Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the passing of the Reintke report in the plenary session of the European Parliament, dealing with EU cohesion policy and marginalised communities.
Speaking after the vote, Ms Anderson said,
“In the European Parliament, I had a responsibility to work on a report on how European Union’s cohesion policy can assist in empowering marginalised communities.
“The term ‘marginalised communities’ covers a broad range of concepts, such as disadvantaged neighbourhoods, people at risk of poverty, and groups in society that are disadvantaged or discriminated against.
“As the lead negotiator for GUE/NGL on this particular report, I proposed a range of amendments such as the acknowledgement that people in cross-border, rural and isolated areas are often subject to marginalisation due to their geographical situation and should be better taken into consideration by the Cohesion Policy.
“This is particularly evident in Ireland and I have met with many of these communities, most recently the Irish traveller community, who have long suffered social and economic marginalisation.
“Additionally I proposed a focus on the problems of unemployment, housing, education, people suffering from a disability and healthcare faced by marginalised communities and we asked for a promotion to better access.
“In order to overcome disadvantage in marginalised communities, governments need to take responsibility to change the situation by implementing as many supportive measures as possible, rather than prioritising budget cuts over meeting the needs of their most vulnerable in society.
“Sinn Féin has long played a leading role with marginalised communities and these communities need to be actively involved at a grass-roots level, and enabled to participate as full partners in developing and monitoring the programmes that affect them.” ENDS
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on Human Rights Commissioner Muižnieks to return to Belfast to investigate Britain’s Human Rights Abuse following their failure to address it in last week’s agreement “A Fresh Start.”
Speaking in the European Parliament, Ms Anderson said
“Last week saw a significant agreement made between the two largest political parties in the north of Ireland and the Irish and British Governments.
“The 6 counties institutions are the only viable platform to give protection to the working poor and those on benefits.
“Last week did not, however, see the British government address breeches of its Article 2 obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to life – which the European Court of Human Rights found Britain had violated during the conflict in Ireland.
“The British Government has covered up for State Actors, their agents, British army, police and the political establishment which colluded in countless murders and to this day the British Government continues to exercise a national security veto to conceal the role it played in Collusion in Ireland.
“The Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Muižnieks must return to Belfast to investigate Britain’s Human Rights Abuse, to bring them to book for acting with impunity and to work to get the full disclosure of information for victims and for their families.” ENDS
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could have a devastating impact on the Irish beef industry.
Speaking after a public meeting in Enniskillen, Ms Anderson said;
“The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is one of the most important and controversial pieces of legislation coming through the European Parliament for many years.
“Its implementation would have disastrous and far-reaching consequences for many communities right across Europe.
“I was pleased to be able to come to the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen to speak at a public meeting, organised by Sinn Féin, to update local people on what TTIP could mean for them.
“This hulking piece of legislation would impact on many sectors.
“It could have a devastating impact on the Irish agriculture industry, particularly the beef sector with losses of up to €45 million due to increased consumption of US beef.
“TTIP would also allow major international companies to ride roughshod over the democratic decisions of EU member states which is totally unacceptable.
“I and the Sinn Féin team in the European Parliament have been to the fore in opposing TTIP both at home and in Europe and will continue to do so.”
Sinn Féin has huge concerns regarding TTIP from the manner in which it is being secretly negotiated to elements within the mandate which have been forced public by leaks.
I will be speaking at this public meeting next Thursday in Enniskillen, hosted by Fermanagh South Tryone MLA Phil Flanagan, so it would be great if you could come along.
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the announcement of the value of Basic Payment Scheme entitlements and Young Farmers Top-Up Rate for 2015 by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.
Speaking from Brussels, Ms Anderson said,
“The Minister has today announced that the 2019 Regional Average entitlement under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) (including the Greening Payment) will be €330.42 per hectare and the rate for Young Farmers’ Payment in 2015 will be €81.28 per hectare.
“All BPS entitlements will converge towards the Regional Average entitlement value in equal steps over the next seven years. The BPS entitlement ceiling has been scaled back by 3.30% to provide funding for the Regional Reserve, which is mainly used to allocate entitlements to farm businesses which qualify as new entrants or young farmers.
“The Young Farmers’ Payment will help to safeguard the development of a well skilled and professional farming industry.
“Sinn Féin has been consistent in our supporting of young farmers and in turn providing a sustainable and viable future for one of our most valuable indigenous industries.
“I commend the Minister on this and I encourage those who are receiving their entitlement notification letters this week to engage with Department during this process.” ENDS
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the opening of the first phase of the £250million Farm Business Improvement Scheme and is encouraging farmers to apply for entry into the Business Development groups which closes on Mon 14th December.
Speaking today, Ms Anderson said,
“The Business Development groups offer numerous benefits to farmers, such as access to a CAFRE Development Adviser, the option to gain a qualification and the chance to keep up to date with the latest technologies.
“Each Business Development Group will comprise of 15 – 20 like-minded farmers who will meet up to 8 times a year to carry out activities such as on-farm meetings, demonstrations and skills training. Funding is available for completing the workshops as well as hosting a Farm visit.
“From this participants have the chance to develop a progress plan for their agri business and it is therefore an extremely valuable scheme which participating farmers will benefit from in anticipation of the capital element scheme opening early next year.
“I commend Minister Michelle O’Neill and DARD in working together to deliver this and would encourage all interested parties to visit the following webpages for further information.
DARD website: http://www.dardni.gov.uk/business-development-groups
CAFRE website: http://www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/business-development-groups/” ENDS
I want to thank Donegal SF for the invitation to attend and address this selection convention.
Before I begin to talk about the battle here in Donegal over the next 20 weeks, I want to take a moment and look back over the last 20 years.
Because it’s only by us taking time to recognise the journey we’ve travelled that we can today appreciate the magnitude of the threshold on which we now stand.
As Republicans, as Democrats, as Socialists, as Progressives, as Irish Citizens, north and south, we – the people in this hall, our friends, families, communities and neighbours across Ireland – have changed the face of Irish history.
From conflict to politics. From discrimination to progress. From isolation to inclusion.
From the very deepest feelings of desperation and despair, to a new situation that promises the potential of lasting hope.
We have waded through the poison of partition and we now face the prize of creating a new country within our lifetimes.
There’s an old saying that you need old dogs for the hard-road.
And looking around this room, there’s a few old dogs alright – but the sort you could never walk this journey without!
And there are also legendary comrades whom we have lost along the way, not least our friend Eddie Fullerton.
But the thing about those who have come before us, is that they always kept their eye on the future.
And that is what today is all about: the future of this society, from Bunbeg to Ballymurphy; from Ballyshannon to Ballymena.
For too long, Donegal’s past has been dominated by conservative parties.
They have managed the neglect of this county.
You don’t need me to list their catalogue of chaos:
· Some of the highest unemployment and emigration rates in the country;
· Poor healthcare provision underwritten by a privatisation agenda; and
· Failure to deliver serious rail and road infrastructure
The list goes on, and on, and on. Small towns across this county have been decimated by the scourge of neglect and inequality and emigration.
The Taoiseach and Tanaiste tell us – they’re delivering a recovery.
I’d love to see them tell that to local GAA clubs that can’t even field full teams – because our young people are once again forced to fly to America and Australia.
That’s why the next election is so important.
Yes, there is a historical context with the 1916 centenary celebrations.
And yes, there is a political context with the unresolved issue of partition and its impact in the north.
But this election is also about farming and fishing families in this great county; about corner shops and small business; and about redressing decades of social unfairness and economic injustice.
This election will be a chance to make history for Donegal, and for Sinn Fein.
Just five years ago, SF in Donegal only had four county councillors and no TDs.
Now we have nine county councillors and two of the highest-profile and hardest working TDs in this state.
We now have the chance to return three TDs out of five. That is titanic.
It has happened through hard-work and high vision: strategies for growth and party development that took ten years and more to deliver.
Sinn Féin as a party must ensure that political power has democratic values at its heart.
We must demonstrate the change is a state of mind, not just a slogan for elections.
That’s why we will – and do – challenge the elites and status quo at every opportunity.
Never forget, Pearse Doherty took the government to the High Court to ensure that Donegal had its fair representation and he then succeeded in winning a by-election.
This forthcoming election is another chance to make real change.
Donegal is being ambitious and taking a risk by running 3 candidates.
It’s the responsibility of everyone in the room to make sure that the risk pays off.
We have to knock every door in the county, explain our strategy and show them that change is possible.
Gary is an excellent addition to the ticket.
He topped the poll in the local election last year, after only a short time in the council.
He has given a radical and progressive voice to the Finn Valley.
I firmly believe he can and will become the first TD in the Finn Valley in decades.
So comrades, we’ve a great job of work ahead. But I believe we can do it.
In the meantime let’s change the future and let’s win this election.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh.