the rally, a number of activists from various organisations (including Ógra) and none, went to Tesco to highlight the fact that Tesco sells a significant amount of Israeli produce. Any Israeli produce in the shop was collected, and stickers placed where they had been, and the Israeli produce was brought to the top of the store and leaflets were handed out to customers highlighting the need for a boycott.
Ógra and Sinn Féin activists continued to attend these rallies through the course of the week, building up to the major rally on Saturday, and are committed to highlighting and encouraging the need for a boycott.
Ógra spokesperson Joe Lynch had this to say, 'Essentially Israel needs to get the same treatment as apartheid South Africa did in the 1980's - it needs to be socially economically, and academically isolated. There is no other way that they are likely to bow to international pressure, unless it is that underwhelming. All these actions advance this cause, even if in just a small way. We will continue to campaign to highlight this, and encourage people to boycott Israeli goods, among the most prominent of these products are Jaffa Oranges, potatoes, and carrots.'

Joe added 'We also believe that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin, should expel the Israeli ambassador, as an example to the world, of what must be done to make Israel see the need for a peace process and for engagement.'

Friday, June 4, 2010

Press Release

Rise in Cork Jobless Figures Mean its Time to Act

Reacting to today’s figures showing a further increase in the numbers of those on the live register in Cork City, Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan O’Brien has hit out at the Government’s failure to invest in people and create jobs, while pumping billions of euro into Anglo-Irish Bank.

Cllr O’Brien stated: “Today’s figures show a further increase in the number of those unemployed in Cork City, which now stands at 19,810.”

“Of particular concern is the number of young people under 25 who are claiming the dole – which now stands at 3,827.”

“These young people represent the future of our country and our economy, but the government’s only response to the crisis of youth unemployment is to cut welfare payments to young people.”

“The skills and abilities of thousands of our young, educated and highly trained work force, which should be at the centre of efforts to rebuild the economy, are being wasted, because the Government refuses to get serious about job creation.”

“The Government were happy to drop €2 billion of taxpayer’s money into Anglo Irish Bank last week, but to get them to create jobs and stimulate the economy is akin to drawing blood from a stone.”

“Yesterday Sinn Féin delivered more than 16,000 ‘Greetings from the dole’ postcards demanding action to create jobs to Government Buildings – many of them collected by party activists here in Cork.”

“As part of Sinn Féin’s ‘Jobs for the Unemployed’ I, along with other Sinn Fein activists, talked to hundreds of unemployed people on the streets of Cork. They all want the same thing. They want the government to focus on the jobs crisis and to start implementing the type of proposals put forward by Sinn Féin to stimulate the economy and create jobs. They are growing increasingly angry that the government is doing nothing.”

“It is time for the government to listen, and to act.”

For further information contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien

Press Release

Head Shops are Running Rings Around the Law

Sinn Féin’s Cllr Thomas Gould has said Head Shops are running rings around the law and that government legislation to regulate the sector is overdue. He was commenting after the Irish Examiner revealed that at least nine new products imitating cocaine and amphetamines are being sold in Head Shops, less than a month after the government banned a range of legal highs.

Cllr Gould stated: “The fact that many Head Shops are not merely still in business, but have come out with a new range of products imitating the effects of illegal drugs, shows they are running rings around the law.”

“The government has constantly been playing catch-up on this issue. First of all it took it months to ban a range of dangerous substances on sale in these shops – now the shops have come up with new products and government is behind again.”

“For over a year, medical experts have warned of the dangers that legal highs pose to human health. Yet Head Shops across Cork City and County remain open, selling products whose effects are simply not known, but which the shop owners themselves label as not for human consumption.”

“Several months ago Sinn Féin published a bill outlining our proposals to properly regulate the Head Shop industry – and effectively close it down. We also warned that the approach of piecemeal bans on individual products would lead to precisely this scenario, with the Head Shop proprietors rushing to get around the law by producing new kinds of legal highs.”

“The government should urgently bring forward legislation that will solve this problem once and for all by making it an offense to supply psychoactive substances.”

For further information contact Cllr Thomas Gould 087/3021551

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Protest Against Israeli attack

A protest took place on Monday 31st May in Daunt Sq Cork City against the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla with reports of up to 9 people dead. The well attended demo was organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Committee, the protest heard from several speakers including Sinn Fein Cllr Jonathan O'Brien. Sinn Féin members organised several pickets/protests across the country.

Press Release

There must be consequences for Israel’s murderous attack on humanitarian aid flotilla – Ó Snodaigh

May 31, 2010
Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, who had hoped to be on board the Free Gaza Flotilla which was attacked by the Israeli Army overnight leaving at least sixteen people dead, has described the attack as cold and calculated.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said there must be action from the International Community and called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to summon the Israeli Ambassador and expel him from the Country.

Speaking this morning Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“It looks as though this cold and calculated attack took place in international waters, in breach of all international maritime laws. There must be action from the international community.

“Foreign Affairs Minister Mícheál Martin must summon the Israeli Ambassador and expel him from the Country. Furthermore the preferential trade agreement with Israel must be ended.

“This was a humanitarian aid mission carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid to the besieged city of Gaza. The blockade of Gaza is illegal under International law.

“At all stage of preparations to join the flotilla the organisers reiterated non-violent and peaceful resistance to any boarding by Israeli army. The Israelis had nothing to fear from this flotilla.

“The attack has left up to 20 dead and fifty injured 10,000 tons of much needed aid wasted.

“My thoughts are with the families of those who died. They were courageous men and women as was each and every person on the flotilla.” ENDS

Press Release

Draconian Social Welfare Bill pushing families further into poverty – O'Brien

May 29, 2010
Sinn Féin Cllr Jonathan O'Brien has accused the Government of pushing families further into poverty with its Social Welfare Bill. O'Brien said it was hypocritical of the Government to propose cuts to social welfare rates while doing nothing to create jobs and training courses.

O'Brien also criticised the proposal to the cut one parent payment when the youngest child reaches the age of thirteen.

Speaking today Jonathan O'Brien said:

“It is highly hypocritical of the Government to propose to cut social welfare rates for people refusing certain jobs or training courses when they are doing absolutely nothing to create jobs or training courses.

“Of course, in this current climate nobody should be refusing work but we need to ensure that people are working to their ability and using the skills that they have been trained or taught to use.

“The Government knows there are no jobs out there and with this Bill they are pushing families further into poverty.

“There is no logic behind the proposal to cut the one parent payment when the youngest child reaches the age of thirteen. Does the Government expect a child at the age of thirteen to start bringing money into the household? Are we really heading back to the 60’s and 70’s when children left school to get jobs to support the family?

“This Government continues to punish the least well off for the economic mess its policies created while bailing out its banker and developer friends.

“This Bill penalises low income families yet again.

“A Government with no jobs strategy, presiding over record levels of unemployment, now proposes to punish the unemployed. I challenge the backbenchers of Fianna Fáil to stand up and prevent this draconian Bill from going any further.” ENDS