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9 May 2002 Edition

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Sinn Féin launches radical manifesto for change

"Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams launced Sinn Féin's manifesto for the general election at a press conference in Dublin on Tuesday, 7 May.

He told reporters that:

A vote for Sinn Féin in this election is a vote for the peace process. It is an endorsement of our role in that process. It is a vote for a New Ireland, a free, united and independent Ireland. It is a vote for change. It is a vote for a republican alternative that puts equality and change at the heart of government.

The Sinn Féin manifesto is not a wish list of election promises to be discarded after the election. This is a political manifesto, a radical political strategy, a long-term set of commitments by Sinn Féin to transform society on this island and advance our Irish republican goals. Sinn Féin is the only all-Ireland party in this election. We will use our mandate wisely.

Sinn Féin believes that we can use the wealth generated in recent years to tackle the inequalities at the heart of Irish society. That is our vision. That is what this manifesto is about.

Sinn Féin is standing in this election on our record in the peace process, our determination to advance an all-Ireland agenda, effective local representation and our desire to offer the electorate a radical alternative to conservative politics of the other parties.

 

Sinn Féin Manifesto 2002



Building an Ireland of Equals



Introduction



There is a real choice in General Election 2002.

It is a choice between those who are working to create an Ireland of Equals and those who have created an unequal and divided Ireland. It is a choice between the only all-Ireland party and the partitionist parties. It is a choice between the only growing force in Irish politics and the stagnant array of parties who have failed to inspire the electorate. It is a choice between political commitment and political careerism. It is a choice between real change and more of the same. It is a choice between Sinn Féin and all the rest.


We in Sinn Féin believe that the vast majority of our citizens want to participate actively in a society that cherishes all the children of the nation equally.

A key democratic test of the next government will be whether or not it implements the decision of the electorate on the Treaty of Nice. A referendum replay of the same Treaty rejected by the people would be a travesty of democracy.


As republicans we are totally committed to Irish unity and sovereignty. We want to build upon the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

It took political will, courage and determination to build the peace process. Sinn Féin will apply those qualities equally to the building of real social and economic change in our country. The only promises we make are the promise of hard work on behalf of the citizens we represent and the promise of our total commitment to social equality, economic justice and political freedom.


PEACE PROCESS



Sinn Féin proposes:-

Building upon the progress of the all-Ireland Ministerial Council and the Implementation Bodies
Integrating public policies and services on an all-Ireland basis
Rapid progress on:
Demilitarisation
A truly new policing for the six counties
human rights and equality
Inquiries into killings involving suspected collusion between British forces and loyalists
The repeal of the Offences Against the State Act
The release of all remaining prisoners qualifying for release under the Good Friday Agreement
A full public inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and other killings in the 26 counties involving British forces in collusion with loyalists

 
Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald at the launch last week of the party's manifesto proposals on health

IRISH UNITY



Building an Alliance for Irish Unity

Sinn Féin are the only party bringing a distinctly republican and socialist analysis into the heart of Irish politics.

Sinn Féin continues to work for an end to the union and to ensuring that Irish unity becomes a reality.

Sinn Féin proposes:

In the next Dáil we will seek to begin the process of drawing up a Green Paper on Irish unity.
To work alongside other political parties, community groups, trade unions and other interested sections of our society in creating an 'Alliance for Irish Unity'.
The appointment of a Minister of State with specific responsibility for driving forward and coordinating the work of the All-Ireland institutions and implementation bodies.
To amend Dail procedures to facilitate direct reporting of the progress of the North South Ministerial Council.
Northern Representation

Sinn Féin has been lobbying intensively for Northern participation in the political life of the nation. It is something that will bring benefits to all on the island.


HEALTH



Introduction

Sinn Féin is proposing the establishment of an all-party cabinet committee to bring forward a focused and integrated plan for the strategic transformation of the health system. This must include widespread public consultation.


Waiting Lists

Sinn Féin proposes:

Establishing a single waiting list that ensures universal access to acute services on the basis of need.

Two-Tier Health Care

Sinn Féin proposes:

a health care system free at the point of delivery for all

Health Insurance

Sinn Féin believes that there should not be a market for health care. Sinn Féin proposes:

A ten-year strategy to convert the private health insurance system into a single-tier public system .

Women and Health

Sinn Féin proposes

The establishment of a free and prompt national breast and cervical screening programme for all women over 40 and for teenage girls.
Funding for an outreach programme under the auspices of the Women's Health Council to empower women in determining their own health needs.
All Ireland Co-operation on Health

The skills of service providers in the health systems, North and South, can be better utilised, and hospitals and other resources more efficiently deployed if we have enhanced all-island co-operation in the short-term leading to a single all-Ireland health service.


Ending the Accident and Emergency nightmare

Sinn Féin proposes:

That decentralisation of services and, building on that adequate capacity in community and hospital services, and the funding of emergency rooms on a proper regional basis, would have the greatest immediate impact on providing a better health service.
Health Promotion

Promoting a healthy lifestyle should be a central element in a good health strategy. Information is key to this and should be available to the public at every opportunity.


Pharmaceutical Costs

Little attention has been paid to date to the pharmacy costs borne by both the public hospital service and the GMS scheme.

Pharmaceutical companies are among the most profitable businesses internationally and there are huge discrepancies in the prices these companies charge across markets.

Regionalisation

Sinn Féin proposes:

The establishment of new primary care centres in areas of greatest need as soon as possible.
The strategic development of a regional health care strategy.

 
Nicky Kehoe points out his constituency to Bairbre de Brún and Gerry Adams from the Smithfield Square tower

EDUCATION



Equal Access to Education

We believe education is a fundamental right of all people and can be an essential instrument for the building of an Ireland of equals.

Sinn Féin will campaign for the all-Ireland implementation of the right to education, for increased sharing of resources and expertise, easier contact and mobility, and a harmonisation of the two systems based on equality and inclusion.

The Irish Language

Sinn Féin believes that the Irish language should have a central place in the education system at all levels. Emphasis should be on Irish as a spoken, living language.

Early Years

A system of universally available, publicly funded early childhood education is essential.

Sinn Féin will work for:-

Appropriate resources to enable nursery schools and other early childhood services to work with parents and offer them support and on-site facilities.
Early detection of special educational needs and dyslexia and providing direct support to the child.
Extend the Early Start programme.
A maximum child to adult ratio of 12 to 1.
Measures to recruit and retain suitably qualified staff, including proper remuneration.
Provision of naoiscoileanna where there is demand and with proper resources.

Primary Level

Sinn Féin will work for:-

Primary schools centred in and reflective of the community.
Co-educational schools in terms of gender where there is local demand.
Resources to enable detection of special educational needs with a reduction of waiting time for assessment to less than six months.
Reduction of the pupil-teacher ratio to accord with European norms.
Extension of the Early Start programme to all schools with pupils from disadvantaged areas.
Increase in capitation grants to at least ¨200 per pupil per year
The provision of gaelscoileanna where there is demand.
Facilitate cross-Border access to the school that is geographically closer.
All-Ireland curriculum initiatives.
Continuing overall priority and increased budgetary provision for primary education.
Radical action on remedial teaching with increased numbers of teachers and real access to remediation for all schools.
More flexibility in determining staffing needs of schools to ensure that schools are not left understaffed.
Fair and just pay and pensions levels for teachers in line with the requirements of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation.

Post-Primary Level

Sinn Féin advocates a system of comprehensive, all-ability, 11 to 18 years education, with a broad and balanced curriculum including academic, technical and vocational subjects.


Sinn Féin will work for:

Substantially increased support for pupils with social and educational needs, and for extra teachers in such schools.
Adequate numbers of education support personnel.
Progressive reduction in class sizes.
Investment in the infrastructure for science education in schools.
All-Ireland curriculum initiatives and production of teaching resources on development education.
Creation of Irish-medium post-primary schools where there is demand.
Facilitate cross-Border access to the school that is geographically closer.
Fair levels of pay for post-primary teachers.

Third Level, Further Education and Higher Education

For too long, third-level institutions have been seen as bastions of privilege.

The Government must act to allow access to university to all on the basis of educational merit.

Adult Education

Sinn Féin will work for:

Access programmes that create meaningful links between colleges and universities and schools that have a low uptake of university places.
An increased student maintenance grant to social welfare levels, with additional allowances for children and dependants, and greater uniformity of funding and student grants.
Co-ordinated and common entrance procedures for all the universities in Ireland.
The development of policies outside the CAO to facilitate access by mature students and students from disadvantaged groups.
Greater harmonisation of approaches, accreditation and qualifications throughout the island (for example, mutual acceptability of medical qualifications).
A good childcare infrastructure to support adult education.
The development of joint curriculum projects in the Irish language and a more extensive national provision of third-level courses in that medium.
The establishment of an Irish-language university.
Provision of facilities in every third-level institution where students can pursue their studies through the medium of Irish.
Special measures to provide student accommodation in the context of addressing the overall housing crisis.
 
Sean Crowe and Gerry Adams enjoy a joke after the party's manifesto launch


HOUSING



Sinn Féin's Plan of Action on Housing


Housing is a Basic Right

Sinn Féin believes that proper accommodation is a basic inalienable right and we support enshrining the right to housing in the Constitution.

Tax Incentives and State Support

There is a pressing need to re-evaluate the role of government in subsidising or defraying housing costs. Sinn Féin believes that the present system is riven with inequality.

Land Issues & Developers

The hoarding of land to inflate house prices is a deplorable and anti-social act. Sinn Féin supports the control of land prices, with a statutory ceiling on the price of land zoned for housing to stop speculation and reduce soaring house prices.


Time Scales

Sinn Féin believes that housing policy throughout the island should be directed towards an elimination of local authority waiting lists with an immediate target of supplying suitable accommodation within two years for 70 per cent of applicants.


A Housing Strategy and a Housing Agency

There is a strong need for a State Housing Strategy to be co-ordinated by a Housing Agency. Such a body must not be a top-down organisation.


Planning

Community involvement in the planning process must be a basic starting point of any development plan, whether local government or private developers lead it.


Voluntary and Community Housing

Sinn Féin believes there is a need to provide resources for developing the best possible models of voluntary and community housing schemes.

We believe there should be one streamlined funding scheme with simple procedures for running these schemes.


Private Rented Sector

Sinn Féin deplores the lack of protection under law offered to tenants. Sinn Féin supports a system of rent control linked to year of purchase and investment in a dwelling. Tax-evading landlords must be pursued. There must be minimum standards of accommodation.


Homelessness

Sinn Féin supports the demand for the full implementation of an integrated strategy on homelessness.

Local Authority Homeless Action Plans should be placed on a statutory basis.

We support the call for specific targets for the reduction of the absolute numbers of homeless people based on 2002 figures.

Housing Commission

Sinn Féin supports the establishment of a Housing Commissioner's Office. Its function would be to protect the rights of homeowners and establish a legally enforceable code of practice for house builders and vendors.


Special Needs

Groups such as Travellers, refugees, asylum seekers, women at risk, the elderly, and the homeless all need and have a right to suitably tailored housing provisions.

Sinn Féin calls for the repeal of the sections of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2002 which criminalise trespass, gives sweeping new powers to the Gardaí and is aimed principally at Travellers..


SOCIAL INCLUSION




A Socially Inclusive Ireland

Sinn Féin advocates the right to social, economic, gender and cultural equality. This encompasses equality for all, irrespective of race, age, marital or family status, sexual orientation, physical or mental capacities, ethnicity, social origin, political or religious affiliations, or membership of the Travelling Community.

Human Rights

Sinn Féin calls for the full implementation and continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of equal status and employment equality legislation. We call for the establishment on a proper working basis of the Human Rights Commission in the 26 Counties as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement.

Racism

Sinn Féin proposes:-

The inclusion of anti-racist education as a component part of the curriculum in primary and secondary schools throughout Ireland.
That the Irish Government signs and ratifies the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.
The establishment of a multi-agency task force that will aid the positive integration of immigrants into Irish society.
The work permit scheme for immigrants to be reformed so that permits are granted to employees and not to employers
Provision of resources to ensure speedier processing of claims for asylum.
The right to work or study for asylum seekers while their claims are being processed.
Supporting People with Disabilities

Sinn Féin Proposes:-

An Independent Living Fund for people with disabilities.
Direct payments to people with disabilities and their personal assistants.
Increased and secured financial support for those providing services including day resource centres and personal assistance services.
Introduction of a cost of disability living allowance as recommended by the Commission for Status of People with Disabilities.
Increase in the Mobility Allowance.
Financial support for full-time carers through the increase of the Carer's Allowance and an end to the means test.
Funding to continue progress in cutting waiting lists for people with mental handicaps or intellectual disabilities.
Rights of Children

The experience of abuse and exploitation suffered by generations of our children is entirely unacceptable

All those involved in such abuse must be made accountable, charged, prosecuted.

There is a clear need to enshrine in the Constitution and in legislation the rights of children.

Sinn Féin proposes:-

The appointment of a Minister and Department of Children.
The Department of Children to have responsibility for childcare and all aspects of children's rights.
Full disclosure by the State, the churches, and all other relevant institutions of information in relation to abuse cases.
Older People

Sinn Féin proposes:-

A rights-based culture where old age pensioners' social insurance contributions during their working lives are linked to inflation. The insurance-related pension should be at a level to give a sufficient standard of living.
Retrospective pension credits for those who spent their working lives caring for others.
Statutory funding for voluntary agencies such as Meals on Wheels.
Support for local services at a community level, including day centres and day care centres, with transport available.
Well resourced health care for older people.

JUSTICE AND THE COMMUNITY



Introduction

It is the State's responsibility to ensure that every citizen feels safe in their own homes and in their own communities. It is also the right of every citizen to expect that public servants and elected representatives carry out their obligations in an impartial and objective manner.

Crime Statistics

Sinn Féin proposes:-

To review how crime statistics are gathered, as well as reviewing empirical data on the courts' sentencing practices.

Criminal Justice

Sinn Féin Proposes:-

The abolition of the Special Criminal Court and the restoration of the right to a trial by jury of one's peers.
A system of proper recording of court proceedings and judicial decisions at District Court level.
An increase, in accordance with the principle of equality of impact, in the maximum fine for corporations to take account of the fact that a corporation, unlike a human person, cannot be imprisoned.
The appointment of district court judges to be taken out of the hands of the Minister for Justice.
The establishment of a Legal Ombudsman's Office
A review of the Family Law Courts
The Prison System

There needs to be a re-evaluation of the use of imprisonment in the system. Many of those in prison may not need to be there. We need to ensure that imprisonment is used to protect the community not only by removing offenders but by seeking to ensure they do not reoffend in the future.

Sinn Féin proposes:

The provision of proper facilities to detain young people who are on remand.
The extension of provision of detoxification programmes to all prisoners seeking to deal with their drug addiction.
The allocation of resources to ensure that proper medical treatment for those within the prison system is available.
A review of the law on insanity and the introduction of an appropriate statutory definition of insanity on foot of such a review.
A review of the practice of imprisonment to ensure that fines and forms of sanction other than imprisonment are used where they are appropriate.
The effective incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights into Irish law.

Delays in the court system

Sinn Féin proposes:-

The compilation of up-to-date and accurate statistics on delays in the court system.
A review of the administrative needs of the court system.
The appointment of additional judges at District Court, Circuit Court and High Court level.
A major refurbishment programme for the State's courts
A complete review of the Children's Court.

Community

Sinn Féin will continue to work to foster greater co-operation between An Garda Siochána and the communities we represent. There is no alternative to such an approach.

Sinn Féin Proposes:

Working with disadvantaged communities to identify their needs and provide the resources required to meet these needs.
The institution of restorative justice schemes which give the victim, the offender and the community a say in the treatment of offenders.
The provision, through the Judicial Studies Institute, of social awareness training for newly appointed judges who feel they may not have been exposed to the problems associated with social deprivation, during their practice as lawyers.
The extension of the community policing resources in all areas.
The formation of Community Policing Boards with representation from An Garda Siochána and from the communities they serve to formulate policies suited to both.
Victims

Sinn Féin proposes:

The creation of a victim support unit working within the Department of Justice to co-ordinate the provision of services to victims of crime.
For serious crimes involving violence, and especially in sexual assault cases, victims should be entitled to legal representation at a trial.
Drugs/Substance misuse

Sinn Féin has been to the forefront in dealing with the causes and consequences of drug abuse for over 20 years.

Sinn Féin proposes:

The setting up of Local Drug Task Forces where the community has identified a need.
Extending of the all-Ireland co-operation in tackling drug abuse.
Adequate support and resources for community involvement in compiling and implementing any future Drugs Strategy.
Extending funding to projects from one to five years and a clear commitment to fully fund a drug/alcohol strategy
The promotion of community-based treatment and rehabilitation projects.
A total review of methadone-based approaches to dealing with opiate addiction.
The inclusion of benzodiazepine dependency in any future Drugs Strategy.
Community involvement in drafting any future Government drugs policy.
Greatly improved community policing to combat both drug pushing and anti-social crime associated with the drugs problem.
Integration of the alcohol and drug strategies into one integrated, comprehensive plan.

An Garda Siochána

Every society needs a police service and every police service needs the support of the communities they serve.

Sinn Féin proposes:-


The setting up of a Policing Board
The setting up of an office of a Garda Ombudsman, independent of the Gardaí, and with power to initiate independent investigations.
The independent investigation, as matter of urgent priority, of allegations that conversations between detained persons and their legal advisers were routinely taped in Garda Stations.
Mandatory use of video taping of interviews with suspects.
Appointments to senior Garda positions to be dealt with by an independent board and not by political appointment.
Human rights training for all Gardaí.
A review of Garda equipment and procedures to ensure efficient policing in a modern environment.
Decentralisation of Garda Siochána structures to ensure that the Gardaí are more accountable and responsive to local policing needs.

THE ECONOMY



Sinn Féin's Vision of a Just Economy

Sinn Féin seeks to build an all-Ireland economy where everyone can have a dignified, productive and well-paid job and all can have a fair income and better quality of life.

We want an economy where everyone's contribution is valued.

We need an economy growing not just in an environmentally sustainable way but also in a manner that reverses the erosion of our environment in past decades.

Secure Employment Strategies


Sinn Féin Proposes:

More support for Small Businesses.
Developing New Local Brands.
Matching Funds for Local Business.
Support for enterprises in the Social Economy.
Trade Union Recognition.
Funding a Return to Education.
Support for Agricultural Diversification.

INFRASTRUCTURE



The Digital Divide

We need to ensure that existing telecommunications networks throughout the island are developed and improved and that the new high-speed fibre optic networks are constructed under the principle of universal provision.

The need for State involvement to ensure equity in how these communications resources are developed and accessed must be recognised.


Energy

There is a pressing need for an all-island energy supply that is affordable, environmentally sustainable and nuclear free. This industry should be in public hands to ensure efficient utilisation, distribution and equity.

Sinn Féin proposes:

An all-Ireland state-owned gas and oil exploration industry
That gas is made available to as many people as possible by continuing to support an all-Ireland gas distribution network.
That full environmental impact assessments are carried out and that their findings are at the core of all major oil and gas exploration, extraction and distribution plans.
To ensure that major infra-strucutural developments reflect a combined strategy between the Assembly and the Dublin Government to develop all-Ireland electricity generation plans along with gas distribution proposals.

Roads and Public Transport

Sinn Féin proposes:

That public transport is funded to at least the level of its counterparts in Europe. Without proper subsidy, an efficient public transport system will not emerge.
A joint Roads and Public Transport Authority, with an all-island strategy. Ireland requires an integrated transportation plan that puts the overall needs of the economy and society before sectional interests and profiteering.
A School Bus Authority, co-ordinated at local government level in both urban and rural areas.
That an integrated ticketing policy be implemented as part of the public transport strategy.

CHILDCARE



The State has obligations to provide childcare. We support quality, affordable community childcare for all those who need it, Government-funded childcare facilities, the introduction of training schemes for child-minders in the informal sector, and after-school care funding.

We also support paid parental leave for employees who pay PRSI.

Sinn Féin proposes:

the establishment of a Childcare Agency, under public control, which will regulate the provision of funding and standards in this sector.
TAXATION


An equitable taxation policy

A fair taxation system is essential to the building of 'An Ireland of Equals'.

Sinn Féin views equitable taxation as an essential tool with which government can help to create a better society.

Ensuring that the tax system is fair and effective is a difficult task. Taxes have to be collectable, transparent, fair and levied equitably.

Ending inequality in tax

We have a taxation system with amnesties for defrauders, Ansbacher accounts for tax evaders, active bank involvement in DIRT deception schemes

It is also a system where business enjoys one of the lowest tax burdens in the EU.

It is a system where tax bands and rates are muddied by a battery of tax reliefs and loopholes, many of which help the already wealthy while offering nothing to the poorest in our society.


Tax exiles

There needs to be an immediate end to the status of 'Tax Exile'.


Sinn Féin's Seven-Point Plan for Fair Taxation:-


A major review of the taxation system with the aim of restructuring and reforming to achieve equity and that revenues are harnessed for social benefit.
Removal of those on minimum wage from the tax net.
No further reduction in Corporation Tax.
Capital Gains Tax to return to 40 per cent.
Return employer's PRSI to 12 per cent.
Immediate closure of identifiable loopholes for tax avoidance.
Continued support for culture and sport through tax relief measures.

AGRICULTURE



Sinn Féin will work to protect jobs, animal health and the environment as part of our commitment to keep people on the land

The agriculture industry and the fabric of rural life in Ireland have been damaged by government, the EU and world economic policies to such an extent that it is a national disaster.


Sinn Féin proposes:

Monitoring processor/retailer profit margins;
Monitoring imported produce and labelling so consumers can be guaranteed that it is to EU standards.
The maintenance of direct payments to farmers.
Farmers be compensated for the EU, Department of Agriculture and Teagasc policy of encouraging destocking after decades of encouraging farmers to intensify.
Smallholders who are currently excluded from all EU/state agricultural grants or payments for farm developments restored to eligibility for the full range of grants available to all other sectors of the farming industry.
Partnerships and long-term land leasing initiatives (e.g 10-year leases).
Access to long-term finance at reduced interest rates (e.g. 20-30 year loans)

The Environment

Sinn Féin proposes:

Consultation with farmers on all aspects of new directives.
An improved partnership approach in relation to protecting the environment - the current REPS scheme is inadequate
Adequate grants for pollution control with long-term finance support.
Organic Food

Policies should encourage the development of organic farming. Specialist advisory support should be provided by the State to help farmers in this regard.


RURAL REGENERATION


Sinn Féin proposes:

An increase in LEADER funds for rural development projects.
A rural housing strategy including a renovation grant for those who wish to refurbish or rebuild derelict dwellings.
Reviewing planning laws with a view to encouraging more people into rural areas.
The promotion of a return to co-operative projects should be vigorously promoted and supported.
Greater support for local development projects - Enterprise Ireland, which is responsible for developing indigenous business, currently favours businesses with export potential, overlooking the vital community and social enterprise sector.
The development of a services infrastructure and improved access to the Government-supported Rural Transport Initiative which is vital for the survival of rural communities.
Life-long learning for rural-based people.
Start-up enterprises suitable to rural areas in food and tourism.
On-farm alternative enterprises.

WASTE MANAGEMENT


Towards Zero Waste
Sinn Féin proposes:-

A new Zero Waste Strategy that prioritises the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste.
Halting plans for a network of waste incinerators. These will endanger human health and the environment and will require a constant stream of waste in order to operate, thus working against real waste reduction.
Legally requiring the main industrial and commercial producers of waste to reduce waste production in a planned and targeted manner.
A comprehensive strategy for agricultural waste, concentrating on biological treatment of waste in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.
Establishing "recycling and reuse" enterprises on a community and commercial basis locally and regionally, providing employment and efficient waste management.
Abolishing local authority refuse charges which penalise the householder. (Household waste accounts only for less than 10 per cent of all solid waste.)
Reversing the privatisation of local authority refuse services.
 
Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and Gerry Adams leaving the Sinn Féin press conference


The EUROPEAN UNION



Democratic Vote on Treaty of Nice Must Be Accepted



Neutrality, NATO and the EU Army

Sinn Féin proposes:

That Irish neutrality be enshrined in the Constitution
That peace-keeping should be the sole responsibility of the United Nations.
Withdrawing from the Rapid Reaction Force
Applicant States

Sinn Féin welcomes the enlargement of the EU, but we want the applicant states to have the right to at least join the EU on the same terms as we joined.

A Partnership of Equals, Not a Two-Tier EU

Sinn Féin proposes:-

Retaining the EU as a partnership of equals with everyone proceeding together on the basis of agreement.
That each state continues to have an EU Commissioner
That the right of veto should be retained.
That no further powers be taken away from democratically elected parliaments in the member states.
That member states be able to relate to the rest of the world on their own terms and not as part of a giant EU state.
The ending of the democratic deficit.
International Affairs

Sinn Féin wants Irish governments to work in the interests of the majority of the world's people who are exploited by the large economic and military power blocs controlled by the wealthy minority on our planet.


Sinn Féin proposes:-

The strengthening of the United Nations and its democratisation with the removal of the veto of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The Council should be replaced with a democratic executive.
The cancellation of Third World debt.
Freedom and justice for the Palestinian people as the essential foundation for lasting peace in the Middle East. Israel must implement UN Resolution 242, ending its occupation of all the Palestinian territories and allowing a real peace process to begin.
No carte-blanche facilitation of NATO forces at Irish airports.
The ending of sanctions against the people of Iraq which are responsible for the deaths of thousands of children through deprivation of medicines, and no extension of war to that country by the US, Britain and their allies.

An end to the United States' embargo of Cuba.
That the "Tobin Tax" - a proposed tax on international financial speculation with revenue - to be used to promote development in the poorer regions of the world.
The Irish Government promote human rights and disarmament worldwide.
An increase in Irish Government aid to the Third World.
An international alliance for the closure of Sellafield.

MEDIA



Sinn Féin believes that the operation of the media should be as much in the public domain. Public access to information is a fundamental right.

Public Service Broadcasting

Sinn Féin supports public service broadcasting and views publicly owned and democratically accountable media, free from state or government control, as a mainstay of democracy.


No more Privatisation of Culture

Sinn Féin proposes the immediate designation of certain sporting events as having a statutory entitlement to universal audience access.


Print Media

Sinn Féin proposes:

A statutory 'right to reply' law for persons subject to serious allegations in print media.
Severe curtailment of the current libel laws.
A review of monopoly legislation to prevent any one media company having a monopoly position in any given media sector.
 
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An Phoblacht
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Ireland
 

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