Category: Press releases

Press releases by Martina Anderson MEP.

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Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has said the international community has a responsibility to act to defend the democratic rights of the Catalan people. 

Martina Anderson said; 

“As an international observer to the Catalan independence referendum I have witnessed at first hand the attempts by the Spanish authorities to deny people the right to vote. 

“This has included seizing ballot boxes, blocking access to polling stations and physical attacks on those queuing up to exercise their democratic right. 

“There have also been reports of disruption to the online services required for voter validation. 

“Let’s be clear; these are attacks on the democratic process and democracy itself. 

“If this was happening anywhere else in the world there would be international outrage. 

“There is an onus on the international community, and the EU in particular, to speak out and to act to defend the fundamental democratic rights of the people of Catalonia.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson met the President of Catalonia and addressed the parliament today ahead of the historic Catalan independence referendum due to be held on Sunday. 

Speaking from Barcelona, where she is an international observer for the referendum, Martina Anderson said: 

“I met today with the President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and the Foreign Minister, Raul Romeva, ahead of the historic Catalan independence referendum scheduled for Sunday. 

“Prior to the meeting I addressed the Parliament of Catalonia and expressed Sinn Féin’s solidarity for all those seeking to exercise their fundamental democratic right to self determination. 

“My party colleague Senator Trevor O Clochartaigh and I also met with Carme Forcadell, Speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia who is potentially facing charges for allowing a democratic debate on the referendum to take place. 

“It is clear from being here and meeting people on the streets that people, young and old, want to be able to have their say. 

“People are defiant, determined but dignified in their desire to take part in this fundamental expression of democracy and they should be allowed to do so without interference or repression.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed agreement on a joint resolution on Brexit which will be voted on in the European Parliament next week. 
Martina Anderson said: 
“As a result of intense lobbying by myself and the Sinn Féin team in the European Parliament, a joint resolution on Brexit will now go forward to be voted on in the European Parliament on Tuesday. 
“This resolution calls on the European Parliament to stress that the unique and special circumstances of the north of Ireland must be recognised in the Brexit withdrawal agreement and that the Good Friday Agreement be protected in all its parts and be consistent with EU law. 
“It also reinforces the right of people living in the north to Irish and therefore EU citizenship. 
“It would also call on the British government to come up with an ‘effective and workable solution’ to the issue of the border which would ensure the integrity of the internal market and customs union. 
“It also recognises the lack of real progress made on these issues to date by the British government in the current phase of negotiations. 
“This resolution is significant as it recognises our unique position and the need for us remain in the single market and customs union.
“I look forward to the debate on this resolution in the European Parliament on Tuesday.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has praised the role of women in the Palestinian struggle. 

Speaking after attending an event in the European Parliament in Brussels, which was addressed by Palestinian activist, Leila Khaled, Martina Anderson said: 

“Sinn Fein stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Palestine and it was one of my great honours to have led the Delegation for Palestine here in the European Parliament. 

“Palestinian women stand dignified in defiance of all that Israel can throw at them. We must stand beside them.

“This event brought together ambassadors from Venezuela, Palestinian activists, including Leila Khaled, and lawyers representing Khalida Jarra, a Palestinian politician who is currently imprisoned by the Israelis. 


“There are millions of people all over the world who support the Palestinian struggle. 

“We have protested on the streets, here in the Parliament and we have travelled to Palestine itself. We will continue to do this until peace and justice is delivered.” 


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said remaining in the single market and customs union through special status within the EU is the best way to protect all-Ireland trade. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Recently the DUP have been adding to the confusion of the Brexit agenda being pursued by their Tory allies by making spurious claims about trade. 

“Successive reports from Intertrade, the Centre for Cross Border Studies and others highlight the huge significance of EU markets for exports from the north. 

“In fact our trading relationship with the EU was described as the most significant market we have in one report. 

“In particular our agri-food and manufacturing sectors would be badly hit, with cross-border trade in manufactured goods between north and south totalling £2.3bn. 

“Through their misinformation, the DUP are attempting to shore up the confused and calamitous Brexit agenda of their Tory paymasters. 

“The best way to protect our trade is to secure special status within the EU which would see us remain within the single market and customs union.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Theresa May’s comments on Brexit today are incompatible with protecting the Good Friday Agreement. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“What we heard today in Florence from Theresa May was heavy on aspiration and light on detail. 

“She did not adequately address any of the concerns around Ireland, citizen’s rights and the need to protect the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts. 

“It is clear that Brexit is bad for Ireland. It is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement and nothing Theresa May said today changes that. 

“Theresa May spoke about not accepting physical infrastructure on the border but then followed it up with making it clear they intend to leave the Single Market and Customs Union and drag us out with them. That simply doesn’t add up. 

“She also made it clear that the British government would not accept the European Court of Justice which would leave our rights open to attack by the Tories. 

“Our position is clear. We want to see the entire of island of Ireland remaining in the EU, including in the single market and customs union. That means securing special status for the north within the EU.”


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will host a delegation of students from meánscoileanna across the north to the European Parliament next week. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Next week I will be brining students from six meánscoileanna across the north to the European Parliament in Brussels to see at first hand the role the Irish language plays in the Parliament as an official language of the EU. 

“The pupils will get the opportunity to visit the European Parliament chamber and see the Irish language translation services, as well as visiting the Parliamentarium, an interactive interpretative centre explaining the history of the EU which for a tour conducted in Irish. 

“The group will also meet my colleague Liadh Ní Riada who will speak to them about the role of the Irish language int he European Parliament and the job opportunities that exist through Irish in the Parliament. 

“They will also learn about the Erasmus study exchange programme to learn about the opportunities of studying across the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has encouraged people to show extra care on the roads today on European Day Without A Road Death. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Today marks European Day Without A Road Death (Project Edward) across the EU and is designed to raise awareness of road safety and prevent tragedies on our roads. 

“Sadly, too many families know the pain and suffering of losing a loved on on our roads across Ireland. 

“Project Edward reminds all of us, motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and others to take extra care and be mindful of other road users. 

“Hopefully through events like this we can reduce the number of deaths on our roads as every death is one too many.”